Milo Ventimiglia sat down for an interview for the This Is Us “Aftershow,” in which he revealed teasers for fans of the beloved NBC drama ahead of the second part of the show’s heartbreaking “Songbird Road” episodes.
Ventimiglia sat down with show producer Kevin Falls and they spoke about the Jack Pearson’s past and his brother Nicky’s (Michael Angarano/Griffin Dunne) regrets. Falls said that the writers’ intent is to get past Jack’s “perfect father” persona and get under the layers of who the character truly is and why he evolved into the person he was.
“Jack had to move on, it was his choice in life,” said Ventimiglia regarding the difficulties the character had in rectifying his troubled past with little brother Nicky.
Fans of This is Us learned Nicky was involved in a tragedy while stationed in Vietnam with his brother that resulted in the innocent death of a little Vietnamese boy. The boy and Nicky were fishing on a boat together. Jack thought Nicky caused the boy’s death, but in fact, the two came under fire while out in the water and the outcome was not Nicky’s fault. The guilt the character carried throughout his life haunted him, and the incident sealed his fate with his big brother, who was always his protector.
“I love Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) journey in particular because he was the one most distanced from his dad,” explained Ventimiglia of Kevin’s search for his father’s past in Vietnam. Jack told Kevin in one of the show’s iconic flashback sequences that “a kid can either repeat the mistakes of his old man or he corrects them.”
This was a full-circle moment for the character, who would journey with his brother and sister Randall and Kate (Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz) to reunite his uncle with their family, introducing him to the clan which includes Jack’s wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore).
“I’m constantly amazed by what we are mining in the life of this man,” revealed Ventimiglia of this two-part episode. Falls also revealed that the five-year gap between when Jack returned from Vietnam and the time he married Rebecca will likely be explored in upcoming seasons of the show.
Ventimiglia noted that he looks forward to delving more into “Jack’s pain and the things that make him happy” in the episodes to come.
This is Us returns Tuesday, February 10, with the second part of the titular episode, in which more of Jack’s past will be revealed beginning at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.