YAHOO – As we enter Emmy season — nomination voting runs June 12 to June 26 — Yahoo TV will be spotlighting performances and other contributions that we feel deserve recognition.
Milo Ventimiglia isn’t a father. But he plays a really great one on TV. And it’s beginning to rub off on him.
“Your parents are these gods getting you through life, and playing Jack, I’ve really started to understand just exactly what that commitment and that love was to raise a child. My god my parents were saints,” the This Is Us actor, who used his father as an inspiration for Jack, tells Yahoo TV. “My dad is the greatest guy. He was never not there for us kids.”
Just like a real parent, Ventimiglia beams with pride when talking about the child actors who play his faux nine-year-old offspring — Mackenzie Hancsicsak (Kate), Lonnie Chavis (Randall), and Parker Bates (Kevin). “I’m the luckiest guy in the world getting to work with all those wonderful young actors,” he says. “They’ve got such heart, such passion.”
It is also not uncommon to see him helping his young co-stars with homework, inquiring about how school’s going, bringing them gifts, or fooling around between takes. “I try to create this fun atmosphere. I’ve made myself available like one of their parents. Like, ‘Hey, if you need anything let me know,’” he says, before adding where he draws the line between fact and fiction. “I’m not going to give [them] an allowance.”
Ventimiglia even got verklempt when talking about one of his favorite scenes from Season 1, in which young Kate is body-shamed and bullied and Jack saves the day with a story and a magic shirt. “We finally [get] a chance to see Jack interact with and advise his kids; be a dad to them,” he says, explaining why he selected the scene from the episode “The Pool” to revisit for Yahoo TV’s “My Scene to Remember” Emmy series. Kate, who boldly wore a bikini without a cover-up to the community pool despite her mother’s suggestion, gets a note from the other girls saying that she embarrasses them — and it includes a picture of a pig because, as Ventimiglia succinctly puts it, “Kids can be such little sh**s. They don’t know how much their words impact fellow classmates.”