02.10.2022

How Jennifer C. Holmes Blew Away This Is Us Writers With Her Portrayal of Randall’s Mom

If you don’t know Jennifer C. Holmes’s name, you will very soon. During season five of This Is Us, the actress appears as Randall’s birth mother Laurel, and her performance is blowing away audiences. In the Jan. 12 episode, Holmes really shines on screen as we learn even more about Laurel’s life and story.

While This Is Us isn’t Holmes’s first acting gig – she previously appeared on shows like The Bold and the Beautiful and CSI: Miami – it’s sure to become her breakout role.

Just as she’s winning fans over with her performance, it appears she made a similar impact on the show’s writers. During the episode, creator Dan Fogelman gave fans a little backstory on how Laurel’s big story arc came to be.

“About this time last year, the @ThisIsUsWriters started discussing an episode focusing on Randall’s birth mother. It was something we had contemplated before, but never fully decided on. . .” he wrote on Twitter.

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After casting Holmes as Laurel in season one, they were unsure about bringing her back on for the full story. “We didn’t really know her,” he added. “She barely had lines, if ANY, and it seemed like a stretch to give her an entire episode of TV. But we had a story we wanted to tell.” However, after writing some scenes and bringing her back in for a read through, Holmes “absolutely crushed it.”

“Tonight, a year later, that episode airs,” he continued. “A leap of faith made under tricky circumstances. It features a stunning performance from that same young actress – the one who once had no lines. Her name is Jennifer Holmes and I believe she will soon be nominated for a guest Emmy.” After seeing her incredible performance on the show, we have to agree!

Emma Thompson Is Joining the Cast of Netflix’s Matilda Musical as the Formidable Miss Trunchbull

On 5 Jan., The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Lashana Lynch is in final negotiations with Netflix to join the streamer’s feature adaptation of the musical Matilda. The musical – and 1996 cult-classic film – is based on Roald Dahl’s story following the titular 5-year-old who uses her powers of telekinesis to overcome bullies that include her parents and her school’s principal.

The film will be helmed by Matthew Warchus, who also directed the stage musical. Original playwright Dennis Kelly will adapt the screenplay with original music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. The film will get an exclusive theatrical release in the UK through Sony’s TriStar Pictures, with Netflix distributing it worldwide online.

Lynch, who is set to take screens by storm as Nomi the new 007 when No Time Left to Die premieres on April 2, has been tapped to play Ms. Honey. The beloved teacher is one of the few to encourage Matilda and her powerful gifts and was famously played by Embeth Davidtz in the feature film adaptation.

Lynch was the first cast member revealed for the film, followed by the confirmation on 15 Jan. that Emma Thompson will play formidable headteacher Miss Trunchbull. Originally, Academy Award winner Ralph Fiennes was in talks for the part, as the character of Trunchbull is actually played by a man in the production of “Matilda The Musical”. However, Netflix’s movie musical landed on Thompson for the role. “We haven’t had to build the appearance of Trunchbull as a woman before!”, director Matthew Warchus told The Daily Mail when speaking about casting.

We can’t wait to see who’ll be joining Lynch and Thompson in the Matilda cast and here’s hoping the final project will be as fabulously colorful as HBO Max’s rendition of Dahl’s The Witches!

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