"This Is Us" is undoubtedly the breakout broadcast TV series of the past three years: Nothing has rivaled the show's grasp on the zeitgeist more than the NBC drama, and that doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon.
Part of what has driven the success of the Dan Fogelman-created series is its emotional punch -- the ability it has to leave you crying tears of joy or happiness or both -- week after week. But another reason for its success is its deeply talented roster of stars from the adults all the way to the young actors.
One of those young stars is 11-year-old Parker Bates, who plays young Kevin Pearson. The Dallas-born actor has captured the hearts of America through his portrayal of the younger version of Justin Hartley's character, perfectly capturing his charm, anger and up-and-down relationship with his brother, Randall (played by Lonnie Chavis).
During a recent phone call with Bates, AOL asked the rising star what he'd like to see more of when it comes to Kevin's younger years, and he had a quick answer: More time with his love interest, Sophie.
"I hope to see some more of young Kevin and young Sophie together, because we didn’t really get to spend a lot of time with Kevin and Sophie when they were younger," he told us, adding that he "can't say much" about what's to come on the current third season of the show.
'This Is Us' star Parker Bates
'This Is Us' star Parker Bates
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Parker Bates attends the Season 3 Premiere of NBC's 'This Is Us' at Paramount Studios on September 25, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: 70th ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Parker Bates arrives to the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018. NUP_184215 (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Parker Bates attends the Entertainment Weekly Pre-Emmy Party 2018 at Sunset Tower Hotel on September 15, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: (L-R) Hannah Zeile, Lonnie Chavis, Faithe Herman and Parker Bates attend the 2018 Pre-Emmy Party hosted by Entertainment Weekly and L'Oreal Paris at Sunset Tower on September 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly )
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 12: Parker Bates attends FOX's Teen Choice Awards at The Forum on August 12, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 11: Parker Bates at Backstage Creations Celebrity Retreat At Teen Choice 2018 - Day 1 at The Forum on August 11, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for Backstage Creations)
CENTURY CITY, CA - MAY 24: Parker Bates attends the 20th Century Fox 2018 LA Screenings Gala at Fox Studio Lot on May 24, 2018 in Century City, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29: Actor Parker Bates attends the 2nd Annual Lollipop Superhero Walk benefiting the Lollipop Theater Network at Pan Pacific Park on April 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - APRIL 28: Parker Bates attends Zimmer Children's Museum's 3rd Annual We All Play Fundraiser on April 28, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 24: Parker Bates attends Nickelodeon's 2018 Kids' Choice Awards at The Forum on March 24, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 17: Actor Parker Bates arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX Entertainment's 'Pandas' at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on March 17, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 28: Parker Bates attends City Year Los Angeles' Spring Break: Destination Education at Sony Studios on April 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for City Year Los Angeles)
MANHATTAN BEACH, CA - MARCH 01: Denise Austin and Parker Bates attend the 9th Annual SKECHERS Pier To Pier Friendship Walk Evening Of Celebration And Check Presentation at Shade Hotel on March 1, 2018 in Manhattan Beach, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Parker Bates attends the 2018 Rookie USA Show at Milk Studios on February 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 03: Parker Bates arrives at the Premiere Of Columbia Pictures' 'Peter Rabbit' at The Grove on February 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21: (L-R) Actors Logan Shroyer, Parker Bates, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, and Niles Fitch attend the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_009 (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21: Actor Parker Bates attends the 24th Annual Screen Actorsï¿½Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
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Though he also doesn't get much time with the other actors that play Kevin (Hartley plays the adult version, while Logan Shroyer steps into the role for his teenage years), Bates said that he pays close attention to their scenes so that he can find out more about Kevin.
"We don’t get to see each other a lot, because the show has us on different sets and locations," he explained. "But I try to pay attention to their scenes when I watch them so that I can get personal information from older Kevin and try to being it back to younger Kevin."
Since stepping into the biggest role of his young career, the 11-year-old actor has been to multiple awards shows, including the Emmys, and met countless stars like Kristen Bell and Jameela Jamil -- oh, and his favorite YouTuber. He has several other non-"This Is Us" projects in the pipeline and counts Leonardo DiCaprio and Zac Efron as actors that he'd love to work with someday.
For now, though, he's simply appreciating all that "This Is Us" has given him as a young star -- especially considering he never expected it to become what it has.
"I didn’t expect it to go this far and it’s really cool seeing the show grow," he said. "Going from the pilot to three seasons is just awesomeness!"
"This Is Us" airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on NBC