‘This Is Us’: Justin Hartley on Kevin Finding His Happily Ever After & What’s Next
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 14 of This Is Us, “The Night Before the Wedding.”]
Flash-forwards have revealed he will wear a wedding band in the future, but who will it belong to? It would seem that the show’s latest installment has finally uncovered the answer, and it’s one that some viewers are sure to thrill over. In “The Night Before the Wedding,” the mystery behind Kevin’s potential match is made clear through a series of interactions involving first love Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge), new acquaintance Ariel (Katie Lowes), and close friend Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison).
Ultimately, it was a reunion for the ages as Kevin and Sophie rekindled their romance following her big divorce reveal. Below, Justin Hartley opens up about Kevin’s romantic story arc and teases what’s ahead for the show’s final episodes.
Fans have been very concerned about Kevin’s love life over the seasons. Can they finally breathe a sigh of relief?
Justin Hartley: Gosh, I hope so. I think he’s found himself in a place where he’s figured out what’s important, what he’s good at, and certainly what he’s not good at. And, so I think one of the things he won’t have to deal with in the future is more tragedies when it comes to his love life and inconsistencies. He’s in a pretty good spot.
Will there be any more weddings before the show is through? Or are Kevin and Sophie keeping their reunion low-key?
Maybe, but if we do one more wedding [on the show], I feel like we’ll have more weddings than birthdays at this point. So I don’t know if there’s another wedding that we’re going to see necessarily, but there could be a marriage.
And how long have you known that Sophie was going to be Kevin’s endgame?
It was always sort of the plan. I don’t want to speak for our writers though and for Dan [Fogelman]. I don’t know if things [changed over time], but I sort of always assumed that it would be. And then as the years go by and you see where Kevin’s life is going, you go, “Oh wait, well, maybe not.” So I had my doubts. But I never was panicked or worried because I always sort of knew that the writers had this one. So either way, it was going to be a really good, compelling, honest depiction and a great story.
The fan theories about Kevin’s romantic fate have been running wild since the show premiered. Have there been any that have caught your attention?
I don’t spend too much time online. I’ve heard some theories from people in my life. A lot of people that I respect and love watch the show and love the show. And so they have their theories and I assume they’re probably similar to the ones online. It’s really very humbling to be part of something that busy people take an hour out of their week to watch and be so invested that you talk about the characters and have your own theories. Whatever the theories are, good or bad, I’ll take them all.
Does Rebecca’s view of Kevin and Sophie in her Alzheimer’s state cause them to rethink their relationship? Or influence it at least?
I think so, I think maybe even unintentionally, but it’s really cool to have a moment where Kevin’s at the point where he’s finally able to take care of his mother the way that she’s taken care of him his whole life. He’s coming to grips with that. And this is a really long, sad, painful goodbye. Even though she is confusing him with Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), when she talks about Kevin’s relationship with Sophie, it just goes to show that even though her mind is slipping, those memories stuck with her, which I think is a wake-up call for Kevin. So in a really cool way, even though Rebecca is slipping, she’s still able to be a parent, a mother, and a caretaker to her adult children at certain times. I think it’s beautiful.
Can fans look forward to more sweet moments between Kevin and Sophie in the final episodes?
Yeah, I think so. There are four episodes left to wrap up our series. So, we’ll get glimpses of where they are and how they’re doing, but I think the overall story of their lives and where they’re going was told.
Considering Rebecca’s worsening memory and Miguel’s health struggles, it seems like viewers are in for some emotional storylines. Will there be lighter moments to balance things out?
Yeah. Without giving too much away, there’s a sequence, throughout a couple of episodes actually, where there’s a conversation that needs to be had [between the Big Three]. And so in those conversations, there is some very deep stuff and sad subject matter. But then there are also moments where you find yourself sort of laughing through tears because sometimes that’s how you got to deal with stuff is to make a joke. It’s so heavy. But that’s the Pearson way. That’s how they deal with things. That’s what Dan does. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say they watch the show and they’re laughing while tears are streaming down their faces. It’s unbelievable. His talent is really remarkable.
You’re still filming. How many days do you have left and how are you feeling about the end?
It’s interesting. Everyone is different. I have six days left. Some people have less than that, some people are done, but I have six left. And for me, it hasn’t been difficult at all, actually. Because one of the great things that happened with this show is we knew from the very beginning, Dan told us, “This is how many seasons we’re doing.” So, I’ve had a long time to sort of understand how long this run was going to be, enjoy every minute of it as best I could, and prepare myself for the end.
Is Kate’s wedding timeline where the story will continue for now? Is this the new “present-day” for the series?
There are a few times that we go back, but once we’re there in that timeframe, we kind of stay there. Which is great and fun and it’s different, but it’s also three hours in a makeup chair, prosthetics and all this kind of stuff, which … I’ve got to be honest with you, I don’t hold still very well. I’ve got to be moving around and stuff. And so to put me in a makeup chair for three hours and be like, “Hey, just sit here… ” It’s been a really great meditative exercise for me. And most of the time, we are kind of staying in that future area.
Speaking of timelines, how far into the future will we be going? Farther than we’ve seen already?
We go all the way.
All the way?
We go all the way. Yeah. So you’ll see pretty far in the future.
Ooh. Like an old Big Three maybe?
An old Big Three? Yeah. I think we have to tell that story.
This Is Us, Season 6, Tuesdays, 9/8c, HBO