As teenage Kevin on “This Is Us,” Logan Shroyer became an integral part of the hit NBC drama, deftly portraying the younger version of the character played by Justin Hartley in scenes that give viewers insight into how Kevin became the man he turned out to be.
Portraying the same character has actually not created any complexities for Shroyer, who said he and Hartley spoke briefly about how to approach bringing Kevin to life in two different time periods.
“We had one conversation, I think, maybe the first one about it,” he told TODAY in a phone interview. “And he was like, ‘Dude, it’s your character, too. Do your thing. Don’t feel like you (have to) do what I do.’”
While playing Kevin provides an obvious connection between Hartley and Shroyer, the younger actor points out that Milo Ventimiglia, who plays his dad on the show, has had a serious impact on him when it comes to his own career.
“I would say the person that I’ve had the most deep talks and long conversation with about that with is Milo. Milo is a very big resource of wisdom with this stuff,” Shroyer said.
“And one of the things that he said that (I’m) always going to remember, I feel like I tell people all the time, but in this business, we chose to be actors, and it’s very inconsistent most of the time. Truthfully, your favorite actor, they’re super high A-list big that can pretty much work whenever they want it, but most people go through (a) year, years of not working and that’s the same for, I think, honestly, everybody, on the cast.
“And he was like, ‘Don’t wait by the phone. Keep life going. Travel, make experiences, continue growing your craft, and something will show up eventually, if you stick through.”
“She’s the glue of the show,” Shroyer said. “I don’t know if you’ve heard that before. Some people kind of refer to her as that because she’s in every time period, so she works more than anyone. She really, really works and she portrays such a wide range of ages and circumstances that I think it’s incredibly impressive. And she holds it down. It’s phenomenal what she’s been able to do over the course of these six years.”
“This Is Us” has managed to separate itself over the years from other TV shows, in part, by the way it depicted the same characters in different eras. Shroyer has grown into his role and developed an especially tight relationship with his co-stars. Niles Fitch and Hannah Zeile, who play teen Randall and teen Kate, respectively.
“Those are the people I’m closest with,” he said. “I think they would probably say the same. We hang out all the time and get into shenanigans. And, yeah, it’s just really bonded us. I think over the course of six years, scenes that we’ve done as well, were very heavy at times and emotional. And you’re kind of going through that with those people, so you get bonded with them and just like all the laughs and the memories, yeah, we’re, we’re fairly close, I’d say.”
“This Is Us” now has two episodes left and Shroyer says he cried when he read the scripts for them.
“There’s some surprises in there in there,” he said.
“It’s very sweet. ... I think people are going to enjoy it,” he added.
Now that the end is in sight, he also plans to take a souvenir to commemorate his time on the show.
“You better believe I’m going to make sure I get that letterman jacket I’ve been wearing all these years, that red letterman jacket with the 'M' on it,” he said. “It's just one of my favorite things. And it was something that I wore a lot in the beginning of the show. And I love it.”
Shroyer also takes pride in how the “This Is Us” story has maintained a rhythm in how it resolves key storylines and he knows that he will miss the experience of being part of a show like this.
“It’s being told in a way that I think everybody is confident in and we don’t feel like we strung it out too long,” he said.
“I’m not going to be playing Kevin Pearson anymore,” he added. “I’m not going to be putting on those shoes, walking in that life. I’m not going to be on set with these people in the same capacity. I’m going to see these people throughout my life, I’m sure. It’s just that we won’t all be on the same team doing the exact same thing, like we did for so long.”