October 04, 2017 / Emily / No Comments

THR – The star of the NBC drama also discusses the season premiere’s “painful” final scene and his character’s “inner demons.”
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of This Is Us, “A Manny-Splendored Thing.”]

Now that the sophomore season of This Is Us has revealed a big piece of its ongoing mystery — how Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) died — the show settled back into more of the overarching family drama with its second episode of the season on Tuesday. That included the entire family traveling to L.A. to visit Kevin (Justin Hartley) at a reunion show taping of The Manny, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) attempting to talk Randall (Sterling K. Brown) down from spinning out over the adoption, and Kate (Chrissy Metz) coming to terms with living in her mother’s shadow.

In the past storyline, viewers also saw the aftermath of Jack returning home following the epic fight with Rebecca (Mandy Moore), and confronting his alcoholism for real. The narrative also traveled back to the first time Jack promised Rebecca he’d quit, when him went to a boxing gym to confront his demons following a particularly soul-sucking day at work.

To catch up on all of the big Jack reveals from the first two episodes and to preview what’s next for the Pearson patriarch, THR caught up with Milo Ventimiglia. Here, he breaks down sobriety the second time around, his special relationship with Kate, and the fall of one of TV’s super dads.

What was your reaction to the house fire scene and how much, if any, of that revelation was actually a reveal for you?

Fogelman had shown me the ending before it screened so I had seen it and had an opportunity to kind of process it. It’s a painful moment. Everybody asks me how I personally feel about Jack’s death but I don’t know that there is a feeling other than sorrow for the rest of the Pearsons. It’s powerful and it’s only a piece of what happened to Jack, which still remains to be uncovered. We’re kept really informed, which is nice because in essence it informs our choices as actors. We have everything we need to play these moments and characters and even to understand the timeline. It helps to know the family history; having a creator that’s giving us all the information is really beneficial.

At the beginning of the first season Jack’s death was originally in the pilot so you were speaking freely about it for a while. Given that, were you surprised at how much this mystery blew up?

It’s definitely who shot J.R. I never imagined it would take on a world of its own, have dedicated articles and whatnot. But that’s encouraging; people are invested and they want to know about this man and this family. All I’ve ever said is be patient and the story is going to unfold how and when it’s supposed to.

Is it a relief that people have at least a bit of the puzzle revealed now?

Yes, 100 percent. It’s tough. Even going into the first season when we didn’t want to give the reveal that they were actually a family, it took a lot of strategic wording, especially doing the press. And that’s something we had to be out doing, promoting. It’s difficult to promote something that you can’t really talk about because you want the audience to have a true reaction to it. I’m happy people have seen the burnt down house and that they know it has something to do with Jack’s death, but I’m still looking forward to that being completed at some point this season.

What has it been like to dig into this antihero version of Jack after painting him as a hero the entire first season?

I try to understand that Jack is human. As much as people have projected this perfect husband or father image on him, I’ve always said he’s made mistakes and he has a past. Those are the things that shape him and make him lead with goodness and strength and a positive attitude towards life. We saw a little bit of his past at the end of the season with relation to his father and poor choices he made when he was younger, and we’re going to dive more into that and understand his younger years.

Is that projection of perfection a part of why he’s gone back to the bottle or is that a direct result of his demons?

It’s his demons. If you’re an alcoholic, it’s an every day struggle. It’s an every minute struggle from what I’ve researched and based on conversations I’ve had with men and women who have dealt with this, not only for themselves but with their families. Every moment you’re thinking about it. That’s addiction. Knowing that it’s in Jack’s DNA and part of who he is, it’s something he struggles with. But he has the positivity of his children and wife so when things start to teeter those are the vulnerable moments where he questions if he can have a drink and be fine. But then that one turns to two and then more. Those issues have been packed away but we’re going to unpack them this year.
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June 07, 2017 / Emily / No Comments

NY POST – This is the year Milo Ventimiglia became a dad — at least on TV.

The 39-year-old actor already enjoyed a reputation as a Hollywood heartthrob, playing younger parts like those of irresistibly brooding teen Jess Mariano on “Gilmore Girls” and empath Peter Petrelli on “Heroes.” But he finally got to act his age for the role of Jack Pearson, a father who — after the death of one of his newborn triplets — decides to adopt an orphaned baby on the premiere episode of NBC’s “This Is Us.”

“I wanted to play a good man,” Ventimiglia tells Alexa after our cover shoot, sitting on an outdoor patio in Los Angeles’ Benedict Canyon, as wind chimes ring in the background. “It was very simple how he loved his wife, how he loved his kids.”

That unabashed love helped “This Is Us” become network television’s biggest sensation in years. (Its trailer broke streaming records last May, four months before the show premiered.) The series leaps back and forth through time, showing the close-knit, interracial Pearson family at different ages while dangling a sobering fact before its besotted audience: Jack dies and his wife, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), remarries.

Ventimiglia, who has changed from his designer photoshoot threads into an effortlessly cool black T-shirt and jeans, knew he was playing a dead man when he signed on for the project (even if the particulars of his character’s death remain a mystery to viewers).

“I know how [Jack dies], I know when, I know why. It didn’t sway me at all. [Executive producer Dan] Fogelman said to me, ‘Milo, don’t worry. Just because Jack is dead in the present day doesn’t mean you’re going to be off the show.’ ”

Indeed, Ventimiglia remains a pivotal father figure both on-camera and off.

“I try to show up even on the days I’m not working,” he explains. “I do a lot of photography behind the scenes. I shoot everything on film [that takes place] in the past and everything on digital [that takes place] in the present. I try to be around, be that Papa Pearson.”
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March 14, 2017 / Emily / No Comments

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – The last episode of This Is Us ended on a rather ominous note, as we watched a not-exactly-sober Jack hop in a car, apparently headed to Rebecca’s gig a few hours away to save his marriage. The final episode of This Is Us this season, titled “Moonshadow,” will show you the results of that ill-advised car ride. Will this be the event that sends him to the morgue? Milo Ventimiglia, the man who plays Jack, isn’t saying one way or another, but it sounds like he wants you to at least brace for that possibility when he tells EW: “People want to know what happens with Jack. This may be the time when they find out.”

Or this: “It’s almost like that drink is a bit of a truth serum and a relaxer to the way that he thinks, ‘I’m going to go get my wife back.’ And it’s a poor decision on his part that may lead to his death.”

Or definitely this: “Papa Pearson is very concerned for the audience right now.”

But the season finale — which was co-written by series creator Dan Fogelman and focuses primarily on the Pearson parents — also takes us deep into the past, specifically the year 1972, right before Jack meets Rebecca. “It’s an episode that goes beyond the Jack and Rebecca that we know,” says Ventimiglia.

Indeed, Jack returns from Vietnam and is having trouble making a living, and living at home with his parents. “That was a tough era for Vietnam vets — coming home from war, they weren’t welcomed with open arms,” says Ventimiglia. “A lot of them were spit on, and coming back troubled, having seen some pretty bad things. Even though it may appear that Jack was unscathed by it, I think there’s a deeper understanding to what Jack experienced that we may only see the surface of it and not know what lies beneath. He comes home from a war and ultimately, quietly, there’s a bit of a war at home. It’s no surprise that Jack has had a bad relationship with his father, and that continues.”

Rebecca (Mandy Moore), meanwhile, is pursuing a music career that hasn’t taken off, and she’s facing societal pressures to settle down with a husband. “All of her girlfriends are married, the eye on their prize is meeting marriage material, and Rebecca’s eye is on her music that isn’t quite going the way that she was hoping,” he says. “But at the same time that’s what she’s interested in and that’s where her focus lies…. It’s always about singing and being on a stage for her. “

Ventimiglia hints at a pair of scenes late in the episode that should have fans talking. “They change the game of what the show is,” says Ventimiglia. “They’re two incredibly impactful moments — one’s seeking conflict, and one’s seeking resolution. You may not completely disagree with the conflict, and you may not agree with the resolution, but they sit on complete opposite sides of one another.”

And how would he describe the overall vibe of the episode? “It’s definitely heartbreaking, but it has the Fogelman wink and a smile that will keep you thinking about what just happened. That’s been always the best part about – you can call them cliffhangers — with our show. There might have been only one, where you really have to know what happened, and that was: What happened to Toby? That was the one where you go, ‘Oh my god, I gotta wait four weeks? This is horrible! Screw you people!’ This one feels like it could potentially be a little more reflective. But I don’t think it diminishes the capacity of it in any way.”

Moonshadow” airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

January 18, 2017 / Emily / No Comments

Milo recently did a photoshoot and interview with The Wrap. You can check out some amazing portraits in the gallery and watch the interview video below!

THE WRAP – Milo Ventimiglia knows one of the biggest secrets of NBC’s “This Is Us”: When and how his fan-favorite character Jack is going to die.

But just because we already know Jack Pearson will suffer an untimely fate, that doesn’t mean the character is going anywhere.

“I do know when you’re going to know, but just wait,” he told TheWrap’s Stuart Brazell. “You may get some teasers as to when, very soon. But I think the thing to know is that Jack’s time with his family is limited. But he’s not going anywhere because Jack and Rebecca are in the past, and reflect very much how they impact the Big Three in the present day. I think it’s safe to say that Jack will be around for the life of the show.”

That doesn’t mean it’s going to be smooth sailing for the Pearsons, of course, on this show known for its shocking twists and turns. Ventimiglia revealed the last 13 episodes of Season 1 are going to be even more of a roller coaster.

“We have another episode coming up, next week… some bombs are dropped,” he previewed. “Then we come back for 13 and I think a lot happens. It’s one of those things where it gets a pace, and then it just moves faster and faster going into that very, very explosive end of Episode 18.”

“This Is Us” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.