‘This Is Us’ Star Chris Sullivan Answers Our Burning Season 3 Questions

©2018 Annie Leibovitz/NBC

In the Season 2 finale of This Is Us, the timeline jumped ahead a year, revealing Kevin (Justin Hartley) on a flight to Vietnam with Zoe (new cast member Melanie Liburd), presumably to explore the wartime experience of his father, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia).

We also saw Kate (Chrissy Metz) tending to her husband, Toby (Chris Sullivan), who is in the midst of a crippling bout of depression.

The glimpse also showed viewers the far future, where Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and his now adult daughter, Tess (guest star Iantha Richardson), prepare to face a mystery woman. “It’s time to go see her,” he tells Tess, but neither is ready.

With so many tantalizing tidbits offered by series creator Dan Fogelman in the season finale, the show’s ravenous fans are starving to find out what’s next for the beloved series.

TV Insider caught up with star Chris Sullivan to get the inside scoop on what’s next for the series and his character, Toby.

At the end of Season 2, we see normally jovial Toby in a profound state of depression. Where do we start the season with him?
Chris Sullivan: This season kind of picks up where we left off, and we’ll find out what is on his mind, the things he’s kind of struggling with, and the things they’re struggling with as a couple, but the story essentially picks up right where Season 2 left off, so nobody misses any of the action.

Toby has the ability to interject levity into any situation. How do you feel about showing your character’s vulnerabilities in Season 3?
I think that the more sides we show of each of these characters, the more the audience connects and latches on to their well-being, and the nature of all their relationships. I don’t think you really know anyone until you’ve seen their suffering or their sadness. That’s kind of the crucible with which a person is formed.

(Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

What was your reaction to reading the first episode of Season 3?
My jaw kind of hit the floor when I read it. There is no writers room in the city of Los Angeles that beats our writers room. They are just so good, and they continue to turn out masterpieces. … Episode 1 of Season 3 should be just as exciting and surprising as any other episode that the audience has seen so far.

Chrissy Metz revealed that the script of the first episode had her sobbing uncontrollably. What was your cry level while reading it?
Let’s see, on a level of 1 to Chrissy, I was probably a Sterling [Laughs].

Whose journey are you most excited for America to watch this season?
I’m a huge fan of Justin Hartley’s, and we saw in Season 2 just what that beautiful man is capable of, as far as his acting goes. So I’m excited to see more of that this season.

Toby’s fashion sense is pretty amazing. What do you think is stronger, his hat game or his shoe game?
You know, a hat is a delicate thing. There’s a right place and a wrong place for a hat. I certainly, personally, have had my own hat triumphs and hat failures, so I would say his shoe game is literally the foundation. I mean, shoes make an outfit. You build a whole outfit around a pair of shoes, so I would say Toby’s shoes.

This Is Us, Season 3 premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25, 9/8c, NBC