‘This Is Us’: Justin Hartley On Kevin’s Painful Breakdown And The Jack Scene That Crushed His Soul

ET Canada | 11/14/2017 | Staff
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The first of three “This Is Us” episodes focusing on The Big Three put the spotlight squarely on Kevin — and a trip to the glory days of his past became all but a nightmare.

Simply titled “Number One,” a reference to Kevin’s standing in the Pearson family as the first-born sibling, the first to walk and the first to kiss a girl, the former star quarterback returned to the Pittsburgh high school where he once ruled the hallways to collect an innocuous award (one he didn’t even want) honouring his life accomplishments. Deep in an alcoholic and drugged-out stupor, Kevin did everything he could to downplay his achievements, telling everyone in his speech (after hallucinating his father, Jack) he wasn’t “worthy” of the recognition, all of which fell on deaf ears.

Moment - Weakness - Kevin - Instance - Self-doubt

But that wasn’t the only moment of weakness for Kevin, who had an instance of self-doubt on the football field, the same one he’d ended his playing career on, as he laid into himself over all the second, third, fourth chances he’s blown in his life. Or the crushing breakdown at the end of the episode, after Kevin lost the only tangible thing he has left of his father.

Ahead of Tuesday’s episode, ET jumped on the phone with Justin Hartley for a deep dive into Kevin’s desperate pleas for help, sharing a scene with Milo Ventimiglia for the first time, the significance of losing Jack’s necklace and that life-changing Kate development.

ET - Episode

ET: How did you prepare for this episode?

Justin Hartley: I talked to people who have gone through it, heard their story and where they are now. It’s no joke. It’s like knocking on death’s door and bringing it on yourself. It’s a self-loathing moment. He’s depressed. He’s addicted. He’s wanting to inflict pain on himself in some way. It’s a...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ET Canada
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