‘This Is Us” has hinted at Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) personal battle with despair since its Season 2 finale final March.
Tuesday evening’s episode took viewers on a harrowing journey contained in the depths of that battle — and, boy, was it a doozy.
Within the episode, Toby — Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) bearded, burly husband — continued his spiral into emotional darkness after going chilly turkey on his anti-depression meds, making an attempt to spice up Kate’s possibilities of getting pregnant through fertility therapies.
Toby had been retaining his sinking emotions to himself — not eager to stress Kate in the course of the lengthy course of — whereas retaining a false facade of cheerfulness. “Thanks for being my rock” Kate says to a faux-cheerful Toby — as he shuts their house door and slinks away into the depths of despair.
“I feel a whole lot of occasions, perhaps it’s not pretty much as good storytelling, however despair and anxiousness and people issues are baffling and may come up out of nowhere,” says Sullivan. “It’s an fascinating dialog to have, unrolling [the depression] and the best way the top of all of this [in Tuesday night’s episode] culminates in some ‘joyful’ bit of stories so far as Kate’s being pregnant taking.
“Having a child is a joyful expertise — but in addition, from what I’ve heard, it brings a whole lot of worry and anxiousness.”
Sullivan has, sadly, had an up-close-and-personal have a look at the ravages of untreated despair. “I’ve had mates who’ve handled bouts of despair and I simply misplaced a pal [to suicide],” he says.
“It’s a vital dialog all of us should be having proper now, a dialog all of us keep away from due to the ‘disgrace’ of the subject.
“Proper now, with all that’s going on on the earth — let’s put it this manner, if you happen to go searching at all the things and also you’re not depressed then you definately’re residing a really enlightened life.”
Sullivan is requested in regards to the arc of Toby’s story for the remainder of this season —and what the “This Is Us” writers, and creator Dan Fogelman, take note of for the character.
“I feel the theme for Toby, not less than for myself, is to have this dialog and discuss psychological sickness or despair in a approach that’s not shameful,” he says.
“So far as Toby goes, I feel coping with these points in a approach that’s lively and thru connecting with folks he loves … it’s about changing into probably the most current and loving and succesful father or mother he could be, as he and Kate proceed to face their points.
“I strive to not insert myself into the storytelling a part of issues,” he says. “They informed us that this season is the following cease in bringing extra to the Pearsons’ story and giving the viewers a extra detailed have a look at their lives and who they care about — folks like Miguel (Jon Huertas) and Toby and getting these tales on the file and hopefully serving to the viewers mourn Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) loss of life … and heat as much as Miguel.
“I’m hoping the viewers will get a extra well-rounded image of Toby and why he’s the best way he’s.”
Earlier than “This Is Us” got here alongside, Sullivan, 38, voiced Caleb the Camel in these Geico “Hump Day!” advertisements, which ran in 2013 (“I forgot they gave that camel a reputation!” he says, laughing). He additionally co-starred for 2 seasons as (horse-powered) ambulance driver Tom Cleary on “The Knick” (Cinemax) and appeared as Benny on two episodes of the breakout Netflix hit “Stranger Issues.” He additionally performs Joe on the HBO comedy “Tenting,” starring Jennifer Garner and David Tennant.