At the end of This Is Us‘ first season, recovering Manny star Kevin (Justin Hartley) scored his big-screen big break from Ron Howard. As it turns out, his new costar isn’t too shabby: Sylvester Stallone.
In the Oct. 10 episode of the NBC dramedy, the Rocky vet guest-stars as himself, playing a father figure to Kevin’s character in the WWII film. And Hartley, for one, was thrilled to be acting opposite the mega-movie star, whose son in Rocky Balboa was played by none other than Hartley’s costar Milo Ventimiglia.
“There is not a bigger action star in the history of film than Sylvester Stallone,” Hartley tells EW. “He comes in and immediately puts you at ease, and you feel like you’re just talking to a guy. He takes Sylvester Stallone, the myth, the legend, completely out of the room, and he becomes this amazing actor and you forget that you’re working with Rocky and Rambo. He’s gripping. He’s a walking acting class. He’s a walk-in clinic, and then he makes everyone laugh, and he very graciously thanks everyone, and he gives us a few words of wisdom, and he leaves.”
In the episode, you’ll learn that Jack’s favorite Hollywood star was Stallone, and he would watch his movies with Kevin, Kate, and Randall. For Kevin to now be acting with Stallone brings up all kinds of issues, many of which he’ll try to suppress at first. Check out the first-look photos above and below, which show Stallone and Kevin plotting some military action as well as Kate (Chrissy Metz) cozying up to her dad’s idol.
To read what creator Dan Fogelman had to say about Jack’s death and that whopper of an ending to the season premiere, click here.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.