Justin Hartley (‘This is Us’): ‘We’re in heaven on this show as actors’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“You want this at least one time in your career, where you get a storyline, or a scene even, where you can go to that place and sink your teeth in and hopefully deliver,” reveals Justin Hartley about his character’s journey over the second season of NBC’s “This is Us.”

This season Hartley’s character Kevin Pearson struggled with substance abuse, depression and heartbreaking loss, culminating in the eighth episode of the season where Kevin hits rock bottom. As the actor explains in our exclusive video interview (watch above), he felt privileged to bring Kevin’s story arc to life, admitting that “we’re in heaven on this show as actors.”

SEE ‘This Is Us’: Will the entire Pearson family of five get Emmy nominations? [POLL]

“We’re blessed with wonderful writers, truly gifted writers,” he says. “They gave me a gift as an actor, the episode ’Number One,’ the eighth episode where Kevin goes back to high school and you see him bottom out by the end of the episode … it is a vulnerable place for Kevin to be and it is a vulnerable place for an actor to be,” he admits. “In this moment, I thought about it like this is a guy that is clinging on to this one last memory of his father and what he thought his father was, before he found out all this stuff that was going on with his father that is also going on with him that relates to what his father went through, so it was this one last pure thing that he had of the way he remembered his father as a hero, and to lose that was just heartbreaking.”

SEE Emmy spotlight: Justin Hartley (‘This Is Us’) deserves a nomination after watching the rest of the Pearson clan get recognition

Hartley has been lauded for his standout performance this season, as Kevin’s life spiraled out of control. He fell deeper into his addiction for painkillers and finally came to terms with his often difficult relationship with his father (Milo Ventimiglia). Hartley is of course over the moon with how audiences have taken to the show. “To be on a show that is received the way it is received by the critics and is watched by as many people that do watch our show is kind of unheard of. It doesn’t happen very often,” he says. “My dream would have been to be on a show like this [and] to be recognized for something that you poured your heart into and worked your tail off, and you are proud of.”

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