While covering the 2022 NBCUniversal Upfront Red Carpet, I had the chance to speak with Jon Huertas. The actor portrays Miguel in the award-winning and critically acclaimed drama, This Is Us, which has its series finale tonight at 9 PM ET on NBC.
Everyone has a family. And every family has a story. This Is Us chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) as young parents in the 1980s to their kids (the big three), Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) searching for love and fulfillment in the present day along with Toby (Chris Sullivan) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson). This grounded, life-affirming dramedy reveals how the tiniest events in our lives impact who we become, and how the connections we share with each other can transcend time, distance and even death.
We discussed the fan response to Miguel’s story, what he took from set, how fans should prepare for the finale, which This Is Us episodes made him emotional, and more! Keep reading for everything he told me.
What has it been like to see the fan response to your recent Miguel–centric episode? There was a lot of love online after it aired.
Jon Huertas: Oh my God, I mean, it’s been incredible and it’s still coming. There are people that are still watching and still catching up. So it’s been so amazing, because most of the feedback that we’re getting is from people who said they finally felt seen and a lot of that comes from caretakers, a lot of it comes from people that feel like they’ve been caught between two worlds for so long, whether they were from an immigrant story or a biracial story. So I think that’s been beautiful, that we’ve been able to allow people to feel seen, and that’s what makes me feel really good about Miguel and the Miguel episode.
That’s the best thing part of TV, right? When finally see yourself represented.
Yeah, and I think that’s what people have been doing with This Is Us over six seasons. That’s why they love the show, that’s why they kept coming back is because people see themselves. They find themselves in each character’s story and their journey, whether it’s the character and it’s themselves or it’s someone in their family that’s going through something similar. People find that I think when our writers and us as actors take our own stories and our own vulnerabilities, and the writers take theirs, and we put that into the show, people feel like we’re being vulnerable. We’re allowing them in to see us and to see our not so perfect sides. So when they see that, they feel connected and that’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful way to tell a story, is to connect to the people you’re telling the story to.
Did you take anything from set after you officially wrapped?
The big green egg from the episode that I directed earlier this season. The big green egg was this thing that was supposed to be kind of the little seed that breaks Katoby up. So I have that big green egg in my house now. They delivered it last week on Thursday and I’m getting all kinds of accessories for it. I’m getting a pizza thing, I’m getting all kind of things for that. It’s really heavy. If you get to talk to Justin Hartley, ask him about his big green egg story. He’s got a doozy, there might even be a scar on his body from it.
Is there a cast member from This Is Us that you’d like to work with again in the future? And if so, what sort of project would you consider a dream project to do together?
I mean, I’d like to work with every single one of them but I’d love to do a comedy with Chris Sullivan. He’s actually going to be doing a podcast that I’m producing, he’s going to be voice on that because it’s scripted. We’ll see, I’ll work with all of them again, but Chris Sullivan I’m working with soon. He’s getting ready to shoot a pilot, he’s doing a sitcom. Then there’s Mandy, I would love to work with Mandy again. She’s such a great scene partner.
How should fans prepare for the series finale?
I mean, I think that fans should sit with their loved ones, whoever they watch the show with and just be ready to say goodbye. They might want to have some tissues close by because they’re gonna know that it’s ending, so the emotions are just gonna be there. People are gonna weep, so be prepared for that, be prepared to wipe it up. Have a pause, you can hit pause. Hopefully, you’re watching on somewhere you can pause because you’re gonna give yourself a minute or two to regain composure to get back into it.
This show is known for making its audience cry, in a good way, but still. Is there a moment when you look back on everything the show has done that you either watched, read, or acted out and got emotional over?
Yeah, I mean, two of the episodes that really hit home with me was the episode where Deja’s mom basically tells her, makes it known that she’s going to have a much better life with Randall and Beth than she would with her. That hit home for me and I bawled. Then the next one was Jack’s mother’s funeral. That scene when he was giving the speech, then Rebecca and the kids walk in. That was awesome, it was my favorite. That’s probably one of my favorite episodes next to Miguel.