Justin Hartley’s This Is Us character is headed to Hollywood, but it’s probably not to star in Ron Howard’s upcoming untitled Han Solo movie. Still, Hartley is holding out hope that the Academy Award-winning director will take a break from the Star Wars spinoff to make a follow-up cameo on This Is Us.
On the penultimate first season episode of the NBC drama, Hartley’s character, Kevin Pearson, got a call from Ron Howard with an offer to star in a new film he was working on after the famous director caught his off-Broadway theater performance. In real life, Ron is friends with This is Us creator Dan Fogelman.
While Hartley’s scene with Howard played out over the phone, with the two ends of the conversation shot one week apart, the This Is Us star actually came into work on his day off so he could witness the Oscar winner’s visit to the show’s set. Justin joked that he “just wanted to be in the room when I heard Ron Howard say how great I was.”
Hartley admitted that he was never in the same room with Ron Howard when the scene was shot, but that he heard the famed director’s words of praise for his This Is Us character, Kevin Pearson, over the phone. Justin said the scene was a high point of the first season for him.
“Hopefully he’s not too bogged with work and he can come down to do some more,” Hartley said of a future scene with Howard on This Is Us.
Shortly after his appearance on the This Is Us episode “What Now?” Ron Howard told TV Guide he’s a huge fan of the show and that he would be open to a return cameo, although he admitted he doesn’t really like playing himself in dramatic roles. But Ron also told Vanity Fair he hasn’t heard anything from Fogelman about doing a future scene on This Is Us.
“When Dan Fogelman asked me to do this—I’ve known him for quite awhile, and I love the show—he said nothing about what’s going to happen with this movie project,” Ron said in April. “So I haven’t heard.”
Of course, that was before Ron Howard was announced as the director for Disney’s upcoming Han Solo movie. The real-life director is decidedly busier than he was a few months ago, so Justin Hartley may have to settle for another scene shot a week apart from separate rooms—if one happens at all.
Take a look at the video below to see Justin Hartley talking about “working” with Ron Howard on This Is Us.
[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]