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‘This Is Us’ star Jon Huertas reveals the essential prop he’s taking from the show

The actor, who plays Miguel, says he's keeping something that proved vital in the final season.
/ Source: TODAY

Fans may be crushed “This Is Us” is coming to an end, but one of the show’s stars says it's time to say goodbye.

“I think it should end now,” Jon Huertas, who plays Miguel on the hit NBC drama, told TODAY in a phone interview. “I think that you will run out of real estate if you’re just going after more seasons, more money, whatever. I think you’ll just run out real estate storywise and (creator) Dan Fogelman had a very specific goal to make this show five or six seasons.

“Once he introduced all the characters that he thought were important to the story, he definitely said, ‘Six seasons, that’s what we’re going to do.’ We’ve known from the beginning. And so I’m super happy that it’s ending this way.”

This Is Us - Season 4
Miguel went from an outlier to a truly important cog in the Pearson family.Ron Batzdorff / NBC

Miguel was, in effect, the last piece of the Pearson puzzle, in terms of the audience getting to truly know his backstory. Having started out being viewed as something of an impostor who wound up with his best friend’s widow, fans grew to like Miguel, as he remained dedicated to taking care of Rebecca, as a way to resolve his own shortcomings in an episode earlier this month that ended with his death.

Huertas says the series depicts the new type of family that now exists.

“If you think about the population, there aren’t a lot of families that look like the traditional nuclear family anymore,” he said. “I think the title of the show is what really, really tapped into people because this is us, meaning, all of you at home watching the show. This is you.”

This Is Us - Season 5
The relationship between Miguel and Rebecca represented how the family unit has changed.NBC

It’s not just Miguel, either. The show’s pilot featured a Black child being taken in by white parents who welcomed twins on the same day he was born. It signaled right away this show was going to be different, but not necessarily gimmicky.

“We were able to show people, put a mirror in front of people, and that’s because that nuclear family, that thing that that we all want to pretend is out there and we strive to, it’s not as common as we all would hope or do we think,” Huertas said.

“What’s more common is a family that struggles, a family that loves unconditionally and family deals with tragedy. That’s real. That’s real life and I think that’s what people have been able to find on our show.”

This Is Us - Season 6
The Pearson family offers a look at the idea that the traditional nuclear family isn't necessarily so common anymore, Huertas says.NBC

And while he may be leaving “This Is Us” behind, the show isn’t necessarily leaving him behind. That’s because Huertas, who directed an episode earlier this season, says he’s planning to take home a prop from that episode, which proved pivotal.

“I already know that I’m getting the Big Green Egg that was introduced in the episode that I directed this season,” he said, referring to the smoker that represented one of the final straws in Kate and Toby’s troubled marriage.

This Is Us - Season 6
Huertas says he's taking the Big Green Egg that proved pivotal in the demise of Kate and Toby's marriage. In this scene, the adult version of their son, Jack, used the smoker while alluding to how it led to his parents' divorce.Ron Batzdorff / NBC

“I think it was supposed to be a very important part of the story between Toby and Kate coming to an end,” he added. “And to me, it symbolizes the show coming to an end, as well.”

Huertas says being behind the camera taught him a valuable lesson.

“What I learned from directing the show is surround yourself with people that you think are a lot smarter than you are, and you’re going to be a successful director.”

“For me, being a director was like doing one of those trust falls,” he added. “I fell backwards into the crew’s hands and they allowed me to help to really tell the story without worrying that I’m going to mess this up.”