The shockers keep coming! This Is Us continues to surprise fans with unexpected twists — including the revelation during the Tuesday, October 25, episode that the remains of patriarch Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) currently reside on Kate’s mantle.
Us Weekly caught up exclusively with Justin Hartley, who portrays Kevin on the buzzy NBC drama, about what fans can expect to go down in upcoming episodes, including what else will be revealed about the character’s upbringing with parents Jack and Rebecca (Mandy Moore). And click here for our exclusive interview with Chrissy Metz (Kate)!
1. Kevin will continue to face “stumbling blocks” in New York City.
“He won’t last very long! Well, we’ll see — he’s in it for the long haul, and he’s really dedicated to doing this whole acting thing, and I think he finds out really quickly though that it’s a struggle for him, and it’s a lot harder than he thought — it’s not a matter of packing a couple of bags, heading to New York, and being charming and getting a job. It’s heartbreaking to watch but kind of funny at the same time to watch him stumble through life a little bit but then grow up in front of our eyes.”
2. Kevin’s adjustment to life without Kate is far from easy.
“He’s realizing quickly how much he did depend on his sister, and there’s so much to do that he doesn’t know how to do. He sort of realizes his shortcomings really quickly. His acting ability didn’t really matter — what mattered was that he was a fish out of water, and he doesn’t know how to function as an adult.”
3. We will start to see Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Kevin’s relationship unfold.
“It’s a long time coming, and it’s a lifetime of rivalry and sort of one-upmanship. They don’t have anything in common. But they happen to be brothers, and it’s really interesting to see how different these two people can be growing up in the same household with the same parents and the same opportunities and experiences — and how different they are as adults. Kevin’s finding that he wants to reconnect with his brother — he misses having a brother! And this is sort of what Kevin’s doing — he goes over to his brother’s house and says, ‘Oh, I’m going to crash for a couple days, we’ll reconnect and he’ll be my best friend in two days!’ It’s just that naive sort of attitude, and what he starts to realize is it’s way deep-rooted, it’s deep-seated, there’s stuff they need to talk about. It’s not that easy. So again, he gets in over his head — that’s kind of what Kevin does.”
4. Randall’s daughters are very close to Kevin — in part because Kevin was “neglected” while growing up.
“He loves them. I think part of that is when Kevin was growing up, his parents thought he’d always be OK, he would be fine, and he doesn’t need as much as the other ones. So in a way, an unintended consequence of that is the fact that Kevin grew up feeling neglected his whole life. And these nieces come in and they think he’s cool and they watch his show and they give him attention, and he just wants to be around people who pay attention to him! He’s never had that. So therein lies his career choice, and he loves his nieces and all this kind of stuff, and he’s just looking for some kind of connection, someone who will pay attention to him and appreciate what he does.”
5. Kevin approves of Kate and Toby dating!
“I think he loves the idea of Toby and Kate together, and that’s why he fired her. She’s telling him this story of how she fielded a phone call from him while they were on a date, and he’s like, ‘No, no, hold on …’ And then he realizes he’s getting in the way of her moving on with the rest of her life. He decides it’s time for them to separate or go their separate ways for a while. I think he is very fond of Toby — but I do think he thinks he’s a goof. But I think they get along great, and they’re buddies, and in my mind’s eye they kind of talk about things, and he likes Toby a lot.”
6. We haven’t seen the last of the shocking plot twists.
“Every episode has a little ah-ha moments, but some of them are big, and some of them are smaller. Some are like earth-shattering, and some are like, ‘Oh, OK.’ So they’re not all twists, but they are all captivating, I think.”
7. Should we pull out the tissue box and brace ourselves for more tear-jerking moments?
“That will happen. That will happen in every one — I can tell you that. That will continue to happen. That’s what we do. That’s when we win. When you cry, we win!”
8. The next time the characters cry, those tears will be authentic!
“Oh, people cry during table reads. And even better when we’re filming the show, if you see any of the characters crying on the show — that’s real! I think we all relate to each individual character so well — I know Chrissy does, I do, Sterling does for sure, and Milo’s not a father but you would swear to God he was the way he relates to his character. … Mandy does, too, for sure. And so when you see that stuff happening, it’s not that hard to get there when the writing is so good, and you’re sort of feeling it anyway. You sympathize with these characters.”
9. We can expect to learn a lot more about Kevin and Randall’s connection.
“I will say there is some big stuff coming on the way. There are a couple of episodes and one in particular dedicated to that, to the brothers’ relationship. It’ll blow your mind. You’re going to be like, ‘Is that what they’re doing?!’ It’s crazy. You’re going to be like, ‘Oh, so they’re going to deal with this right now?’ It’s pretty stressful! You’ll see.”
Tell Us: How do you feel about the twist that Jack is dead?
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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