Justin Hartley was Johnny Unpopular on the set of his hit TV series This Is Us — and sources say his bad reputation has chased casting agents away.
Insiders claim Hartley’s only real offer was from his old soap, The Young and the Restless, but the 45-year-old star’s ego is too massive to allow him to crawl back to his original gig.
Hartley starred as Adam Newman on the daytime drama for two years before playing Kevin Pearson in This Is Us, which completed its six-season run in May.
“Justin wants nothing to do with returning,” pipped up a pal. “He figures This Is Us was such a big series, he should be getting big movie roles — and returning to soaps would be a step backward!”
Hartley reportedly alienated his co-stars when he grew too big for his britches and started complaining about his salary. What’s more, he dumped his wife Chrishell Stause — who was a favorite among many of his colleagues.
“He can’t shake his reputation,” dished the insider. “He isn’t getting any big movie offers. He has developed a pilot for a TV series on CBS, but if it isn’t picked up, soaps may be his only option.”
He shot and co-executive produced the pilot, called The Never Game, with This Is Us director Ken Olin. The concept is based on a book by Jeffrey Deaver.
“I think it’s a really neat sort of a throwback to classic older television in a way, these characters that you don’t really see anymore,” the actor explained.
Hartley’s most notable role since This Is Us was Netflix’s Christmas movie, The Noel Diary. Despite being shot in the summer, the film was released on the streaming giant just in time for the holidays.
“We shot this movie a while ago, so for people to finally be able to see it is pretty exciting for me,” he said about the movie.
Hartley also guest-starred in one episode of NBC’s Quantum Leap alongside his real-life wife, Sofia Pernas. The two — who worked on The Young and the Restless together — secretly tied the knot in March 2021, two months after finalizing his divorce from Chrishell.
The Selling Sunset star claimed that Hartley informed her he was filing for divorce via text message.