‘This Is Us’ Kid Star Mackenzie Hancsicsak on Playing Young Kate and Practicing With Milo Ventimiglia

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Mackenzie Hancsicsak as 8 Year Old Kate in NBC's This Is Us. (Photo Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
Mackenzie Hancsicsak as young Kate in NBC’s This Is Us (Photo Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

As we enter Emmy season — nomination voting runs June 12 to 26 — Yahoo TV will be spotlighting performances and other contributions that we feel deserve recognition.

As young Kate Pearson on This Is Us, Mackenzie Hancsicsak’s favorite scene let her pal around with Milo Ventimiglia. Hey, it’d be the same for us!

The nine-year-old actress named the tender scene she shares with her TV dad in the already iconic fourth episode, “The Pool,” as one especially dear to heart.

“I like that we got to swim and we got to play in the water. And we hung out with Milo!” Hancsicsak tells Yahoo TV.

That same episode was one that Ventimiglia revisited for our Emmy series “My Scene to Remember.” He got misty-eyed talking about working with Hancsicsak in the scene where Jack consoles and encourages young Kate, who was body-shamed by other girls for wearing a bikini.

“I’m the luckiest guy in the world getting to work with all those wonderful young actors,” Ventimiglia said. “They’ve got such heart, such passion.”

Hancsicsak gushed about her TV dad’s collaborative style. “He practiced the scene with me a thousand times,” she says. “He helped me try different ways to do the scene. He made me feel not afraid of doing it.”

Ventimiglia isn’t the only actor who’s taken Hancsicsak under a wing. She’s also bonded with Chrissy Metz, who plays the older version of Kate.

“Chrissy is very sweet and she helps me,” the young actress says. “We went to New York and we saw her play that she was in.” (Metz did a one-night-only reading of Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig with John Mulaney and Mike Colter.)

Chrissy Metz and Mackenzie Hancsicsak at the 'This is Us' For Your Consideration Emmys event in LA (Courtesy of Mackenzie Hancsicsak)
Chrissy Metz and Mackenzie Hancsicsak at the ‘This is Us’ For Your Consideration Emmys event in LA (Courtesy of Mackenzie Hancsicsak)

The entire cast is close and “like a real family,” Hancsicsak says. “Milo and Mandy are like my true parents.” And she and her TV brothers, Parker Bates (young Kevin) and Lonnie Chavis (young Randall), spend a lot of time together in the school room doing work and playing games.

Hancsicsak was due to go off to camp just after our interview, but once summer is over, she is excited to start work on Season 2.

“I’m hoping that I can sing,” she says. “I love to sing. I love singing Broadway with my mom and rock and roll with my dad.”

In addition to potential singing — which This Is Us totally needs to make happen — Season 2 will bring more clues into dad Jack’s death.

As Hancsicsak says, “I hope that he dies as well as he lived.”

This Is Us Season 2 premieres Tuesday, Sept. 26 on NBC.