Jason Ritter Talks 'Parenthood' Cast Closeness & His TV Family's Adorable Goodbye Gift

When Mark Cyr revealed his engagement to Sarah in his (probable) final Parenthood appearance last season, it was heartbreaking to watch — and especially so for Jason Ritter, who, in addition to seeing his character lose the woman he once loved, had to say goodbye to his castmates after two years of working side by side on the beloved show.

"At a certain point, it feels like a relationship," he says. "When you break up with someone, you don’t get to see them every day, and you loved seeing them every day. And when you don’t get to work on a show anymore, you don’t get to see those people as much as you would normally, and so you miss them."

That must be especially hard to handle when your castmates are the stars of Parenthood, who, from all their Instagrams, tweets, and on-set videos, seem to genuinely be as close as the Bravermans themselves. Ritter confirms this, saying that the bond between his own (almost) on-screen family, played by Lauren Graham, Mae Whitman, and Miles Heizer, is particularly strong, a fact that came in handy once he left the show.

"Every once in awhile, Lauren and Mae and Miles will invite me to dinner, and we’ll all catch up, in the family we never got to have," Ritter says, laughing.

Graham and her TV siblings even reached out to the actor in a sweet, intimate gesture.

"Mae and Miles and Lauren all have a little gold chain that’s sort of their Braverman family thing, and they did it for just the three of them, and when I was leaving the show, they got me a gold chain and told me that I wasn’t allowed to take it off, so I still have it on," reveals Ritter. "That makes me feel nice."

Ritter will also miss the show itself, of which he says he's a big fan.

"The funny thing is, going on that show and coming off of it, not being a regular, is that I had plenty of time in the first and second season to become a die hard fan," he laughs. "So then it was this weird thing where I would get to go on it, and I would get a script and be like, oh my gosh, spoiler alert! I know all this stuff happens."

Image: NBC