Mackenzie Hancsicsak plays the youngest version of Kate on the NBC’s This is US.. She gives insight on her role and what she brings to the character.
ATM: How was growing up as a child before becoming an actress?
MH: Well, I was just going to public school when I signed with an agent. I was in a two-week summer acting camp when I got a call to come in for an audition for This is Us. I didn’t know anything other than that I looked like one of the other cast members. I went on the audition, had a couple of call backs, and the rest is history.
ATM: Why do you just stop with the describing your experience on the show with the word “amazing?” Go further with explaining.
MH: Well it’s just that, amazing. I never had any idea when I went on that first audition what the show was. To be a part of something that is a number one show and be nominated for all of these awards is just amazing. I am so lucky and fortunate that I get to work with these amazing actors and learn from them. I have learned so much. I am truly lucky.
ATM: What is the self-esteem of your character Kate?
MH: For Young Kate, I think her self-esteem is something that she beginning to understand. I think she is trying to figure out what that is and what that means. In the pool episode back in Season one, she is kind of bullied by mean girls and her dad tells her that she is beautiful. So, I think for her, it’s about remembering haters are always going to hate, but to not to listen to them and make sure to think about what’s important and be true to yourself.
ATM: How does your mother inspire you to keep going when you feel like giving up?
MH: I try not to think about life like that, but there are some days just like everyone, where you don’t want to do what you are supposed to. It’s hard because I have to do a lot of different things like be on set and all of my homework, school, and after school activities. My mom always tells me that people are counting on me. I like to be a role model for kids and fans of the show. At the end of the day I am lucky, and I am grateful for everything that I get to do and for having a mom that is always there for me.
ATM: What has your mother taught you about being a young woman working in television?
MH: My mom has taught me to make sure I get enough sleep, to be on set on time, know your lines, and be respectful. Milo and Mandy have been in this business since they were kids. If you want to be in this business for as long as they have, you need to treat people with kindness. My mom always says it’s important to treat people how you want to be treated and hopefully you get to be in this business a long time.
ATM: What do you feel you bring to the set of This Is Us that no one else in your role can bring?
MH: When the agent sent over a picture of Chrissy, I felt like I looked like her. I started on the show at 8-years-old. I am a kid and I am still learning. So, playing young Kate, we are growing together, we are learning about life together. I bring my honesty, innocence, and hope to her.
ATM: What are your hobbies outside of acting?
MH: Oh, I have so many! I am a Girl Scout and I just bridged to Cadet. I love spending time building Lego sets with my dad. When I am not doing those sets, I am making and playing with Slime. Over the summer, I also volunteered with our local shelter because I love animals and helping them find homes. I am a big lover of the theater. I am constantly singing. It would be a dream of mine to be in a play.