The Stars and Creators of “A Million Little Things” Reflect on the Lessons the Series Taught Them

“When we were shooting the pilot, I talked to the [Executive Producers] about, ‘This is my plan for where we're going,’” recalled A Million Little Things series creator DJ Nash during a TCA press conference to promote the upcoming fifth and final season. “Whenever I write a pilot, I like to know what the finale is so that you know what you're writing towards. It's never been relevant before, but on this one it was. So we knew, right from the beginning, this is where we're going. It was really kind of amazing because it was a secret that was held between the EPs and the writers for a long time. And then as new writers came in, that was sort of the first-day initiation, was telling that story.”



“It feels like a bookend in some ways, that the friend group is going to rally around Gary and be there for him as he struggles with the diagnosis that he just got at the end of season four,” showrunner Terrence Coli said about the parallels between the first and final seasons. When the series began, longtime friends bonded over the suicide of one of their peers. This time, a character is fighting to save his life. “That's what this friend group has always done and has always done best, which is be there for each other and show up through all the trials and tribulations. I think that's why we love watching them every week.”

“She's getting the chance to pay forward what Gary did for her,” actress Allison Miller said about her character Maggie, whose husband’s cancer came back at the end of last season. “She fought him so hard for a long time. And the fact that now she gets to be the person who is supporting him and caretaking, it means a lot to me as an actor to be able to tie something up creatively that way. And I think emotionally, for Maggie and Gary, it's just a really beautiful story to be able to tell.”

“Gary's number one coping mechanism is comedy,” James Roday Rodriguez shared about his character’s response to tough situations. “His default is to cover everything with humor… I think it's a decent approach to dealing with tragedy and adversity, not that there's anything wrong with feeling your feelings. That's okay too. But we've all been taught that from the moment we all started eating breakfast a healthy balance is important… Otherwise, I don't know that you'd be able to make it, or anyone would be able to watch it if there weren't a couple of jokes.”

“I don't think it's just always about having happy endings, but how can you put one foot in front of the other and how can you organically get it to a place that seems to make sense to people,” proposed Grace Park, who plays Katherine. “The show reflects a lot of different people in areas in life that were not necessarily previously talked about. And so it really offers a lot of movement and conversations and changes the stigma of things. And I think that's one of the wonderful legacies of A Million Little Things.” Grace talked about her own personal change and growth over the course of this five-year journey and how the show as really helpful in prodigy her with a space to play. “Even if it's fake, the feelings still feel real… I feel really very blessed to have such an amazing arc.”

“Over the last five years, the people that I've encountered who watch the show, the stories that they've shared with me, the awareness that I've been forced to have because of the responsibility that comes with these depictions, it's changed my life,” shared Romany Malco, who plays Rome. “It's made me a different person and made me aware of how many people extremely close to me are actually dealing with these real things that we depict in our show. And, honestly, I was a bit blind and insensitive to some of it because of my lack of awareness, because of my ignorance, because of my insulated existence to some degree. And so, for me, five years have gone by, and I feel like a much more responsible parent, a much more supportive spouse, a much more tuned-in son and brother because of my experience on the show, and even a better friend. And I would just hope that other people who are watching it feel that that DJ and Terrence and the writers have actually made a conscious effort of making sure that they depict these stories and these struggles in a responsible way. And hopefully, it's affected other people in the same way.”

Look back on how A Million Little Things has changed you as a viewer as you head into this fifth and final season, premiering Wednesday, February 8th, at 10/9c on ABC. Episodes are available to stream on Hulu the day after air.

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