Justin Hartley Says ‘This Is Us’ Season 6 Will See the Pearsons ‘in a Really Good Place’

this is us season 5 justin hartley sterling k brown
Q&A
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 16 of This Is Us, “The Adirondacks.”]

This Is Us may have just concluded its fifth season, but the fans and cast are already looking ahead into the future.

During a recent chat with star Justin Hartley, he opened up about the bittersweet nature of the show’s impending final season, what could be next for his character Kevin, and where the Pearson family is heading. Find out why Hartley is saying the Pearsons are turning a new page in Season 6 among other things.

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'This Is Us' Star Justin Hartley Says 'There's a Plan' for Kevin's Future Wife

Plus, he opens up about what else is next for his character.

In terms of next year, is it bittersweet knowing that the next round of episodes will be the show’s last season?

Justin Hartley: Yeah, it’s very bittersweet. One of the great things about it is we did know it was coming. I think at one point it was going to be five seasons. And then, it ended up being six. We all knew it was coming. You’re never ready for it, but at the same time, I’m glad it wasn’t because you look at all these people that are doing it in COVID. It would have been a real shame. The last day was great and everything, but you can’t hug, you can’t do anything. You just kind of say bye and wave. Hopefully next year, we’ll actually have an opportunity to do some of these live events with people, and actually have a wrap party and all of that.

Right, it is lucky that it’s six seasons instead of five.

Yeah. You realize how lucky you are to be on a show like this and sort of pinch yourself every day. Some days are harder than others. I think next year will be that reminder, every single day. This has just been the greatest experience of my life. I’m glad we get one more season. Hopefully without COVID.

this is us season 5 finale justin hartley sterling k brown

(Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

The Pearson family compound is based out of Pennsylvania. Does that mean Kevin will be relocating to help build Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) dream home?

I don’t know. That’s a good question. I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t know if he’s going to be hands-on with a hammer and a nail, or if he’s going to be funding it from afar.

The flash-forward also confirmed that Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne) will be getting married sooner than later. Will Kevin play a part in his uncle’s romantic journey?

I sure hope so. I mean, that would be a really cool thing as well. I think he can, he’s sort of the voice of reason for Nicky. I think Nicky really trusts him, and oddly enough, vice versa. I think they found a really cool connection. I think it’s something that Nicky needs and wasn’t quite ready for emotionally. And he’s opened up and sort of become himself. Yeah, I would love for that to be one of the things [Kevin] does next year, sort of help him find his bride.

Everyone seems to be in good spirits in that future sequence. Can you confirm or deny whether that’s the case or not?

I hope so. It seems like that doesn’t it? I mean, from what I gather from what we’ve shot, it seems they’re in a really good place. They all seem to be dancing around like happy idiots. Hopefully, they’re all in a really good place. They’ll have drama getting there, I’m sure.

this is us season 5 finale pearsons kate kevin randall rebecca

Definitely. A big part of Season 4 was the estrangement between Kevin and Randall (Sterling K. Brown). Would you say they’ve reached a point in their relationship where they won’t go so long without communicating?

Yeah. I think the estrangement time period has passed and hopefully these guys can figure out how to fight without not talking. I think they both realized that was a tough thing for both of them to go through. I think they have figured out how to agree to disagree on certain things. I think there’s a huge level of respect that they each have for one another. They’ve also opened up to each other. The rings of communication are open more than they used to with the two of them. I think the resentment might have dissipated a bit. They’re actually in a healthier relationship than they’ve ever been. Hopefully, we don’t have to revisit all that stuff. That wasn’t fun anyway. I love working with Sterling. Just selfishly as an actor, hopefully, I’m friends with everybody.

You had a great moment with your fellow Pearson cast members in the episode’s final moments. What was it like getting to be in a scene like that together and would you agree that it feels like a new page is being turned for them?

You know, I agree. I remember reading that and thinking, oh that’ll be fun to shoot just because I haven’t had a scene with [the rest of the Pearson family] because of COVID. We’ve had to be careful about how we’re shooting things. We hadn’t done that in a long time and it just felt oddly familiar.

This Is Us Season 5 Justin Hartley Caitlin Thompson Susan Kelechi Watson

(Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Rebecca tells her kids she is having a tough time imagining Jack in their family situations. Would you say that the Big 3 will step up to fill that role for her in the final season?

I think so. I also think that it’s sad that people pass away, and life does have to go on. It doesn’t end. You hear people talking like that all the time. What if I forget the way she smelled, or what if I forget the way they looked at me? It’s just heartbreaking stuff. But you go years and years and I guess that inevitably happens. But yeah, I think that between Kevin agreeing to build the house for her and the new kids being brought into the family. Seeing Kevin as a father, I think that’ll fill some of those voids hopefully.

This Is Us, Season 6, TBA, NBC