Surprising Facts Everyone Should Learn About Milo Ventimiglia From ‘This Is Us’
We know he was the bad boy on Gilmore Girls and that he got Rory in that car accident, but come on! He was so dreamy and misunderstood by the adults. We rooted for Jess to be the one to wind up with her in the end. And by “we,” we mean people who were correct and smart. Why did we love Jess so much? Because he was played by Milo Ventimiglia. We didn’t just love him in Gilmore Girls. We’ve loved him in everything he’s been in.
And this dude has been in a lot. He’s been onscreen practically since he was a little kid. He grew up in front of our eyes, from This Is Us all the way back to when he was on… well, you’ll see. Because there’s a ton of stuff you don’t know about this stud, but you totally should. Here are some surprising facts about Milo Ventimiglia.
What's In a Name?
Yes, his last name may be hard to spell and even pronounce. But he became a star nonetheless.
What is it that Shakespeare said? “A rose, something, something, just as stunningly and jaw-droppingly handsome?” Something like that.
Yet, his first agent wanted him to go by “Milo Vent.” Maybe to cover up that partial Italian heritage? Who knows? We’re glad that he stuck to his guns and went with his actual name, because we can’t imagine anything else.
Speaking Of His Name...
So he decided to stick with his real name. But have you ever wondered what’s up with his name?
Ventimiglia was named after the character Milo Minderbinder in Joseph Heller’s classic novel Catch-22. His full name is Milo Anthony Ventimiglia.
So, as if he wasn’t lovable enough due to his personality and of course his good looks, he also comes from a family that is well-read and names kids after cool characters? Yeah, we’re just gonna swoon over here.
Ventimiglia grew up in Orange County, California with his two older sisters Leslie and Laurel.
Having a female dominated household ended up shaping not only the actor that he is today, but also the person.
“My sisters and mom raised me to respect women and open doors for them,” says the total gentleman. Yeah, this guy is too good to be true. We can only love someone so much before it begins to get borderline unhealthy.
Jess never fit in and always dreamed of leaving his small town. He was a pop punk song brought to life.
We actually almost got to see a lot of that. Apparently, Ventimiglia’s character on Gilmore Girls was supposed to have a spin-off show called Windward Circle.
The show was going to center around Jess moving to Venice, California. It was scrapped when the network found out it would be too expensive to film on location.
Life Imitates Art
You know how sometimes when actors portray a couple onscreen that romance and chemistry bleeds into the real world?
That happened with Gilmore Girls. Ventimiglia dated Alexis Bledel from 2002 to 2006. Sadly, Rory and Jess didn’t wind up together in the real world either.
The Gilmore Girls co-stars broke up, but had discussed marriage during their low-profile relationship. Well, some things aren’t meant to be. And on the bright side, that means maybe we have a shot?
Alexis Bledel wasn’t the only co-star he wound up dating. Ventimiglia also dated his Heroes co-star Hayden Panettiere.
They even had an adorable celebrity mash-up couple name: “Haylo.” Normally, we’d gag at that, but these two are so angelic, it makes sense.
So did they make it work? Sadly, the couple split in 2009, with their 12-year age difference cited as one of the reasons. But on the bright side… there still may be a chance for us? Don’t crush our dreams, common sense and reality!
As stated, Milo started young. He had his on-screen debut on an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1995.
“I had one line on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but I met Will Smith and he took 20 minutes out of his day to talk to the kid with one line.
To this day, I think that guy is amazing because of that,” Ventimiglia says of the experience. You can watch a clip of his performance here.
Other Early Roles
The Fresh Prince wasn’t Milo’s only cameo appearance in the ‘90s. He also showed up in places you likely saw him but didn’t realize it.
He also showed up for the briefest of instances in an episode of Sabrina The Teenage Witch.
He also appeared in a movie. ‘90s kids definitely remember the film She’s All That. He’s on the junior varsity, cleaning up Laney’s house. He isn’t an overnight success. Our man had to work for what he got!
Besides television shows, Milo has also done some acting for music videos. Here’s one you may remember.
Ventimiglia starred in Fergie’s music video for Big Girls Don’t Cry. He plays Fergie’s tatted up and shirtless boyfriend.
While his music video look wasn’t real, Ventimiglia does have a tattoo on his upper arm. His ink is of a star and is a reference to the line, “got a pocketful of rainbows, got a star up my sleeve,” in the Elvis Presley song “Pocket Full of Rainbows.”
Like A Brother
Remember when we mentioned that Milo’s character Jess in Gilmore Girls was going to get his own spin-off?
They actually went pretty deep into the project before it was ultimately scrapped. How deep? They started casting it.
Actor Adrian Pasdar was cast to play Ventimiglia’s older brother in Windward Circle. That would have been awesome, but sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. But we did see the next best thing. Eight years later, Pasdar would go on to play Ventimiglia’s brother in Heroes.
Milo isn’t just attractive because of his perfect jawline or those eyes that you could absolutely just swim in… although we’re not mad at them.
Ventimiglia is known for his sexy, crooked smile. But his smile is actually caused by dead nerve endings on the left side of his face.
Ventimiglia was born with that condition and it causes that side of his mouth to be immobile. So… hot and inspirational? Come on! This guy is the best.
With his grizzly beard and perfect mustache and overall aura of manliness, you’d guess that Milo is a huge red meat eater.
That’s not the case at all. He doesn’t even get his protein from chicken or pork, either.
The self-described “softie” actor is a vegetarian, and has been since he was a kid. Milo was raised a vegetarian, and has said of himself, “I’m tough on the outside and soft on the inside.” Aww!
Remember when we mentioned how he grew up in a house full of women? This led to some hilarity.
He admitted during a visit on The Ellen DeGeneres Show some years back that his older sisters used to dress him up like Madonna.
It was during the “Lucky Star” era, which he considered a blessing. There were pictures of this, but we’ll never see them because at age 13 he found them and disposed of the evidence. But we at least still have the story.
Besides acting, he has also directed. He had a Deadliest Warrior type web series at one point.
It helped settle pop culture debates like, “Who’s tougher, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, or Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones?” Sadly, you can’t find it anywhere.
He also directed a web series with clothing store American Eagle called “It’s A Mall World” and followed the misadventures of an AE sales associate and her fellow mall employees. He also worked on their animated holiday miniseries Winter Tales.
He was in the show Powers, but what type of power would he want if given the choice in the real world?
He said that if he could choose, he would want the “power of persuaion.”
Why? “Think about it: You could walk into a foreign country and start a war – if you’re so evil,” Ventimiglia said in the same TV Guide interview. “If you’re peaceful, you could walk into a foreign country and end a war just by talking to someone.”
So Jess knew a lot about cars, but did Milo? He sure did, and he was happy to share that knowledge.
He actually gave extensive advice on how to take care of a car in an interview he gave to the magazine ELLEgirl.
It was a very feature where hot celebrity dudes shared their car tips, and he provided millions of probably-not-license-owning girls with insightful knowledge like, “For your first car, don’t buy a certain brand just because it’s trendy.” Thanks!
So we’re out here unabashedly testifying about our love for and the greatness of Milo Ventimiglia.
But he once testified in court for an actual, worthy cause. He testified in a case against the paparazzi.
He wasn’t alone, either. He went with celebrities the likes of John Mayer and Eric Roberts to get stricter rules thrown on aggressive paparazzi after a dangerous car incident in West Hollywood. Making the world a better place for everyone (famous). Way to go!
Being a celebrity isn’t all glitz and glamor. Well… it can be, but the best celebs are the ones who try to help and give back.
Milo? Of course he’s one of the best celebs, and here’s what he did:
He recorded a video for an epilepsy support organization. It’s a small spot (like his early TV work), but very sweet. In it, Ventimiglia says that if you have epilepsy and participate in sports, don’t be afraid to tell your coach and teammates about it.
We’ve talked enough about his looks, but you know what else makes him hot? His voice.
And he’s put it to good use. He’s narrated a bunch of audio books. Makes sense, since he was named after a literary character.
He also got to voice the X-Men’s Wolverine in a Marvel anime. He wanted to be another hero, as well. During the Christopher Nolan era of Batman films, Ventimiglia was wanted to take up Dick Grayson’s mantle as Robin.
So did Milo always want to be an actor since he was a little boy?
Heck, he practically started acting when he was a little boy, but he actually did think about different career paths.
In a Reddit AMA, Ventimiglia was asked if he considered any other career options when he was younger, to which he then responded, “Doctor and military life were my other choices. Acting ultimately won out.” And thank goodness for that!