What will Justin Hartley’s Kevin go through in ‘This is Us’ season 5?
Justin Hartley may be dealing with drama in his personal life, but it pales in comparison to the drama awaiting his character in the NBC drama This Is Us. The actor plays Kevin, the biological son of the Pearson family, and the season 4 finale saw him get into a tense argument with his adopted brother Randall. He also found out that his one-night stand with Madison resulted in her getting pregnant.
Kevin has a lot to deal with heading into season 5, and Hartley has been forthcoming about what the character will have to go through to mature. He told Gold Derby that the season premiere will pick up where season 4 left off, and signify some major changes in the Pearson family as a whole.
“Season 5 is going to pick up shortly after the finale, at least for the current storyline,” Hartley explained. “Kevin’s gonna have to deal with this pregnancy, being a dad, twins, his relationship with Madison, because god only knows what that is. He’s gonna have to deal with work, he’s gonna have to deal with Randall. Are they gonna get back on the right track or is it just total estrangement?”
Hartley also pointed to a few different directions for the character to explore in season 5. He talked with Awards Daily about the possibility of a greater emphasis on Kevin’s film career, which has been shown sporadically through the series.
“I’d like to dive deeper into [Kevin’s] career —him on a movie set, him on a TV set,” he stated. “I think he’s doing movies now, but it would be nice to see a little bit more of that, how that goes, the progress.”
Hartley theorized that showing more of Kevin’s career would showcase his growth as a person and (eventually) as a father. “I think that’s just going to be one of the things where you’re going to see this guy, right before your very eyes, change into something that we just haven’t seen — like a different person,” he reasoned. “That’ll be fun. I would like to see that —his evolution and his growing as a human.”
This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman has been more protective of Kevin’s arc, but he did tell The Hollywood Reporter that he already has it scripted. “There’s an answer coming, but I think that there’s basically many more chapters in Kevin’s romantic story,” Fogelman stated. “We are far advanced already.”
“I’ve already written the season premiere of next year and broken, I think, five episodes of the season, and we have mapped out plans for the next and sixth seasons honestly,” the creator added. “Kevin has a journey ahead of him, and I don’t want to get too far ahead of it just yet.”
The only clue Fogelman provided was the crucial part that Dr. Eli Mason will play in Kevin’s future. “The doctor becomes an important character next season to Kevin; he’s having twins with a virtual stranger, not a normal birth experience,” he remarked. “It’s no coincidence he was introduced in the same episode that Dr. K returned.”
Hartley received critical praise for his revelatory performance as Kevin. He’s been nominated for two Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, as well as two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Hartley considers Kevin to be the role of his career, and told ET Online he’s thankful for every opportunity he gets to play it. “I’m just humbled every day,” he admitted. “Every time I get a script and every time I see that they are trusting me with Kevin, I pinch myself.”
This Is Us season 5 will premiere November 10th on NBC.