Milo Ventimiglia’s role on This Is Us has been something of a career resurgence for him, especially where TV acting is concerned. He previously starred in the shortlived TV show Heroes and recently revealed that he struggled to get work after the series was canceled. Ventimiglia told Access that he even thought about becoming a farmer in Italy when his prospects of acting again looked particularly grim.
“I was really having to re-evaluate what I was going to be doing because, you know, it’s a profession,” he said during the interview, as reported by People Magazine. “You need to feed yourself and clothe yourself and have a roof over your head. I was starting to see those things minimize.”
As for the plan to move to Italy, he had the details worked out, including a hairstyle change. If he moved, Ventimiglia would have cut off his dark locks and rocked a buzz cut. He also planned to grow his beard and just “live a quiet life” as a formerly famous farmer.
But luckily for This Is Us fans, he decided against the plan when he got a new acting job. It wasn’t for the award-winning NBC show. He was first cast in a string of films before his role on This Is Us became a reality. This is Us premiered in 2016 and has since gone on to win multiple Emmys and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Ventimiglia was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2018. On the show, Ventimiglia plays Jack Pearson, the father of triplets with wife Rebecca who’s played by Mandy Moore.
As People Magazine reports, this isn’t the first time that he’s been open about the career struggles he went through after Heroes was canceled. Last year, he said that he also considered becoming a car mechanic because it seemed like a more practical, steady job compared to acting.
“In Southern California there’s this auto school and it’s advertised ‘Everybody needs mechanics, because they need those cars fixed’ and I’m like, ‘That’s a job that’s going to be in demand, so why don’t I learn more than I already know about cars and professionally fix cars.'” he said in a chat with Entertainment Weekly Editorial Director Jess Cagle.
He added that a key disappointment for him was that people still thought of him as that guy from Heroes even when he did other roles.
With the success of This Is Us, it’s clear that that isn’t an issue anymore. And that’s a good thing or else Milo Ventimiglia probably would be farming in Italy with a beard and a buzz cut instead of thrilling audiences with his acting talent.