5 Things That Give Justin Hartley All the Feels—Other Than This Is Us

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If there were an award for TV show that makes us cry most often, no doubt This Is Us would take home the top prize. Week after week, the NBC drama has given us all the feels as it journeys through decades of the Pearson family’s highs and lows. The most recent episode alone took us on a complete emotional rollercoaster as Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and his terminally-ill biological father William Hill (Ron Cephas Jones) embarked on a road trip to Memphis, William’s hometown. The episode took a heavy turn, and we were ultimately forced to say goodbye to William just as we were getting to know him. Quite frankly, we were in shambles by the hour’s end—and we weren’t alone. 

Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Jack Pearson, tweeted out an excuse note for any viewers too emotionally fragile to make it to work or school the following day. And when his co-star Justin Hartley—who plays the modern-day incarnation of Jack's son, Kevin Pearson—stopped by InStyle’s New York City offices the next day, he explained why it already ranks as one of his favorite episodes to date. “The most recent one always sits with me the most, because it’s still fresh,” said Hartley. “It was such a special one. Our show does a really good job of storytelling, and the way in which we tell the story is unique, being that it's multigenerational. And then we do these standalone episodes where there's a specific topic or a story that needs an ample amount of time to tell it properly, and that was one of those episodes.”

When the show returns tonight at 9 p.m. ET with a brand new installment—the second to last episode of the season—there are bound to be plenty more tears coming our way. And since Hartley’s partially responsible for our emotionally-wrecked Tuesday nights, we decided to flip the script on the star and find out what makes him cry. Press play on the video above to find out what breaks the star’s heart, from the “greatest book ever” that he’s read ten times to a gift from his 12-year-old daughter that will make you say, “Awwww.”


The most emotional I got from watching a scene from the show. My goodness. At the end of 15 when Kevin runs to Randall and grabs him and just holds him. Because I've gotten to know Sterling pretty well over the past few months and I love the man and so when I see that I see Sterling as well. So it's kinda cool. I mean are there? Any. A TV show besides This is Us that makes me cry? Not a shocker, but Game of Thrones. Hold the door! Hold the door! [NOISE] Ask me the next question before I start crying. [MUSIC] There's so many movies that get me. I mean, Top Gun gets me, right? When he's like, he can be his wingman. And he's like, no, no. You can be mine, and I thought, well, that's great, they can be each other's ring man, that's so cool. My gosh, you guys, for my birthday, I'm going to try to get through this, my daughter, she's 12 years old, she's my life, this young woman gets me a book And every page of the book is like a fill-in-the blank, it's like I love you because and she writes why. And the whole book da da da and you get to the very end and the very last page is one thing I never told you was. And she said when I grow up I wanna marry a man that's just like you, because you are and it went on and on and on about these wonderful things that she thinks about me. That was the first time I think my daughter's ever seen me cry. I couldn't hold it together. [MUSIC] I don't, I don't really do that. No, I tell you a book that I have probably read, I'm not kidding you, I've probably read this book ten times. It's called A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. It is absolutely everything the title implies. It's the greatest book I've ever. It does a lot of the things that our show does, where you'll be sort of laughing and then you'll be crying. And then, you're kinda laughing through these tragic moments that you're reading. Great book, by the way. [MUSIC] There's a song that really, really gets me. It's by Joe Purdy. Brilliant song called Andrea, and it's about, well you'd have to ask him, but in my mind he spots this guy from across the room and it's a crowded room and all he can sort of she is here. They just connect right away. It's a beautiful beautiful song. You all are gonna cry when you listen to it after I leave.
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