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Who Plays Madison On This Is Us?

"This Is Us," the NBC series created by Dan Fogelman, follows the multigenerational members of the Pearson family, beginning with married couple Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore). The Pearsons have three children (aka the Big Three), who the series also follows as adults: Randall (Sterling K. Brown), who was adopted, and twins Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Kate (Chrissy Metz). The series is told over the span of many decades and in a nonlinear order, meaning we get to see the Pearson siblings at many ages throughout their lives. 

Although most of the action centers on the Pearson family, the series consists of an ensemble cast, and many key players come from outside of the home established by Jack and Rebecca. In addition to various other extended family members, this includes Randall's wife, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), and Kate's first husband, Toby (Chris Sullivan), both of whom have been main cast members from the beginning of the series. 

Another major player in the series is Madison Simmons, who is introduced in Season 1 as a particularly troublesome member of Kate's weight loss support group. At first, Kate doesn't like Madison because she is angered that a thin woman like Madison is allowed in the group. However, after learning more about Madison's struggle with an eating disorder, the two become closer and, eventually, form a tight bond. Later in the series, Madison has a one-night stand with Kevin, resulting in a pregnancy with twins, making her closer to the Pearson family than ever before.

For those curious, here's some information about the actress who plays Madison.

Caitlin Thompson has been acting since 2008

Long before she began her arc as Madison on "This Is Us," Caitlin Thompson secured her first acting role in 2008 when she appeared in a short film called "Day of Valentine's." Three years later, Thompson picked up her first major recurring role as Heather for five episodes of the ABC Family comedy drama "Greek." In 2012, Thompson followed this up with a four-episode arc on The CW series "90210," in which she, coincidentally, played another character named Madison. In 2017, one year into her time on "This Is Us," she also appeared in four episodes of "Small Shots," a show about actors trying to make it in Hollywood.

Excluding a few projects here and there, Thompson's main focus since 2016 has been "This Is Us." Of course, this makes sense, as Madison's presence has become more and more important to the Pearson family story as the series has progressed. Interestingly, there's also a real-life reason this makes a great deal of sense. In 2015, Thompson married "This Is Us" creator Dan Fogelman.

Speaking with The Italian Reve, Thompson discussed how she has approached playing Madison on the NBC series. "I made a choice when I first started playing Madison, that a lot of her behavior would be driven by her insecurities and her desire to fit in and feel wanted," Thompson said. "She just covers those feelings with her big personality. I wanted her to be more complex than the cliche rich, L.A. girl ... I was a very shy child with my own insecurities, so for me, accessing those was a way for me to tap into her."