‘This Is Us’: Jon Huertas Previews the Long-Awaited Miguel-Centric Episode
On Tuesday, May 3, This Is Us shines an arguably overdue light on Jon Huertas in an episode aptly titled “Miguel.” Huertas’s character is the unsung hero of the Pearson clan, having brought companionship and love to Rebecca (Mandy Moore) following Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) tragic death.
TV Insider caught up with Huertas at the recent PaleyFest LA 2022 when This Is Us was honored. Huertas teased the episode in which viewers will get to see what Miguel’s life was like before he ever met Jack.
Huertas reflects on why it was important that Miguel and Rebecca ended up together following Jack’s untimely passing. The actor also chatted about his future goals and whether or not he’d be up for a This Is Us reunion movie and/or revival series.
Fans of This Is Us have been waiting for a Miguel-themed episode. How does it feel now that it’s finally happening?
John Huertas: I’m really happy about this episode because it’s diving deep into Miguel’s history. It’s going way back. There’s a lot of authenticity in this episode. The show allowed me to come into the writers’ room and help break the episode. I was able to share a lot of emotional footnotes in my life to help tell Miguel’s story. They [invited] me to go find a director for the episode, too.
Who did you choose?
Zetna Fuentes [Jane the Virgin, One Life to Live], another Puerto Rican from New York like me, directed the episode. I said [to the This Is Us producers], “If we’re going to hire actors to play Miguel’s family, let’s hire Puerto Rican actors and be as authentic as possible.” They [helped] honor the truth of who I am as a person, who I am as an actor, and who Miguel is. Our showrunner/creator Dan [Fogelman], our [other] producers and writers took good care of this [episode].
What can you say about the episode? How far back will we go into the past?
We’ll definitely see Jack and a much younger Miguel. He’ll be much younger. We’ll actually see Miguel before he met the Pearsons. We’re going to see a lot of Miguel’s family.
Milo once shared with TV Insider that Jack would be perfectly happy about Miguel and Rebecca finding happiness after his death. He liked the idea of Rebecca being supported by someone else he loves, his best friend. Thoughts?
I think that we don’t know how a love story is supposed to go. The divorce rate in this country is over 50% and that’s not even counting the people who break up who are in long-term relationships. I think it’s beautiful that Rebecca chose Jack’s best friend [to spend part of her life with] and that Miguel chose her. We want to be friends with our life partner.
If Miguel had been the one married and he had died and if Jack had been single, I think Miguel would want his wife to be with someone he already knew and trusted. It’s better than to have Rebecca out there in the dating world. I love the fact that Rebecca and Miguel found each other. I do think Jack would be OK with it, too. We know that Miguel will always honor Jack — even in his and Rebecca’s relationship.
What plans do you have once This Is Us wraps?
I began directing on This Is Us. I was supposed to direct a block of episodes on a new Amazon series but I’m officiating a wedding in Croatia [so the dates conflict]. I’m looking at scripts to direct an independent film. I do want to take a break [when the show ends]. Before This Is Us, I was on a show in 2007 called Generation Kill [and then, Castle]. So, it’s been over 15 years straight of being on TV [regularly]. I want to be picky with my next job. I want to honor the Latinx story, moving forward. I want to play characters who are very positive and give a window into someone who has success.
And should NBC or Peacock call in the future to ask everyone to come back for more This Is Us?
I’ll be there, for sure!
This Is Us, Tuesdays, 9/8c