Thursday, October 27, 2016

Justin Hartley: Star of This is Us

I'm blessed in that what I do for a living is actually something that I love and enjoy.  It's a dream of mine.  I really don't feel like I have a job.  I'm just constantly at play.

- Justin Hartley
CW Start Now Interview Series: Behind the Scenes with Justin Hartley
October 31, 2012

Justin Hartley is one of the brightest stars on television right now. He's also on one of the hottest new shows - This is Us.  This is Us  premiered on NBC on September 20, 2016 and it follows characters in different locations who are connected by a shared birthday. The one-hour ensemble drama chronicles the lives of twins Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley) and their adopted bother, Randall (Sterling K. Brown).

Kate and Kevin were initially part of a triplet pregnancy, but their brother was stillborn.  Randall, who was born on the same day as the twins, was abandoned by his biological father and left at a firehouse,  He was taken to the same Pittsburgh hospital where the Pearson babies were born and was adopted by their parents, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore).  Ventimiglia is known for his role as Peter Petrelli  in the TV series Heroes and Moore for her role as Jamie Sullivan the 2002 film A Walk to Remember.

Jason Hartley's character, Kevin Pearson, was originally a Los Angeles actor.  He becomes discontented with his career direction and his role as the lead actor in a television sitcom.  After suffering an on-set breakdown, he moves to New York to pursue a career in the theatre.

Justin Scott Hartley was born in Knoxville, Illinois on January 29, 1977.  He was raised in Orland Park, Illinois, along with his brother Nathan and his sisters, Megan and Gabriela. He graduated from Carl Sandburg High School and then majored in history and theatre at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
From 2002 until 2006, Justin played Fox Crane of the NBC soap opera Passions.  Hartley then had a recurring role a billionaire named Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) on the CW series Smallville.  In 2008, he joined the regular cast of Smallville. Smallville ended its run in 2011 and from 2012 to 2013, Justin played Will Collins on the short-lived medical drama/comedy Emily Owens MD.

Juatin as Green Area on Smallwille

From 2013 to 2014, Hartley played Patrick Osbourne on the mystery series Revenge.  He also portrayed plastic surgeon Scott Thompson  on the drama series Mistresses in 16 episodes from 2014 to 2016.  Scott was a love interest for Josslyn Carver, Jes Maccallan's character.

Justin's breakout role was that of Adam Newman on the popular CBS daytime soap The Young and the Restless.  Justin won the plumb role of Adam in 2014 and attracted a large fan following.  The hard-working actor remained on Mistresses while starring on Y&R.  “I did Mistresses on the weekend and Y&R that week,” he stated. “It’s unbelievable. Not even the same network, but they’re playing nice with each other. They’re very good to me here. It’s a good place to be -  And I get to see my daughter everyday. I love it.”

After This is Us was picked up by NBC, Justin decided to leave The Young and The Restless, much to the chagrin of his legion of Y&R followers.  Many of them tuned in to This is Us because they wanted to watch him.

On May 1, 2004, Justin Hartley  married actress Lindsay Korman, his co-star on Passions.  Their daughter, Isabella Justice, now 12 years old, was born on July 3, 2004, but the marriage did not last.  On May 6, 2012, Lindsay filed for divorce in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, citing "irreconcilable differences."  She requested joint legal and physical custody of Isabella.

Justin with daughter Isabella Hartley

In 2014, Justin began dating actress Chrishell Stause (born July 21, 1981 in
Draffenville, Kentucky), who is best known for for her portrayal of Amanda Dillon on the ABC daytime drama All My Children from 2005 to 2011.  After All My Children went off the air, Chrishell played Jordan Ridgeway on Days of Our Lives from 2013 to 2015. Beginning in May of 2016 , she made some appearances on The Young and the Restless as troublemaking barmaid Brittany Bryant.  In July of 2016, Justin and Chrishell announced their engagement.  At the Television Critics Associatin summer press tour, he said that he and his fiancee had yet to set a wedding date.  "It just happened. I proposed on one knee like you’re supposed to. It was my right knee, and I was lucky enough to have her say, ‘yes'. It was perfect," he added.

Justin is an avid baseball fan.  His favourite teams are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs.  His feeling were probably torn when the Dodgers played the Cubs for the National League championship.  However, he certainly must be supporting the Cubbies wholeheartedly, now that they are playing in their first World Series since 1945.


* On September 27, 2016, NBC picked This is Us for 18 episodes - a full season.

* This is Us was created by Dan Fogelman.  Fogelman is an American television producer and screenwriter whose screenplays include Crazy, Stupid, Love and Cars.  He also created the 2015 musical comedy series Galavant and the 2016 baseball drama series Pitch.

- Joanne

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