The 'Parenthood' Love Story You Didn't See: The Scoop on That Surprising Finale Cameo
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet watched the series finale of Parenthood, you may want to wait to read this post. But, once your eyes are dry, come back!
That Amber Holt sure knows her way around Dillon, Texas, right?!
The series finale of Parenthood brought its fair share of tears (four tissues worth for this writer), but it also brought one big surprise cameo. Jason Street George Tucker Scott Porter! The Friday Night Lights alum appeared ever so briefly in the final moments of the series as Amber's husband.
And we know that he was Amber's husband and not fiancé or boyfriend because we talked to Porter, as well as Parenthood and FNL showrunner Jason Katims, about that unforgettable scene. Behold, the love story you didn't see in the finale.
First, Porter's lineless character's name was Peter. He had a name. "That was my one condition," the actor tells Yahoo TV of accepting the gig. Peter had a daughter, which explains the little girl at Sarah and Hank's dinner table with him, Amber, Drew, and Ruby. Her name was Annabelle.
Second, some of Amber (Mae Whitman) and Peter's courtship was shot, but landed on the cutting room floor.
"There's a scene where they meet. Peter and his daughter are at what amounts to a Kidtown, like an indoor jungle gym playtime place. Peter has his daughter and Amber has Zeek. Zeek gets lost in the ball pit and Peter goes bravely in to save him and brings him back to Amber."
They clicked right away. "They have similar kinds of pasts," Porter explains. "Both were a little bit wild at one point, and both have kids they maybe weren't expecting but that were perfectly timed for them. They're single parents who met and were immediately drawn together."
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While no wedding was actually shot, Porter had no problem imagining the nuptials.
"I imagine it was a very small, intimate wedding. These are two people who are very protective of their families. So pretty small, except for the Braverman side — they come in numbers that most families don't come in anymore."
Signing on to such a small role may seem unusual, but Porter, who currently stars on Hart of Dixie had no qualms about it.
"We knew that we wanted to get a special actor for the role, and yet the role had no lines and it was one scene," Katims tells us. "We thought of Scott, and he was just incredible about it. No hesitation."
"I am the biggest Parenthood fan. When Jason Katims was honored down at the Austin Television Festival, I just very quickly walked over to Jason… and told him, 'Look, I know the schedules haven't worked out but I love the show so much, I'll do anything to be a part of it,'" Porter recalls. "When I told Jason I would do anything, I literally meant I would do background in a scene, and he took me up on my offer."
The shoot lasted two full days, but also landed on the very last day of filming, so Porter was present for Katims's final speech to the cast and crew.
"I felt like an outsider immediately, like I was somebody who was eavesdropping on a very intimate conversation… But, in typical Parenthood fashion, Mae and Peter Krause were like, 'You have to come over here! Scott, you're a part of the family. Come be a part of this.'"
"He just walked on and weirdly was able to become part of the family immediately," Katims reiterates.
Speaking of family, Porter and Matt Lauria, who played Amber's ex and the father of little Zeek, may both be members of the Friday Night Lights clan and good friends off camera, but their little handshake was actually their first time appearing on screen together.
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"It was nice to finally get ourselves on a little bit of celluloid and be able to share some screentime," Porter says. "He's one of my favorite people in the world, so it was a blast."
Still, the highlight of Porter's experience is pretty much exactly what it would be for any fan.
"When lunchtime hit, Dax [Shepard] had saved me a seat at the table and I sat down with him and with Ray [Romano] and Sam [Jaeger] and Erika [Christensen] and I was eating a meal with the Bravermans," Porter shares. "It was perfect for me. They didn't even have to pay me. That's all they had to do. It was just an amazing day."
Watch a clip from the Parenthood series finale:
Additional reporting by Dave Nemetz.