Parker Bates stars as a young ‘Kevin Pearson’, son of ‘Rebecca’ (Mandy Moore) and ‘Jack’ (Milo Ventimiglia) in NBC’s “This Is Us”.
Parker is a former model originally from Dallas, Texas, and is a talented athlete excelling in soccer and gymnastics. His role as younger Kevin began as a small part and now he is a series regular.
We recently got the opportunity to speak with Parker about working on This Is Us, what he loves about playing younger Kevin and his funniest moment on set so far, including Milo Ventimiglia and and a shovel!
This Is Us has already been renewed for a third season and have been winning awards all year round. How does it feel to be part of such a successful show?
I had no idea it would be this big! It’s pretty amazing how many people love the show and relate to what the Pearsons are going through. I love meeting fans of the show and hearing their stories. It makes me really proud to be part of something so special. All of the awards are total icing on the cake! The cast and crew work so hard and all love what they do, so it is really amazing to see everyone rewarded. I’m just really thankful.
What was it about This Is Us that swayed you to audition for the role of younger Kevin Pearson?
Well, I got to wear my swim trunks and flip flops to the audition, so that was a plus! (The original audition was a scene at the pool.) Casting sent a picture of Justin Hartley along with my sides, so I was fairly certain I fit the description of “Young Kevin”, so that was exciting to know going into it.
Speaking of portraying younger Kevin, can you tell us any wise words/advice Justin Hartley has given you regarding the character or in general?
Justin and I…we just get each other! I think we are so much alike that it makes sharing the character of Kevin pretty easy. I watch Justin’s scenes closely and think about what Kevin would do when I get my scenes. He hasn’t really given me advice, but he always points out things he likes about my performance, so I feel like he is very encouraging. I am super proud to share Kevin with him, because I think he is so talented and funny!
What do you love the most about playing a young Kevin Pearson?
Kevin is definitely funny, so I really like that part! He is also really protective of his sister, so that makes me feel good, but sometimes, Kevin has to be mean to Randall, so that is kind of the hardest part. I’m a lover, not a fighter! I also love that Kevin loves football, because so do I!
How has This Is Us changed your career as an actor?
Well, I was auditioning all the time, and now, I’m filming all the time, so that’s amazing! I love filming and helping to create something so special! I’m getting to work with charity events and use this platform to help people, so that feels really good!
Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore play THE perfect parents on the show. How is it having them as your TV parents and are they just as fun in real life?
I couldn’t have asked for better TV parents! Milo is totally supportive and always checking with me to make sure I’m happy with our scenes or if there is anything else I want to try. He really cares what I think, and that’s a great feeling. Milo is always doing silly voices, and Mandy giggles all of the time! Yesterday, we (Lonnie, Mackenzie and I) were playing with Mandy and getting her to recite her lines from Tangled! I mean, it’s kind of totally awesome that our TV mom happens to also be a real Disney Princess!! So, yah, they are pretty cool in real life too.
You already work with some incredible actors on the show, but is there an actor (not on the show) who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
If I can only choose one, it would have to be Leonardo DiCaprio! People say I look like a young him, which I take as a huge compliment. He is such a great actor and he started at a young age like me. He has always shown how determined and focused he is, so he inspires me to keep going and never say never.
Can you share with us any funny moments that have happened on set so far?
There was an episode where Jack and Little Kevin are shoveling the driveway after the Chicken Pox. Well, in one of the takes, Milo accidently wacked me on the head with the shovel and it made this big vibration sound, but everyone just kept rolling and we finished the take. As soon as they cut, we all started cracking up! Then Milo and I got to play in the fake snow while they set up the next scene!
Quick fire round!
I love soccer, baseball, hockey and football!
Favourite TV show?
Snowboarding, gymnastics, Legos, and my new one is extreme mountain biking.
Describe season 2 of This Is Us in three words.
TOTAL CRY FEST
We can most definitely agree with the total cry fest part, as we have been non stop sobbing at season 2 since it started! Thank you Parker for featuring on CelebMix and we look forward to continuing to support you on the wonderful show that is ‘This Is Us’.
Watch the trailer for ‘This Is Us’ here:
We would also like to say congratulations to Parker and the rest of the ‘This Is Us’ cast and crew on their Golden Globe and SAG nominations!
Make sure to follow Parker Bates over on his twitter @theparkerbates to find out the latest on This Is Us and keep up with what Parker is up to!
Did you enjoy our exclusive interview with Parker Bates? Let us know your thoughts over at @CelebMix.