Tuesday night is the highly-anticipated premiere of NBC’s new dramedy This Is Us (1oPMET/9PMCST), which stars Justin Hartley (Ex-Adam, The Young and the Restless).
In This Is Us, Hartley plays the role of Kevin, a sitcom actor, who quits his job in a major meltdown in front of a studio audience in one of the key scenes in the pilot episode.
Hartley chatted with Channel Guide Magazine where he shared his excitement on the initial script for the series, and wanting the part of Kevin: “I know that sounds to cliché, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a role that I read where I was like, ‘Oh my god. This is so great. This is so beautiful!’ Even though he and I aren’t identical, there are definitely things about him that I totally get and can relate to. On top of that, just the story, right?”
Kevin clearly is more alone than public perception may be, as we find out on This Is Us. Hartley shared: “I like the idea of how his personal life is sort of mirroring or shadowing his professional life. He’s not fulfilled there either. It’s not like he has this wonderful girlfriend or wife, or children who make him laugh. He’s just sort of alone. He probably doesn’t have a lot of friends I’m guessing, and he doesn’t have any significant relationships. He probably hasn’t in a while, and he probably doesn’t have anything on the horizon. Then he sort of realizes after he gave this show away, that was really the only thing that he had, so he’s sort of this thirty-six year-old guy going through a pre-midlife crisis-ish thing, and sort of finds himself with nothing except maybe a bank account. He’s finding out very quickly the cold realty of money can’t buy happiness.”
Hartley’s key on-screen relationship right now is with Chrissy Metz who plays his co-dependent friend, Kate. Justin related: “They wouldn’t be able to function without each other, which is kind of a problem, and then very early in the series, you start to see that that gets addressed and what they’re going to do about that. It’s funny. It’s also heartbreaking, and it’s like watching a break up and then laughing through the misery.”
As for the amount of shirtless scenes he has as Kevin, and if he minds being shirtless so much in his TV roles, Justin commented, “I just don’t mind it when I’m playing a character I guess. I mean, as long as it makes sense, right? This guy, how funny is that that Kevin’s whole thing is, “I’m sick of taking my shirt off and I’m done with it!” but then throughout half of the pilot Kevin’s got his shirt off?!? I get a kick out of it.”
So, are you ready to check-out Justin on Tuesday nights on This Is Us? Comment below!