This Is Us continues its reign as one of TV's favorite shows, with a full-tilt of heartstring-tugging family drama blended with lots of love, hugs and tears. But while the show has nailed well-observed and character-driven storylines full of heart and realism, they also managed to stir up some drama between its beloved leads, Jack and Rebecca Pearson, played respectively by Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore. With the couple regarded as sacrilege to fans, showrunners sparked a love triangle in Season 1 by inviting True Blood alum, Sam Trammell to the Pearson universe as Rebecca's ex.
Needless to say, that storyline riled up social media. But with This Is Us returning for its fifth season later this fall and more of Rebecca's life now being showcased in a post-Jack universe after his untimely death and her latest move to St. Louis amid a clinical trial that could improve a recent Alzheimer's diagnosis, could Trammell return as Ben in flashbacks? The Homeland star exclusively shares with PopCulture.com that anything can happen going forward.
"Well anything is possible. I feel like people hate it," Trammell laughed with PopCulture about the prospect, adding how his character — an old bandmate of Rebecca's who first appeared in the Season 1 episode, "The Best Washing Machine in the Whole World" — is just another Ben fans don't exactly like, referring to his portrayal of President Benjamin Hayes on Homeland, which is heading into its final episodes this month.
"[But] I don't know — I don't know how welcoming the [This Is Us] fans will be, but you can always re-jimmy things to make things more palatable," he said. "But yeah, he was kind of an important part of her life at one point, her young life. And the show's so good at going back and forth between time periods."
Singing the praises of the showrunners, cast and writers, Trammell adds how the NBC series, since its debut in 2016, has remained an icon among the television landscape. "My gosh, it's such a strong show," he added. "It'll probably go on for a while and so you never know. It's very possible."
Fans will recall Trammell's character was last seen in the Season 1 finale "Moonshadow," where Jack repeatedly punched him following Ben's admission to "crossing the line" with Rebecca after kissing her ahead of a gig, which would have kicked off a five-state tour with his jazz group. Rebecca eventually gets Jack to stop and tells Ben that it's all over. As Trammell detailed to Entertainment Weekly at the time, Ben's intentions were never about pulling her away from Jack — just more of him being a "conduit" for her musical dreams and ambitions, which sparks thought over where Ben is today. As fans will recall, the series has a way of bringing back its characters too, including this past season with Kevin's first wife, Sophie played by Alexandra Breckenridge, so anything can happen.
Following Homeland's finale on April 26, Trammell can next be seen in the upcoming Lena Dunham-produced HBO Max series Generation, which he says "may get pushed" in light of the coronavirus outbreak, but begins shooting later this year. Created by 17-year-old, Zelda Barnz, the series is a dark and playful comedy following a group of high school students whose explorations of modern love and sexuality tests their deeply entrenched beliefs.
"I play opposite Martha Plimpton and we have these two teenage kids and it's really about them and their friends as well, and it takes place in this high school and it's really interesting," he said, later adding how it's about a "lot of people" that have their own storyline going on. "Structurally the pilot is fascinating because it's about one day and it's from the perspective of three different groups of kids. It's really about current life as a teenager in high school these days. But it's also funny — like a dark comedy, and so I'm getting to do some comedic stuff."
For now, fans will have to wait and see how it all turns out! In the meantime, This Is Us is available to binge on Hulu and NBC.com. For all your news on the beloved family drama, stay locked in to PopCulture.com, and follow us on Twitter for the latest in all TV news.