Tuesday at the Television Critic’s Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour, NBC’s This Is Us was unveiled to the media with a panel featuring its creator Dan Fogelman, producers, and the ensemble cast which features The Young and the Restless, Justin Hartley (Adam Newman) in the pivotal role of Kevin – a professional actor. Fogelman described the series “like a dramedy version of Lost, where you have to understand how everyone’s connected and then explore these people as we move forward.”
Following the panel, Hartley spoke to the press and below are some of the highlights regarding his status with Y&R, while filming This Is Us, his recent engagement to actress Chrishell Stause (Bethany, Y&R), and the buzz on his new primetime series that already features the most watched trailer in facebook history for a new show.
Justin on working on This Is Us and how it might effect filming Y&R: “I’m going to have to do this for a little bit here. There’s a definitely a break (at Y&R). I don’t know if I can (do both shows). I try to stay out of that, and gladly don’t wear that hat. I’m on all three networks … for the moment. Mistresses is on tonight. I think if I remember correctly, when I talked to CBS about doing Y&R; they agreed to let me do Mistresses. When this came down the pike, my friend Michael Rady gave me the script and said, ‘You’ve got to read this thing.’ I knew I had to do it. I knew I needed to do everything I could possibly do to try to get this part. This show is so special. The episodes I’ve read are just getting better, if that’s possible. I ’m in love with it so I knew I had to do it.”
Justin on if there are wedding bells immediately in his and fiancee’s Chrishell Stause future, and what happened when he popped the question: “We don’t have a (wedding) date. It just happened, but it will be sometime in the next 10 to 12 years. (Laughs), but it will be coming up in a year or so, probably. I proposed on one knee like you’re supposed to. It was my right knee, and I was lucky enough to have her say, ‘yes’. We have sort of an inside ‘thing’ in our relationship that I sort of circled back to, and I think she got a kick out of that. Chrishell and I are fortunate enough because as actors we have a lot of downtime, sometimes. So, you do a lot of traveling, but I thought “let’s do this where we live.’ It was perfect. ”
Justin on working with his major This Is Us scene partner Chrissy Metz (Kate) and the relationship between Kevin and Kate. “I got a wonderful opportunity to read with her. I think it was a sort of a whirlwind, but I think at that point I had the job. It’s kind of nice when you are in that situation, because usually you are the one vying for the job and it’s all about that. But when you are sitting there knowing you have the job, you can sort of watch the other actor in person and I thought, ‘Wow! This girl is fantastic. I hope they make the right decisions.’ They have just been amazing with the casting. Every single thing they have done with the show is top-notch, and the network has been fantastic, and the studio has been wonderful. I am curious to see what they do with the Kevin and Kate’s relationship. I know a few things and they are wonderful, but something’s got to give, so we shall see.”
Justin on working with guest stars Katey Segal (Sons of Anarchy) and Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) who play a high-powered agent and a television network president, respectively, and who are both involved in Kevin’s career following his meltdown incident in the pilot episode: “I have not worked with Brad yet, but I believe that is coming up at the end of this week. Katey is fantastic. She’s like me. She likes to run things over and over again. I just don’t think you can run the lines or a scene too many times. I’m a big fan of that. Every take with her was a little bit different. She goes off on her own little rant to me, and every time was a little bit different and she is such a pro. It’s such an editing nightmare when you have to pick one take when there are so many good ones. So, I would not want to be in that room, but what a great experience. I have worked with people (on the soaps and other shows) who have been doing their jobs for a long, long time. It’s always interesting to see those people who still have that enthusiasm, and she’s one of them. ”
Justin on the sensation of the trailer of This Is Us: “I don’t know what 90 million views looks like, but that’s very humbling. Everything about that trailer is perfect. The pride I take it in it is that I can honestly tell people the show is better than the trailer. ”
Justin on how at the screening there were tears in the audience: “Yeah, there were tears. People cry at the trailer. There are so many things this show touches on life wise; a relationship, or work, or losing a child or a parent, not feeling wanted, or feeling guilty about something, or feeling like you missed an opportunity. We’ve all gone through that stuff, and I just love the fact that every single one of us has had different life experiences obviously and we are all different sexes, religions, who knows. There is something for all of you in This Is Us. I’m not kidding. ”
Justin on if Kevin’s on set meltdown scene was inspired by anyone or an incident in his real-life career: “I love what I have chosen to do as a career. I’ve been lucky enough to fool many different people in to hiring me. (Laughs) But I do take it seriously and it’s a lot of fun, but there are times when you run up against someone who wants to just finish something quickly, or doesn’t see it your way ,and maybe you butt heads. It’s part of the creative process, but in real life I have never done anything close to that. It was a bit cathartic though. (Laughs)”
Justin on what the weekly production and work schedule is for him on This Is Us: “We do 8 production days, and I will work on average 4 of those days. We have such a big ensemble cast which is nice as well.”
So, are you hoping that Justin will appear on This Is Us and Y&R? Are you looking forward to his leading role on the new NBC primetime series? What did you think about Justin’s proposal to his lady love Chrishell Stause? Comment below, but first, just in case you have not seen it in previous posts, watch the trailer for the series below.