Deadline is reporting that Rachel Naomi Hilson (Madam Secretary) and Akira Akbar (Grey’s Anatomy, Captain Marvel) will recur on NBC’s This Is Us as the younger versions of Beth (played by Susan Kelechi Watson) and that Carl Lumbly (Alias, Supergirl) will play Beth’s father Abe opposite Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) as Beth’s mom Carol.
All will appear in the Feb. 19 episode, titled “Our Little Island Girl,” which will delve into the backstory of Susan Kelechi Watson’s character, Beth.
“We had conversations with them telling the direction we were going in, what Beth was like in the past and what’s going to happen for her in the future, that type of thing,” Watson said when she discussed the episode with TVLine in December. “We have a really great new writer Eboni Freeman, [who is] the main writer on it, and some of it is her story, very personal to her. They found a way to create this really beautiful backstory, and a beginning of a resolution of Beth starting to get back on her footing again. And then we have some amazing surprises in it. It’s going to be a really powerful episode.”
Goran Višnjić was previously announced to join the series as Vincent, a teacher of Beth’s, in the episode, in which Beth’s trip home to care for her mother sparks an unexpected realization.
The Dan Fogelman-created seres stars Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Chris Sullivan and Susan Kelechi Watson.
Lumbly’s credits also include NCIS: Los Angeles, The Chi, Alias, and the upcoming Warner Bros’ feature Doctor Sleep.
Hilson also has appeared on Law and Order SVU, The Americans, The Affair, Elementary, The Slap and the NBC series, Rise. She made her motion picture debut in Kings.
Akbar has been seen on shows such as Criminal Minds, and will soon be seen in the recurring role of Brooke on Netflix’s Family Reunion and in Marvels’ Captain Marvel on the big screen.