As the season has progressed, more and more information has been shared about Miguel. Only recently have viewers become privy to when and how Jack’s best friend and Rebecca reconnect after nearly a decade of silence following Jack’s death, and Miguel’s last name, up until this point a mystery, was finally revealed. With the first half of the season winding down, Huertas looks ahead at what awaits the Pearson family -- from Jack's funeral to Miguel and Rebecca's courtship.
What scene or episode from the season so far has been the most powerful for you to experience as a viewer?
The last scene in the first episode of the season, when Rebecca pulls up in front of the house, there’s no dialogue, there are no other actors in it -- we felt exactly what she was feeling. To me, it was a really powerful performance and a moment that if you’ve experienced grief like that, you believe that Rebecca was going through the same grief. Mandy [Moore]’s performances are always great; she’s super dedicated to the craft. It’s always surprising to people that she is so good because people still associate her with her pop career. But before she was a singer, she was also acting and doing theater -- a lot of people just don’t realize it. From our conversations, she’s technically always been an actor first, singer second. But she is definitely dialing in her performance and really getting into Rebecca’s skin deeper and deeper every single episode.
How do you think viewers’ perceptions of Miguel will change by the end of season two?
(Laughs.) I think people’s reactions to Miguel are a really natural reaction. It’s just like any other family who experiences a stepmother or a stepfather. There’s always a resistance because he isn’t their father, and with Miguel being Jack’s best friend, they already knew this guy. Probably with the kids, there was a sense of betrayal, like, “Mom, how could you be with Dad’s friend and your friend?” The audience had a similar reaction. When I was in the Air Force, we would say, “If something happened to me, please take care of my other, because I trust you. You’re my best friend” or “You’re like a brother to me.” Eventually, the way we tell the story, people will hopefully get a sense of that and say, “Wow, I wouldn’t want Jack’s wife to be with anybody else,” because there was a certain love that Jack and Miguel shared. Hopefully, we’ll see those scenes. That’s the challenge as an actor -- I’ll get the words, Mandy will get the words, the kids will get the words and we’ll see if we can actually convince the audience. It’s all of our goals as actors right now to try to convince the audience that this is a relationship they all should root for -- root for in a different way. The challenge is what’s interesting about the character. I like that people didn’t accept him right away because now, I’m challenged to change their minds.