Justin Hartley Teases 'Incestuous' Emily Owens Triangles, Talks Of Shedding the 'Suit and Cape'

Emily Owens MD Mamie Gummer Justin HartleyEmily Owens, M.D. has a crush. Unfortunately, the object of her affection, best friend Will, is just not that into her, which makes things a little awkward in tonight’s episode of the rookie dramedy (The CW, 9/8c). But might he have a change of heart?

Below, Justin Hartley reveals Will’s true feelings for Emily, teases his character’s “heartbreaking” secret, and opens up about the big career dilemma he faced after Smallville.

RELATED | Arrow Scores Full Season From CW! Plus: More Scripts For Emily Owens, Beauty and the Beast

TVLINE | How are you adjusting from playing a superhero to playing another type of superhero, a doctor?
I’m adjusting well. The lab coat is more like a cape than the suit was, I guess. It’s definitely more comfortable. It’s all good. Sometimes, it’s hard to get away from the suit and the cape and all that kind of stuff. It follows you around forever. I was lucky enough to get this right away and be able to move on.

TVLINE | If people had to guess what kind of show you’d do after Smallville ended, they probably would have said something genre or a heavy drama. So what was it about Emily Owens, M.D., that attracted you?
I had a long conversation with my agent about it. I had two options: I was either going to take a little break or I was going to start working right away. That lasted about 24 hours and then I came up with the conclusion that I wanted to work right away. I didn’t want to take a break. When I finally decided that I was going to go [in] head first again – it takes a lot of energy, you know? – I wanted to make sure I had something that had a dramatic element. I really enjoy that aspect of acting. But it was really, really important to me to have some comedy in there. This fits the bill in all regards. We’re cracking [up] all the time. Mamie [Gummer is] really funny. I hope I’m funny on it. It’s interesting because in the pilot, Will’s not really funny. Episode 2, you start to see he’s got a bright sense of humor. He’s a funny guy. He gets a kick out of life. You learn a lot more about him as the series progresses.

TVLINE | How are things between Will and Emily after her big confession of love?
It’s a little bit awkward. … They can’t really date, but can they be best friends still? Did he just lose his best friend? And now they’re both walking around lost. They can’t lean on each other. They’ve depended on each for so many things for so many years, and now they just have to avoid each other. And what’s really, really cool [is] it gets addressed right away [in this week's episode]. Will stops Emily in the hallway and is like, “Wait a second. We need to talk about this.” There’s a crisis that happens in Emily’s life. Will finds out about it and wants to be there for her and thinks that he can’t because of what happened, and then she sort of says, “Come here.”  They fall back into where they were with this new, more complex element. And now that it’s brought to Will’s attention the way Emily feels, he starts to consider it. Maybe it came off wrong that he wasn’t into her. He just hadn’t considered it. Now it’s been put in his brain. He’s like, “Oh, wait a minute…”

TVLINE | Are there moments where he stops and rethinks his feelings about her?
There are. In [tonight's] episode, there’s one in particular. He catches himself doing that. I don’t think he intentionally stops and reconsiders. He catches himself, if not falling, certainly stumbling or tripping in that direction and wondering what that’s all about.

RELATED | Supernatural Vet Samantha Ferris Lawyers Up for Emily Owens

TVLINE | Have they always been just strictly friends in the past?
Depends on who you ask, I guess. According to Will, yes. Will’s been oblivious to this whole thing. There is a moment that you realize, “This woman has feelings for this guy, great. But it’s not like he led her on. So what’s her problem? She’s got to get over this dude.” Then there’s this thing that you realize happened in their past and you go, “Oh, that’s why! Oh, s–t, so he did do that.” But people do silly things when they’re drunk, right? It’s one of those situations, which lends itself to a lot of drama and a lot of awkward, funny comedy, which we love.

Emily Owens MDTVLINE | Will things heat up between him and Casandra in the meantime?
They certainly have a liking for one other. She’s fun, smart and cute. She’s got a snappy wit about her. She’s got an edge, and Will really likes that. He enjoys being around her and likes her company, and they make each other laugh. It’s safe to say that things will heat up in every direction – not that we become a bunch of whores. [Laughs] You have your really nice, sink-your-teeth-into TV triangle intermixed with another triangle. TV’s incestuous, isn’t it? I remember when I was on Passions, I was like, “Why is everybody having sex?” It’s unbelievable! Before you know it, we’re all going to be related here.

TVLINE | Speaking of love triangles, what does Will make of Micah, who unbeknownst to Will is sort of his competition?
Will thinks Micah’s sexy. He looks good in his scrubs. And I like that he shaves his chest. [Laughs] No, I don’t know. I don’t think that he thinks much of him yet. He looks at him as his boss and a guy that he works with.

TVLINE | The pilot was about setting up Emily’s world. What’s ahead for Will, specifically?
He’s got some skeletons in the closet. Later on, you realize the real reason why he’s there practicing medicine. It’s heartbreaking and then it all makes sense and you go, “Oh, this poor guy.” But he’s not a woe-is-me kind of guy. He’s a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps-and-go kind of guy. He’s a man’s man. I like that.

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27 Comments
  1. Firefox says:

    For once I would like people to step back and give this new show a chance to prove themselves.
    I think the characters,as well as the actors who play the characters, are bright and fun. There is a lot more to be seen here and to develop. That chance should be given to the cast and crew. And also the writer.
    This show is well written with humor and warmth. So, let us all give it some respect and patience to grow into what I think will be a great hour show that you’ll all come back for.

  2. Though the pilot wasn’t horrible, I hope episode 2 has more of a punch if it hopes to keep me as a viewer.

  3. Helen says:

    Although I don’t like the actress playing Emily, I have high hopes for this show and hope it won’t get cancelled. I love anything to do with hospitals…

  4. xav says:

    It was very Grey’s Anatomy but kind of cute. I’d watch it again

  5. lilys87 says:

    I watched the pilot by curiosity and was suprised in a good way by this show. While Beauty and the beast really disappointed me, Emily Owen made up for it and took its place in my schedule. It is quite funny. I hope it’ll get a full season to prove itself.

  6. Violet says:

    I really enjoyed the pilot. Yes, there are still some issues to be worked on but overall, I thought it was a sweet show and it has potential to become a fun breezy hour of tv. I think the critics were a bit harsh with their reviews. Yes, the show is nowhere near perfect but it could grow and evolve if the CW is patient with it and allows the writers and actors to find their groove as the season goes on.

  7. I liked this show, I hope it makes it to a season 2, I really think Hart of Dixie & Emily Owens can be a great line up for years to come, The CW needs those cute shows to remain of of The WB type of style, so HOD & EOMD are these shows. Bit maybe next year they can move it to Mondays

  8. lulu says:

    I am a HUGE Justin fan but I just can’t get into Emily Owens M.D. Hopefully this show will get cancelled and Justin can move onto bigger and better projects.

    • Cody says:

      Just because you dont like it doesnt mean you can wish it dead, you are not a Justin hartley fan, if you were you would support his decision and be happy for him, the man seems genuinely very much happy with his career decision and his life. You aren’t his fan, probably a fan of a certain smallville dumb blonde. We all know how BS that fandom is. You don’t own the guy stop acting like you do.

      • Bryn says:

        Wow, crazy much?

        You can most definitely be a huge fan of someone and not like everything the person is in. Perhaps he/she feels that Justin Hartley is too talented for this show.

        You sound like a total fangurl.

  9. Tris says:

    The show looks good, hope its gets a full season soon and get renewed.

    I’m shipping Will and Emily, they look so cute together, can’t wait for tonight’s episode

  10. hmyers says:

    I liked the first episode, just like any new show the first couple of episodes is about setting the scene and getting to know the basics about our characters. They laid some interesting ground work, totally interested to see where they take it.

  11. Carrie says:

    He always gives a good interview and, damn, he’s yummy. :)

  12. Ms Hyde says:

    Arrow and Emily Owens MD are two of the best new shows this fall.

  13. Lori says:

    While it had some cute moments, I was very distracted by all the blatant similarities to Greys Anatomy. I think it has potential and I’ll watch a few more episodes.

  14. Jay says:

    No idea who he is but enjoyed the pilot.

  15. Allie says:

    I agree with those that have said it’s a cute show. It’s nothing wowing or anything but it’s nice. I’ll probably continue to watch unless ratings really tank then I won’t bother. Also tonight is really competitive especially deciding between Happy Endings and New Girl. Sigh.. I hope Happy Endings does well. New Girl is practically guaranteed a 3rd season.

  16. Danielle H. says:

    I really like it so far. We need more breezy TV !

  17. kavyn says:

    The way Justin Hartley explained Will’s character was actually quite incredible. I think most guys can relate to that oblivious attitude when they find out someone’s feelings about them

  18. Angie says:

    I’m very much enjoying this show. More than I thought I would!

  19. Maya says:

    It’s a really nice, happy, sweet tv show that doesn’t have the outlandish medical diseases and doesn’t feel too saccharine. It’s really bright (like sunshine-y) and just makes you feel good and root for the characters.

  20. GL says:

    Emily Owens MD is a nice break from all the supernatural, vampire, superhero shows playing on CW. It’s sweet and normal. I like the fact that I can simply enjoy the lightheartedness that it brings as opposed to in-your-face drama and action. It doesn’t press for attention and scream LOOKie Here!!!!!!!! I’m giving you what you want by having HOT damaged guys pining around!!!!!! and by the way he’s genetically engineered for destruction! Or superheros screaming “DO AS I SAY YOU HEATHEN because I GOTS AN ARROW THAT CAN DO COOL TRICKS like cut that rope because its way cooler than the more practical way of cutting it with a knife. Not that I mind watching hot emotionally scared guys…. Its not the best show (very predictable and unoriginal…but what really is original these days anyway) but I also want it to air just for Micah :P

    • Jackie says:

      i think you hit the FALSE NAILS OF HOLLYWOOD RIGHT ON THE HEAD! I AM SO TIRED OF BANG, BANG, GOTCHA AND TRULY REDICULIOUS REALITY SHOWS!! L TO SIT BACK AND WATCH A SHOW THAT I AM GETTING MORE AND MORE TENSE AS THE HOUR GOES BY. DR.EMILY OWENS IS A HUMAN BEING NOT A “SUPER DOC” YET. HOW REFRESHING IS THAT, LETS KEEP IT COMING ! FOR US THAT ENJOY THE SLIGHTY DREAM WORLD . WISH I COULD FIND A DOCTOR LIKE HER IN REAL LIFE.. SURE COULD USE IT. JA’RO

  21. Marisa says:

    Am I the only one who wants Emily and Micah? That would be adorable.

  22. Pammy says:

    Like the chemistry Micha and Emily are having..hope to see more of it. Great show.

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