ESQUIRE – Milo Ventimiglia knows that America has been waiting months to watch him die. As Jack Pearson, the steadfast, selfless patriarch of NBC’s critical and commercial smash This Is Us, Ventimiglia has become TV’s most beloved dead man walking. Thanks to the show’s multiple timelines, we’ve known since early in the first season that Jack does not live to see the 21st century, and that his wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and adult children Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz), and Randall (Sterling K Brown) remain haunted by his untimely death. In tonight’s long-awaited, long-dreaded episode—so shrouded in mystery that NBC did not even release its title ahead of time—we finally saw the events of Jack’s death unfold.
When Ventimiglia called me in the early hours of Monday morning, moments after his post-episode appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, I did my best not to cry. Like millions of viewers nationwide, I was still processing the revelations of “Super Bowl Sunday”: that Jack did not perish in the fire that consumed the family home, but died a few hours later from a heart attack, resulting from complications from smoke inhalation.
“He sacrificed himself without even knowing that he was doing it,” Ventimiglia said, noting that Jack went back into the burning house to save not just the family dog, but also a collection of precious family possessions. “He was pulling memories out of that house.” It’s a pure, cinematic hero moment: Jack comes striding out of the house, soot-covered but beaming, clutching both the dog and his family’s memories.
His death in the hospital, by contrast, is quiet and awful, so sudden that Rebecca flatly disbelieves the doctor who delivers the news. The decision not to show Jack’s body directly—we see it reflected in a glass window, fuzzy and distant—was important for Ventimiglia. “I truly believe that nobody wants to see this man laid out in front of them,” he said, “and seeing Mandy’s reaction, slowly understanding that her husband is gone, is such a powerful moment, without needing to get into the gore and darkness of what death is.”
That may be cold comfort for fans, but Ventimiglia was also quick to note that Jack’s death does not mean he’s going anywhere. “I’ve been dead from the get-go,” he pointed out, “and though we’re now showing the death, we’re still gonna be bouncing around in different timelines. This is not the end of Jack.”
I first spoke with Ventimiglia on the Friday before tonight’s episode aired, a day that he spent “trying to prep for the bloodbath of this weekend.” He wasn’t referring to football, though the fateful house fire that kills Jack does in fact take place on Super Bowl Sunday in 1998, an extra twist of the knife for the Steelers-loving Pearson clan. “One of Jack’s favorite days,” Ventimiglia said wryly, noting that showrunner Dan Fogelman had planned on this date from the beginning and has teased out a series of clues about the timing and manner of Jack’s death throughout Season Two.
Yesterday (June 7), Milo attended the 20th Century Fox Television & NBC’s ‘This Is Us’ FYC Screening And Panel at The Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles, California. The gallery has been updated with HQ photos from the arrivals, panel, and cocktails.
Yesterday, the cast and producers of This Is Us attended the 34th Annual PaleyFest Los Angeles. The cast talked about some fan theories regarding Jack. Milo also mentioned that his dad is his inspiration on playing Jack. The gallery has now been updated with high quality photos from the event.
Public Appearances > 2017 > Mar 18 – PaleyFest LA – ‘This Is Us’ (Panel)
Milo visited the The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon earlier this week on February 21st. I have added a few HQ stills from the show to the gallery. You can watch interview clips below!
Yesterday (January 18), Milo and her co-stars from This Is Us attended the 2017 Winter Tour TCA. I have added high quality photos from the arrivals along with speaking at the panel. Enjoy! Dan Fogelman has said in next week’s episode we will learn more about Jack’s death.
“Next week’s episode is a big episode,” creator Dan Fogelman reavealed on the show’s panel during the 2017 TV Critics’ Association press tour when asked when we’ll learn more about the loss of Jack. “Next week is a big week, and then we have a while to go in the big picture.”
“Slowly but surely you’ll learn when, then much later how, and then you’ll see it, but that will take, hopefully, many many episodes,” Fogelman continued.
He explained that Jack and the family’s loss of Jack is the “hinge” of the series.
“The needle we have to continue to thread is sparsing out information so it never becomes too frustrating for people,” he told reporters. “There’s a before and after for this family. Even in the pilot, even before you knew there was anything off with Jack, there’s a hinge in this family, and it’s kind of a before with Jack and an after. That will be really interesting in future seasons and as we go forward, to show where that hinge was, how it happened and what happened to these people before and after it.”
“I knew from the very beginning that Jack was deceased,” Ventimiglia told a small group of reporters after the panel. “I think it fits very much into my ethos—Jack doesn’t know when it’s coming, though I know when Jack’s end is coming. We don’t know when any of us are going to close out on life, so I go back to Jack fundamentally. He wants to be a good husband, he wants to be a good father, he wants to enjoy the time that he has with the family that he’s made.” (Source)
Back on Tuesday (January 3), Milo made an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden. I have added stills from appearance to the gallery. You can also watch a clip from the interview below.
Welcome to the opening of Dreaming Ventimiglia! I have become a huge fan of Milo watching him in various roles and interviews and decided to do a site. I have been working on the site for sometime now, and although the site is not anywhere complete – I wanted to get the site open for the return of This Is Us on Tuesday!
You may know Milo from his roles in numerous television shows such as Gilmore Girls, Heroes, The Whispers, and more. He has also starred in a variety of films such as Pathology, Dirty Deeds, Rocky Balboa, That’s My Boy, and many more.
The photo gallery has already over 19,000+ photos from Milo’s appearances, photoshoots, television shows, film productions, and magazine scans. I will be working on the galler over the next weeks/months to add everything of Milo’s career.
Please take a look around the site and be sure to visit again. You can follow us on twitter at @ventimigliaorg.