The Movie Waffler Waffling With THIS IS US Star Isabel Oliver Marcus | The Movie Waffler

Waffling With THIS IS US Star Isabel Oliver Marcus

Isabel Oliver Marcus
We chat with the new star of the hit NBC show.

Like the color of her hair, actress Isabel Oliver Marcus’s career is red hot right now. One of the newest faces on NBC’s This Is Us - in which she plays Randall’s teen girlfriend (whom we don’t know a lot about yet) - Marcus has seemingly appeared out of nowhere to become one of the 2018’s freshest and exciting new faces.

Isabel Oliver Marcus

Were you a fan of This Is Us before getting the job on it?

I had seen previews for it before it started, and was absolutely intrigued, but hadn’t ever gotten to actually see it. So before the audition, I binged as much as I could. I watched the first episode and absolutely fell in love. I cried within the first 20 minutes, of course. So I was a last-minute fan, but a fan nonetheless.

There’s been a lot of mystery about the character. Can you tell us anything about her yet?

Not much - there’s not much I know yet either. A lot of it is stuff I’ve had to build for myself,  or have found out once I got to read the script. There has even been some stuff that I decided about her for myself, and then got a script, and found that the writers had had the same idea. For instance, she likes to bake. I can also tell you she’s sweet, smart, and that she’s Randall’s girlfriend. But I guess you already knew that. 

Do you yourself know where her story goes or are you as in the dark as the rest of us?

I know bits and pieces. I’ve shot a little bit more than what you’ve seen, but not much. I’m sure the writers have something incredible up their sleeves, like they always do. I must admit, I love speculating about what might happen. My mom is a writer, so she has a good handle on building a story. With her insight, and my secrets (which I do not share, even with her), we can go back and forth for hours with - sometimes crazy - ideas about where the writers might take it.

Where do your scenes shoot?

Spoilers! Or... not quite. It’s no secret that This Is Us shoots at the Paramount lot, but as to the specific fictional locations, you’ll just have to watch to find out. It’s amazing how you can find every kind of location in Los Angeles, and it all looks like wherever they need it to be. Miguel’s house is a house in LA, for example, but it looks like it’s Pittsburgh. And if it doesn’t look right, they just change it! Movie magic is real, people.

Was it stressful at first?

Not stressful! Never stressful. Nerve-wracking, totally. Sometimes scary. Absolutely thrilling. Right from the get-go it felt totally surreal, and right-at-home all at once. Given that this is my first “big” gig, there have been some things I’ve had to figure out. When to change into wardrobe, for example, or how to get food during lunch. My first day on set, my mom was still in Texas (that’s where I was, visiting family, when they called me in for the audition, so I had flown out by myself and stayed with some friends), and although I tend to be able to manage things without her as a pseudo-adult, sometimes you just want your mom... to help fill out your paperwork.

What do you attribute the success of This Is Us to?

It’s good. It’s good writing, good acting, good filmmaking. In that art is all about telling stories, it tells good stories well. And those stories, stories about people, are really important. Not just right now, but always. That is why the show spans generations and walks of life.

Have you been auditioning for other roles - maybe movies? - recently? Anything juicy?

I wouldn’t want to give anything away. Pilot season is coming up, and I’m ready to grab a hold of anything that comes my way, including TV and movies. While staying open for whatever This Is Us has in store, of course. I’m also working on finishing up my senior year of high school but that’s maybe not the same kind of ‘juicy’ you were looking for.

Isabel Oliver Marcus