When This Is Us premiered in 2016, it initially garnered interest due to the fact that a few big names, like Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, and Sterling K. Brown, were part of the cast. However, the child stars quickly proved to be just as impressive and talented as their adult costars, including the newest addition to Randall and Beth's household. But who plays Deja on This Is Us? Lyric Ross is relatively new to the acting world, but she’s already an incredible talent who has made her mark on the show. In fact, she joins a long list of young actors who may have gotten their big break, so to speak, as the kids on This Is Us, like Lonnie Chavis (Young Randall) and Parker Bates (Young Kevin). And Deja is already making her mark in the cast.
Before This Is Us, Ross was in the TV series Sirens and appeared in an episode of Chicago Fire, but from the way she’s played Deja so far, you’d think the young actress was a pro like the adults of the series. According to Gray Talent Group, who represents Ross, the young actress on This Is Us has more than just acting going for her. Ross’ page on the agency’s website says of the actress: "As a fresh new face in the industry, Lyric possesses an abundance of personality and charisma. Lyric is pleasant to work with and draws everyone in with her talents of acting, modeling, dancing, voice and on-camera flair."
Ross also found her voice with a number of smaller scale stage productions, including The Best of Times/American Dance Center. The 14-year-old actress has also been featured in ads for Dawn and Cascade brands, but lately it’s her work on This Is Us that’s garnered her the most attention and rightfully so.
Dan Fogelman, This Is Us creator, recently tweeted about Ross and praised the actress about what could have been a difficult role to portray on TV for the first time.
Susan Kelechi Watson (who plays Beth on the show) recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about what foster care on This Is Us would look for the Pearson family and how the family would adjust to her arrival. "We’re going to find out a lot of things along the way with [Deja]. What she’s been through are things that a lot of little girls have not been through. It’s just a completely different dynamic," Watson said, while adding:
There’s a feeling that this girl is much more mature for her age. She’s 12, but she feels a little older than she is. What she’s gone through is going to stir them emotionally because a lot of it makes them angry and sad and disappointed that this is happening in this young girl’s life and no one is there to protect her.
That’s a lot to take on for any actor, but for 14-year-old Ross, it seems like the role of a lifetime for an already extremely talented actress. From here, Deja will probably still hit some bumps in the road with her new foster family, but if Randall learned anything by being Jack Pearson’s son, it’s that you have to be diligent with getting through to and connecting with your children. And, it seems, Ross was the perfect choice to play the person to help Randall realize that. I can't wait to see how this all plays out.
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