Despite growing signs that their romance is more rooted in real life, with all its warts, than fairy tales, Sullivan told PEOPLE that “the key to a good relationship is how you repair the stress fractures.”
“And I think Toby and Kate, as they try to get over their insecurities, that they become that healing force for each other,” he said at NBC and Vanity Fair Toast the 2016-2017 TV Season event on Wednesday.
“I hope it’s a romance for the ages,” he said of his character’s coupling with Metz’s Kate. “I think seven seasons of this romance would be just fine by me.”
As the show progresses, we continue to find out more and more about Kate’s struggles, her childhood and ultimately what molded her into the woman she is today. But, what about Toby?
“I think you’re going to learn a couple of things about Toby that kind of put his upbeat attitude and his sense of humor into perspective,” Sullivan teased.
Since the show’s premiere, the NBC hit has quickly grabbed the attention of viewers around the world.
“I think what people are connecting with is there are two things that I think everyone can relate to, and that is everyone has a sense of shame about something, and everybody is attempting to overcome that shame by connecting with the people that they love,” Sullivan said. “And it’s hard to face sometimes, the things that we feel ashamed of, or shame about. But the true path to a loving connection is battling those things and bringing them out into the open.”
RELATED VIDEO: Chrissy Metz Talks Being a Role Model for This Is Us Fans Struggling with Their Weight
Metz opened up to PEOPLE recently about her lifelong struggle with body image.
“I remember being at Weight Watchers at, like, 11 years old and my mom just trying to figure it out for me,” said the 36-year-old actress. “It’s one of those things where it’s heartbreaking because, as a parent, you want your child to have the best life possible and you want them to be protected and in this little bubble where everybody finds them to be beautiful and perfect and their lives to be amazing. But that’s not always the case.”
While embracing “a bit of a spiritual journey,” she decided to put aside others’ opinions and to “focus on who I am, business or no business, actress or no actress. And things just kind of started falling into place.”
This Is Us airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on NBC.