Would ‘This Is Us’ Star Justin Hartley Ever Reprise One of His Beloved Roles?

Justin Hartley wasn’t always a Pearson. Though the actor hit big-time status with the hit NBC series, This Is Us, he’s always well-known in a few other worlds. That said, there’s one CW series that struck a chord among fans. Though it’s long gone, some wonder if Hartley would ever re-visit his past.

Justin Hartley’s resume is impressive

Justin Hartley
Justin Hartley attends the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards | Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Long before the role of Kevin Pearson came along, Justin Hartley was just another Hollywood actor trying to get by. The Knoxville, Illinois actor attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he majored in History and Theatre.

From there, Hartley made the leap to Los Angeles to pursue acting full-time. At the time, he had no money or job, according to IMDb. Though the This Is Us star has it good now, it wasn’t until 2002 did Hartley land his first recurring role as Fox Crane on the daytime soap drama, Passions. There, he met his first wife, Lindsay Korman, who became the mother of his daughter, Isabella.

Many may know Hartley from his work on the longtime daytime soap, The Young and the Restless, where he played Adam Newman from 2014-2016. During that same timeframe, the actor also had a recurring role in the series Mistresses proving it’s better to have too much work than not enough.

Daytime TV aside, Hartley picked up jobs on CSI: New York, Cold Case, and more. Though This Is Us is, arguably, Hartley’s breakout role, he’s been known in other fandom circles for years. There’s one, in particular, that has fans wanting more.

Hartley previously played a DC character on the CW

Hartley played Oliver Queen — aka the Green Arrow — on the CW’s Smallville from 2006-2011. Smallville was primarily focused on Superman, but Hartley’s Green Arrow is still a fan favorite.

When the spin-off, Arrow, came to fruition, many hoped it’d be Hartley to take the reigns. However, writers didn’t want to use something already established in Smallville’s world.

“Not only was he f*cking great as the Green Arrow, even by CW standards, he has also proven himself to be a great actor on This Is Us,” a fan said on Reddit. “Justin Hartley will always be my green arrow,” this fan tweeted.

Stephen Amell took Hartley’s place in the spin-off, which just concluded after 169 episodes with Amell as the lead. Many doubted the character replacement at first but grew to love Amell in a grittier version of Green Arrow. Still, Hartley seems to have the final vote among the fandom.

Would Hartley return to the world in another spin-off series?

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Many speculated Hartley signed on to join the five-part crossover special, Crisis on Infinite Earths to reprise his role(s). Arrow, Supergirl, The FlashDC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and newcomer Batwoman all took part, beginning in Dec. 2019 and ending in Jan. 2020.

Hartley didn’t end up with the part, which makes sense since Amell took the Green Arrow paton from Hartley’s departure. However, Hartley previously sat down with Michael Rosenbaum (who played Lex Luthor on Smallville) for an episode of his podcast, Inside of You.

 Hartley had been asked if he’d ever guest star on Arrow (before it ended).

“If it was the right part, yeah…I love interesting characters,” he said. “Yeah, if it was something that I could get excited about, yeah, of course.”

While Smallville and Arrow are long gone, Hartly’s answer leaves room for a multitude of ideas that could potentially bring him back to the DC world somehow, some way.

Hartley may thrive on the wildly successful This Is Us, but fans clearly want more of his heroic alter ego to live on.