This Is Us’ Justin Hartley thinks being an actor makes playing Kevin ‘a little more fun’

THIS IS US -- "Kyle" Episode 103 -- Pictured: Justin Hartley as Kevin -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
THIS IS US -- "Kyle" Episode 103 -- Pictured: Justin Hartley as Kevin -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC) /

Justin Hartley says playing Kevin lets him be a little broader and turns out, Milo Ventimiglia originally considered the role too.

After just one season, the whole cast of This Is Us feels, well, perfectly cast. Who could imagine anyone but Milo Ventimiglia as World’s Best Dad Jack, Mandy Moore as Rebecca and the whole Big Three trio: Justin Hartley as Kevin, Sterling K. Brown as Randall and Chrissy Metz as Kate? Not us.

Turns out, Milo Ventimiglia was initially thought he might play Kevin, based almost solely on the fact Kevin’s an actor. And while he ultimately connected strongly to Jack, the actor appeal was, according to Justin Hartley, well-founded. Playing an actor is, apparently, a blast.

On the red carpet at one of NBC’s For Your Consideration Emmy events, Gold Derby’s Zach Laws asked Justin Hartley if it was weird to play an actor and while Hartley said that “weird” might not be the right word, it was definitely something:

"It’s interesting because you definitely have to consider that, it’s cool also because it allows me to be a little broader with things because he is an, Actor, so I can be a little broader with moments, have a little more fun, so it adds a different dynamic. Maybe it makes it easier. I never thought about that."

Also interesting: Kevin’s occupation as an actor was originally drew Milo Ventimiglia to the character as well. Ventimiglia, who of course went on to play Pearson family patriarch Jack, told an ATX panel, “at first, I was like, ‘Should I be Kevin?’ Because I’m an actor. So I’m thinking, ‘Well, maybe, no, I’ll be the actor.”

Instead, when he considered Jack, he found himself connected to the character in a surprising way:

"When I dove into Jack, I found this instant connection to a man who felt incredibly familiar, even though I don’t have kids. And it just felt right."

We would have to agree. Maybe its hindsight, but Milo Ventimiglia feels perfectly cast as Jack and we can’t imagine anyone else in the role of Kevin either.