If you don't know the name of Jennifer C. Holmes, you will very soon. During the fifth season of This is usThe actress appears as Randall's biological mother, Laurel, and her performance wows audiences. In the January 12 episode, Holmes really shines on-screen as we learn more about Laurel's life and history. While This is us isn't Holmes' first appearance as an actress – she's previously been on shows like The bold and the beautiful and CSI: Miami – It sure will be her breakout role.
Just as she convinces fans with her performance, she seems to have had 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 about. "About this time last year the @ThisIsUsWriters started discussing an episode that focused on Randall's birth mother. That was something we thought about before but never quite made up our mind …" he wrote on Twitter .
After casting Holmes as Laurel in season one, they weren't sure whether to get her back 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 television. But we had a story that we wanted to tell." After Holmes wrote a few scenes and brought them back for reading, he "absolutely crushed them".
"Tonight, a year later, this episode airs," he continued. "A leap in confidence made under difficult circumstances. It shows a breathtaking performance by the same young actress – the one who once had no lines. Her name is Jennifer Holmes and I think she will soon be nominated for a guest Emmy." After seeing her incredible performance on the show, we need to agree!