Milo Ventimiglia says it was chemistry at first sight when he met Mandy Moore. The This Is Us star, who plays patriarch Jack Pearson on the hit NBC drama, wrote a guest column for Variety in which he detailed his first chemistry read with his future TV wife before she was hired to play Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us.
Ventimiglia revealed that not only did he have instant chemistry with Mandy Moore, but that she changed his performance for the better. Ventimiglia wrote that on the day he first met Mandy Moore, he had already met with several other actresses who were being considered to play Rebecca Pearson. But something about Moore stood out to him.
“The day that we met… what I saw in Mandy was this intense focus but yet this kind-hearted human being that was bursting at the seams with warmth…. In our first meeting, it felt like she was bringing something out of my performance that nobody else was doing, and I think I was doing that with her.”
Ventimiglia went on to explain that it instantly felt “natural” when he began reading intimate This Is Us scenes with Mandy Moore.
“Once we got in the room and we were reading scenes together, it just felt natural. We were playing husband and wife of five years, expecting kids, and there’s an intimacy with that, and even in the room that very first time, I would say to her, ‘I’m going to put my face in your neck, is that OK? I’m going to have my hand on your back, is that OK?'”
The co-stars’ comfort level was apparent during their first scenes together on the This Is Us pilot, which included Ventimiglia barely covered up with a Pittsburgh Steelers “Terrible Towel” and a cut-short love scene as Moore’s character went into labor with the couple’s triplet babies.
Milo Ventimiglia says that three seasons later, he and Mandy Moore continue to ask each other what they think when shooting certain scenes together. The This Is Us star added that the duo’s “simple” process is what has bonded them from the beginning, and it is something they have stuck with since first meeting on the set of the NBC drama series.
Of course, there’s another reason Milo and Mandy’s onscreen chemistry comes through so loud and clear. During an appearance last year on Megyn Kelly Today, Ventimiglia dished that “from action to cut,” he and Mandy Moore consider their TV marriage the real deal. Ventimiglia revealed that from the very beginning of the series in 2016, he told Mandy that she is his wife. The co-stars take things so far that they sometimes even watch This Is Us episodes together like a traditional husband and wife. It is clear that everything they are doing is working, as Jack and Rebecca Pearson are one of the most beloved couples on television.
In real life, Milo Ventimiglia also sounds like a proud husband when talking about Mandy Moore’s recent Hollywood Walk of Fame honor. In his Variety piece, the 41-year-old actor said Moore’s long-overdue honor is “a validation of a talent that has always been there.”
You can see Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia in a flashback scene on This Is Us in the video below.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.