Mae Whitman said this “Parenthood” scene between Amber and Zeek was completely improvised, and we’re going to need more tissues
Man, remember Parenthood? In many ways, the emotional show was NBC’s forerunner to This Is Us. Parenthood also gave us a family made up of some of our favorite people. Lauren Graham, for one, as well as Dax Shepard, Miles Heizer, Mae Whitman, and more. Now, we just learned that one of our favorite scenes was actually an improvised moment between Amber Holt (Whitman) and her grandfather on the show, Zeek Braverman (Craig T. Nelson).
During a recent episode of PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing, Whitman spilled about working on the show. If you’re a diehard Parenthood fan, you might remember the scene. It takes place in Season 2, right after Amber barely survives a drunk driving accident. When it’s clear she doesn’t want to learn from what happened, Zeek takes her to a nearby junkyard to give her some tough love.
As they gaze upon the wreckage of the car Amber was in, Zeek tells her a story that, apparently, Nelson created on the spot. That means all of Whitman’s reactions are 100% sincere. Cue our actual tears.
In the scene, Zeek shares that when he was in Vietnam, he dreamt of her and her future family. He basically tells Amber to value her life. “You do not have my permission to mess with my dreams,” he says.
Whitman shared that she had no idea what Nelson was actually going to say in the scene.
"We improvised so much on Parenthood. So much of this stuff, we'd go into rehearsal and say, 'Okay, what needs to come across here?'" Whitman said. "[Nelson] improvised everything [in this scene]. So I went into that scene and I didn’t know what he was going to say. And he improvised this like, incredibly beautiful, honest, real, raw speech of like, pain and heartache. And stuff that I knew he really felt about his own family. So all of my reactions in that scene are totally surprised and genuine."
Oh, Parenthood, you can still make us cry after all these years.