Justin Hartley knows that his This Is Us character, Kevin Pearson, messes up a lot — especially in the romance department. Now, Hartley’s character’s love life will take another unexpected twist in an upcoming episode of the hit NBC drama.
In a new interview with Us Weekly, Justin Hartley talked about the love triangle that is currently playing out between Kevin and his off-Broadway play co-stars Olivia (Janet Montgomery) and Sloane (Milana Vayntrub). Fans will recall that when Olivia skipped town to “find herself,” Kevin hooked up with Sloane over the holidays, then later told the blonde Brit that he planned to keep dating Sloane because sometimes “you have to do the right thing, even if it’s not what you want.”
While his character’s love life is currently in limbo (Sloane, unfortunately, overheard his “do the right thing” comment), Hartley said viewers will not see his character’s next romantic twist coming.
“Everybody will be really surprised, and I think people are going to be really invested in it because it’s not something that you see coming,” Justin told Us. “It’s an a-ha moment, and it explains a lot about why Kevin is how he is, and it’s heartbreaking a little bit as well. Actually, massively heartbreaking!”
Justin Hartley said the twist will play out after a big buildup in Kevin’s storyline.
“There’s a huge payoff,” Hartley promises.
“It’s a big buildup, and [viewers will wonder], ‘Wait, where is his love going?’ And he’s just kind of lost. And he’s got these two girls, and he’s trying to figure it out — it’s just a really unique situation. Also, I’ve never been in that situation where you’re like, ‘Which girl am I going to pick?’ Most guys don’t have that situation, right? But for him, it’s just another Wednesday, I guess. But he figures it out, and he gets a little advice.”
That advice could come from an unlikely source: His twin Kate’s boyfriend, Toby, who is recovering from heart surgery. This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly that Kevin and Toby will bond in an upcoming episode.
“He actually winds up having a day with Toby as he tries to sort out which of the women he’s let get away might have been the love of his life, and which one he should be trying to win back,” Fogelman said of Hartley’s character. “And his choice might surprise.”
In a separate interview, Justin Hartley told Access Hollywood that his character’s “do the right thing” comment wasn’t meant for everyone’s ears, but that it was a typical Kevin move.
“What Kevin does is he tries to get everybody to like him so he’s trying to say something to [Olivia] so that she won’t not like him,” Justin explained. “And then the other girl’s in the room and its… ugh! This is Kevin, he messes up a lot.”
Justin Hartley also revealed that something from the past will come back to shake things up for his character.
“We find out something about his past that sort of rocks his love life a bit,” Justin told Access Hollywood. “And I’m excited for you all to see that.”
Justin’s character isn’t the only Pearson with a complicated love life. While Kate (played by Chrissy Metz) seemingly got engaged in the hospital after her boyfriend Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) heart surgery, it won’t be an easy road to the wedding chapel.
“Everything is always in flux [for them], which makes for good storytelling,” Hartley told Us. “She loves him, and he loves her, and you’ll see a lot of that, but it’s not always going to be smooth sailing, just as in every relationship.”
Take a look at the video below to see Justin Hartley talking about his character’s twist.
[Featured Image by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images]