Warning: this story contains details of the plot of "Vietnam", the episode on Tuesday We are.
Little brother just made a big Entry. Episode of Tuesday of We are finally he presented us the adult version of Jack's younger brother, Nicky, whom the viewers (and the Pearson family) knew little about, other than that he died during the Vietnam War. From the initial frame of "Vietnam", it became clear that Nicky Pearson, the boy Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) had always promised to protect, had become a man on the edge.
Fearful of being recruited for service (but feeling that it was inevitable, despite Jack's assurances and his "lucky birth" mother), Nicky noted with luck that his birthday was selected at the beginning of the lottery draw. Jack took Nicky from Pittsburgh to the Canadian border so he could cross countries and avoid serving, but as he told Jack in the overnight note he left behind: "It's my turn to save the day," he changed. of opinion and presented for duty. One year in service, however, and he had not made any savings. In fact, he was demoted to the lowest rank, as the Pearson family learned in Nicky's letters, which indicated a dark struggle. This gnawed Jack so much that he felt compelled to enlist, despite the irregularity of his heart. Finally, gaining the right to visit his brother in his remote but nearby outpost, Jack announced his presence with a "Hey, little brother", while Nicky poured gasoline into a barrel of excrement in latrine service. Upon hearing that familiar voice, Nicky threw a match at the cannon, ignited all the disaster, turned to Jack and the audience felt what Jack did. UH oh.
What was that look on Nicky's face? Why did Nicky change his mind and hear the call to battle? What hell awaits you in future episodes? EW asked Michael Angarano, the actor who plays Nicky, to appear for the interview duty. Here, the most recent cast member – whose credits include I'm dying here, The KnickY Will & Grace – It takes you through the minefields that await Nicky and Jack.
WEEKLY ENTERTAINMENT: So you get a call asking if you would be interested in playing Jack Pearson's brother, and your first answer is …?
MICHAEL ANGARANO: Have you seen my work?
He[[Laughter.]I was very surprised, because I had no idea that this was in the works or what they were talking about. I received a phone call from my agent, and the next day I was talking to Isaac.[Aptaker[Aptaker[Aptaker[AptakerTIU Executive producer]on the phone about this very Ambitious story, and he told me that Tim O & # 39; Brien was a consultant in the writers room. I started reading the work of Tim O & # 39; Brien, The things they brought, and I was impressed and I was curious about how this program would handle this story, because it was a very dark, sad and violent war. Show that network television in an authentic way is a great challenge. I do not want to say that I doubted it when I talked to Isaac on the phone, but when I received the first script and saw that it was written by [creator] Dan Fogelman and Tim O & # 39; Brien, I thought: "Oh, they're really doing this!" I thought: "This is ambitious, but this is precise. "There is nothing that feels bad or forced, I felt that all this was part of the show from the first day, in a strange way, this was an important part of Jack's story to tell.
In that picture of Nicky in Vietnam that opens the episode, you can see that this man is suffering a lot. It is not the same man who went to war to make something of himself. How serious is this situation?
It's horrible It's something that me and Milo and Dan and [executive producer] Ken Olin and Tim O & # 39; Brien talked a lot about: How far is Nicky and where is he? He has been at war for a year and is sending letters to his family saying, "I may not get out of here alive, but I will do it on my own terms." You are sending suicide letters to your account. Family, and I do not think I'm doing it for attention. I think Nicky is in a course when Jack finds him.
What exactly is that look on his face? It seems that there is anger and vulnerability, and also maybe, "Here comes Jack to save the day."
Yes, I think it's complicated. There is a part of him that is happy. I think there's also a part of him that bothers him that he's there. There is a part of him that is surprised that he is there. And I think that in an instant, even though you are in a completely foreign land, a completely different head space and a shell of your physical being, you probably have 21 years of sibling dynamics in about three seconds. I think it's the whole range.
Jack has read his letters and seen how the war has changed Nicky, but do you realize how bad Nicky is?
No I dont think so. One of the beautiful things in this story is that, although these two are brothers and know a lot about each other, they respect and understand each other as men because they grew up in the same house and know what each one has. However, how Nicky reacted to this war is unfathomable. Even Jack.
I thought a lot about that line: "I will not get out of here alive, but I'm not going to die on anyone else's terms." How prophetic will that be? As you said, there are implications of suicide, but also of coming out in a fit of glory trying to play the hero.
Nicky has this tendency to feel this impulse of destiny, and he did it with the lottery; I knew I was going to Vietnam. He did it with Jack in Canada; He said: "I have to do this on my own terms." And he is sending these letters back. There is something for him that hangs over his head. It is a very abstract idea, but I think it is something that is very influenced by his past and by the fact that he is Jack's little brother, and that he comes from the family he comes from. It is something that could even be outside the scope of his own understanding, but something that Nicky can see as human is that he is the observer. While Jack is serious and present, Nicky thinks of time abstractly. And this discourse is the concept of the episode, but it is also the concept of the show. If you see something at the end and try to understand it the other way around, I do not think you would ever hear Jack say something like that. It is this reverse way of thinking, and this psychological and intellectual way of thinking, where Nicky is already at the end and trying to see and understand the steps as he notices them.
Dan said we'll have the Nicky mystery solved at the end of the season. How close to the end of his life could we be?
He is in a course, and it may be too late for when Jack has already arrived. One thing is for sure: the man who [Jack] See the end of that episode is not his brother.
Nicky is literally 120 seconds away from not being recruited because he was born at 11:58 p.m. Jack is confident that he will not be recruited, and his mother says: "You were born lucky". But Nicky is convinced that it will be. He also says that Jack is like Superman and he is Lois Lane, who always needs to be rescued. Is there an air of doom surrounding this character?
I would not call it death, but it's almost like I'm seeing an image of your life and there's a lot of negative space, and you need to complete it. There is something about the destination or its destiny that calls it to do. that. There is a big gap in Nicky's life because he grew up in the house where he grew up, with an abusive and alcoholic father. His brother has taken care of him constantly. I do not think Nicky knows who he is as a man. And your decision to go to Vietnam and this Pull What he feels for it is, in his mind, the only way to face many of his demons.
Everyone keeps saying that he is so lucky to be born on the 18th, and then you see the ticking of the clock and, if there were only a few more contractions, his whole life would have been different. How trivial was it to see that, especially with the episode that takes place in reverse chronological order?
It's a kind of confirmation that Nicky's idea that this could be his destiny, could actually be right. It is this feeling that 120 seconds later, his life would have been saved. I do not think he knows, but he feels it. Those 120 seconds are what hang over your head.
NEXT PAGE: Angarano about what to expect in the next episode of Vietnam