'Parenthood's Jason Ritter Talks Rooting for Mark & If He'll Ever Return to Berkeley
If someone who'd only watched Parenthood season 1 took a look at the show's most recent episodes, they'd be shocked by a lot: Julia and Joel's crumbling marriage, Max as a teenager, and, perhaps most of all, the fact that Sarah is somehow the most stable member of the Braverman family. Years after moving in with her parents and desperately trying to figure out her life, Sarah (Lauren Graham) is now a working photographer who successfully raised her kids and, after some hesitation, entered a healthy, happy relationship with Hank (Ray Romano). Yet while her maturity is something nearly all fans can get on board with, her romantic life, specifically her decision to choose Hank over her ex, Mark, is irksome to some, including one Parenthood viewer with a particular stake in the issue.
"I really did root for Mark and Sarah," Jason Ritter, who plays Mark, tells Bustle. "I got super excited towards the end of that last season, when he was like, 'I’m gonna fight for you!' And I read that scene where she decides to choose Hank with the same amount of heartache that Mark felt."
That scene, a sad, heartbreaking moment in Parenthood's season 4 finale, seemed to signify Mark's exit from the show, after two seasons of on-and-off involvement, several weeks-long arcs followed by episodes of absence. Yet just a year later, he was back, arriving in Berkeley to tell Sarah, now single, that he was engaged to someone else. With the exes ending their reunion on a heartfelt note, it seemed like Mark's stay on Parenthood had reached its end, this time for real — but according to Ritter, that might not be the case.
"My sense is that it ended with my telling Sarah that Mark was engaged, but also I thought that it was over many times before and they’ve brought me back," he says. "I honestly have no idea."
If asked to return, Ritter says that he would "in a heartbeat."
"I love it so much," he says. "But I know they have a lot of storylines to contend with, and I have no idea if Mark will be a part of that."
Considering that Parenthood 's season 5 finale saw Sarah and Hank get back together, the return of Mark is unlikely, but then again, so was his appearance last season. Still, as much as the actor would like to come back, Mark might be better off staying far, far away from Berkeley.
"If he’s not a part of it," Ritter says, laughing, "that means that his engagement went well and he’s happy somewhere. If he shows back up, then something went wrong."
Images: NBC (2)