Justin Hartley is Team Sevin on This Is Us—and the “S” isn’t for Sloane. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Justin Hartley previewed his character’s upcoming reunion with Sophie, his ex-wife from 12 years ago, and he admitted he’d like to see them reconcile.
This Is Us fans were stunned when Hartley’s Kevin had an epiphany regarding his complicated love life. Instead of trying to get back together with his ex-lovers Olivia (Janet Montgomery) or Sloane (Milana Vayntrub), the Pearson twin did a complete 180 and hunted down his estranged ex, Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge). While Kevin’s “three sentences” recited on his ex’s doorstep didn’t exactly impress her, Hartley says the duo will reunite at a restaurant where his character will try to win his childhood sweetheart back.
“It gets pretty intense and heartbreaking,” Justin told EW. “You’re just going to want everyone to get what they want because they’re such good people. But it’s tough. They’re in a really tough spot.”
Hartley said he likes the thought of Kevin and his wife rekindling their flame because there’s a lot of history to their relationship.
“I like her and Kevin together,” Justin said.
“It is very much a story that when you’re along for the ride when you’re watching it, you realize what happened — why they’re not together anymore. But then there’s an explanation behind it too. You hear both sides of the story, which is rare. Even though there was wrongdoing, maybe [it was] on both sides. You will see absolutely how impossible it is to turn off the love, even though you’ve been betrayed. You still love the person and that’s the way it is.”
Justin Hartley said his character will deliver an epic monologue in the episode “I Call Marriage,” and the actor says it may even outrank Kevin’s meltdown on The Manny set in the This Is Us pilot.
“It’s one of those where it’s not even about the monologue as much as it is about the content of it, and what it is that he’s saying,” Hartley teased. “Just to think that a few short months ago, we saw this guy having a meltdown on a sitcom set — kind of a spoiled brat, in a Hollywood freefall, if you will — and then we see him making these declarations and saying things that are like, ‘Wow, how far this guy has come is pretty cool.'”
Justin Hartley previously told EW his character has come a long way since viewers first met him last fall, and that his light bulb moment regarding his messy love life means his “triangle” with Sloane and Olivia could be done for good.
“I think if there’s a triangle, it would be him, Sophie, and his career,” Hartley said. “I don’t think it’s another girl. … He is doing a self-analysis, and he’s looking at where he’s at… and he’s yearning for that special someone, and he’s trying to meet this girl that in his mind is ideal. And then it’s like… ‘I had the ideal girl! I know exactly what she looks like, I know what she smells like, I know what she feels like, I know how her laugh is, I know the way she looks when she’s sleeping.’ He knows the girl — he was married to her.”
As for that now broken Olivia-Sloane triangle, Justin Hartley said he completely understands his character’s dilemma, because both women are “so different.”
“I’m like Kevin,” Justin admitted. “I couldn’t possibly make a choice because they’re so great. For me personally, I know them as actors and as people, and they’re lovely human beings and talented actors. So there’s no possible way I could make a choice.”
But don’t expect it to be an instant love reconnection. While Kevin’s ex-wife will meet him at a restaurant in this week’s episode, her initial intention is to tell him to take a hike. TV Line posted a sneak peek at Hartley’s reunion with his TV wife, in which his angry ex tells him, “I only came here today to tell you to go screw yourself.”
But a plate of lava fries—perhaps the couple’s go-to munchie back in the day?—keeps her lingering. For now, anyway.
Even if their reunion is rocky, one thing is for certain: The Sophie character isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that viewers will see much more of Justin Hartley’s surprise storyline, including a look at Sophie when she was a teen. Fans already saw a 10-year old Sophie (Sophia Coto) at young Kevin’s (Parker Bates) 10th birthday party, when he announced to his parents that he was in love with her. Now, THR reports that actress Amanda Leighton (The Walking Dead) has been cast in a guest-starring role as a slightly older (late teens or early 20s) Sophie, which means we’ll see much more of her backstory with Justin Hartley’s character.
Take a look at the video below to see Justin Hartley’s character professing his love for his ex.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]