Milo Ventimiglia Claims He Wasn’t the First Choice for ‘This Is Us’

Can you imagine someone else playing Jack Pearson on NBC’s This Is Us“? According to Milo Ventimiglia, the actor who plays the well-loved dad on the drama series, he almost didn’t land the role.

Ventimiglia (pictured at the the Entertainment Weekly and People Upfronts party) told Variety that the producers had a completely different actor in mind to play opposite Mandy Moore’s Rebecca. He said he auditioned with a full beard and long hair, which became his character’s trademark look.

Chatting with Freida Pinto as part of Variety’s Actor on Actors series, the actor recalled auditioning for creator Dan Fogelman and executive producers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and how he “wasn’t who they were looking for.”

Entertainment Weekly And PEOPLE Upfronts Party At Second Floor In NYC Presented By Netflix And Terra Chips - Arrivals
CREDIT: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly and PEOPLE
Entertainment Weekly And PEOPLE Upfronts Party At Second Floor In NYC Presented By Netflix And Terra Chips - Arrivals
CREDIT: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly and PEOPLE

“They wanted somebody completely different,” Ventimiglia confessed. “I walked in with my beard and my long hair and set my motorcycle helmet down and they went, ‘Who is this guy?'”

“And we just started having a conversation and then we read the lines, and I think they just saw something different than someone who had practiced the words,” he continued. “And they picked me.”

Watch that clip below.

Entertainment Weekly And PEOPLE Upfronts Party At Second Floor In NYC Presented By Netflix And Terra Chips - Arrivals
CREDIT: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly and PEOPLE

His co-star Moore doesn’t believe those claims.

“That’s not true!” the 32-year-old actress told ET’s Katie Krause during a press junket for 47 Meters Down on Friday, referencing Ventimiglia’s recent comments where he suggested creator Fogelman “wanted somebody completely different.”

When asked why Ventimiglia would make those remarks, Moore chocked it up to the Gilmore Girls alum’s humility.

“Because he’s Milo and he’s sweet and has no ego,” she said. “When I went in to test for it and there were a couple of other guys, I knew going in that he was the one that they wanted. So that’s just Milo deferring — he’s just too sweet.”

Entertainment Weekly And PEOPLE Upfronts Party At Second Floor In NYC Presented By Netflix And Terra Chips - Arrivals
CREDIT: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly and PEOPLE
Entertainment Weekly And PEOPLE Upfronts Party At Second Floor In NYC Presented By Netflix And Terra Chips - Arrivals
CREDIT: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly and PEOPLE

So was she the first choice to play Jack’s wife, Rebecca? “No!” Moore said emphatically, downplaying the notion. “Auditioning for any project is such a crapshoot and I just feel lucky that, somehow, I lucked out and got to be a part of it.”

Milo Ventimiglia Says Producers Wanted Someone ‘Completely Different’ for His ‘This Is Us’ Role

In an interview with Freida Pinto as part of Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series, Milo Ventimiglia revealed that he wasn’t producers and directors’ first choice for “This Is Us.” http://bit.ly/VarietySubscribe

FOLLOW SOCIALITE LIFE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to keep up to date and for nonstop daily fun.