By Samantha Highfill
March 01, 2020 at 10:54 AM EST
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Credit: Jack Rowand/THE CW

Justin Hartley hasn't always been Kevin Pearson. Although This Is Us is the actor's best-known role, many fans remember him from Passions, The Young and the Restless, or perhaps, as Smallville's Green Arrow.

During a sit-down with Entertainment Weekly's editor in chief JD Heyman at SCAD's aTVfest, Hartley reflected on his career and, specifically, what it was like to play Oliver Queen in 72 episodes of Smallville. "It was [originally] four or six episodes, this arc they had written for me. And then he was to be gone," Hartley said. "Thankfully, the people that watched the show, they loved this character. He had a lot to say."

As for why Oliver was so popular and ultimately stuck around on the show, Hartley continued, "When you saw that show and you saw when Oliver came on and how he interacted with Clark and what he brought out in Clark and how he moved Clark in a direction where we know he's going — Superman — it became like an essential part of the show and I'm really proud of it. I remember talking to Al [Gough] and Miles [Millar], the creators of the show, and it was really important to dial that character in in a way that was pretty accurate to the way he was in the comics. And it was the first time — I think — on that show where you had a guy in a costume. He's wearing the costume. I remember thinking, 'We have a show about Superman but we don't really have a character on the show that is in costume,' so it was kind of cool. And I always loved the fact that he was mortal. I loved the fact that when he got hit, he got hurt. And he could die."

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