Braverman blues. Jason Ritter‘s Mark Cyr appeared on several seasons of the beloved NBC drama Parenthood as the love interest of Sarah Braverman, played by Lauren Graham. But in the series finale in 2015, she officially tied the knot with photographer Hank Rizzoli (Ray Romano).
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“I thought that they had such a beautiful relationship and, obviously, I also was rooting for Mark and Sarah. But I think things like that, especially with relationships are matters with the heart … there were maybe enough things that even though they clearly loved each other so much, I think Sarah really was worried that Mark would realize that one day he really did want to have children when she said, ‘I don’t want to have anymore,’” Ritter, 42, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting his new series, Slumberkins, on Wednesday, October 26. “And those things that you maybe put aside at the beginning of a relationship because you care about each other so much and you love each other so much, so you just go, ‘Well, we’ll deal with that.’ Or like, ‘Maybe they’ll change their mind or I’ll change my mind and I really believe that I don’t need this or I don’t want this.’”
Mark and Sarah, who have a 12-year age gap, met when he taught her daughter Amber’s (Mae Whitman) English class. Hank, meanwhile, hires Sarah in season 4 as his assistant. Although Mark breaks off their engagement and later tries to reconcile, Sarah ultimately decides to be with Hank in the end.
“There was something sort of painful and beautiful and bittersweet and all of the wonderful emotions that that show gives when she sees Mark again after everything’s gone on and he has a kid and he has moved forward in that way. And he seems happy and she seems happy and they’ll always just have a special place in each other’s heart,” Ritter told Us. “I think they’ll always be thankful for that relationship and how it made them feel. And all of the pain of the breakup kind of will wash back into the sea and they’ll just be thankful that person came into their life for as long as they did.”
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He cheekily added: “And I also think Mark’s still happy that he got into that Christmas photo even though it ended up not working out.” (In season 4’s premiere, Mark was initially not invited to pose for the family portrait because he and Sarah were not married yet.)
“Sarah and I are engaged, as you know,” Mark says to Sarah’s mother Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) in the episode. “And I think I should be in the family portrait with you guys. … I’m not going anywhere. I’m in love with her. And I respect family policy. But I am a part of your family. And I am proud to be part of the family. I guess I want you to be proud of it too.”
His speech paid off, and he was ultimately asked to join in the photo, which was taken by Hank.
Ritter has worked in all mediums, but TV stands out to him the most. “They all have different things that I love about them. But I will say there’s something about television that I think is so special … You’ve signed on knowing the first chapter and who your character is, and then you’re on the journey. And it’s so fun to get to know a character and then get to read another chapter. And I’ve never been able to do it for years, but even for the one or two years at a time that I’ve been able to stay with a character on TV, it’s so fun to get to see the new scenarios that they find themselves in. And there’s a comfort level,” he told Us. “Sometimes with theater or film, it feels like you just got to know a character and then you have to leave and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s alright. Bye. That was fun.’”
Ritter’s Slumberkins premieres globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 4.