A Whisper(s) with a Hero(es): interview with Milo Ventimiglia

It’s been 19 years since an 18 years-old boy has had the honor to debut on the TV screen alongside to Will Smith.

It was the 1995 and, for young teenagers like me who were born in the early ’80s, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was the signal that the study day was over and it was time to get ready for dinner (or, at least this happened in Italy  where the show was aired from 8pm to 8:45 pm).

On October 9th of that year, the series was at its 6th and final season. And, in the episode Bourgie Sings the Blues this dark-haired boy had made his brief appearance, just long enough for a line: “Hey relax Ash, we were just taking a little tour”.

I think anyone that day, would have imagined that 19 years later, in 2014, Milo Ventimiglia would have been one of the most long-awaited actors during Comic-Con and premieres around the world.

Recalling that first experience, Milo said: “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”.

Since that first experience, the filmography of Milo Ventimiglia has been enhanced dramatically, reaching, to date 57 credits as actor, nine as producer , four as director and one as writer.

There is nothing that he has not competed in over the years.

His career includes teen series like Gilmore Girls where, with the character of Jess Mariano he has experienced a first wave of international popularity in the early 2000s.

But also a political background series as American Dreams set during the Vietnam years;  or sci-fi like Heroes, the series that gave him the great international popularity with the character of Peter Petrelli.

Not only TV; Milo Ventimiglia was featured on the big screen in films such as Dirty Deeds, Winter Break, Pathology, Rocky Balboa … until the recent Grace of Monaco (watch the trailer here)

And more:  video games like X-Men: Destiny lending his voice to the character of Alexander Grant, music videos like Big Girls Do not Cry by Fergie and I can not make you love me by Priyanka; and TV commercials for Apple, T-Mobile,Nixon, …

As we said earlier, Milo Ventimiglia is not just an actor.

He found with his friend Russ Cundiff a Production Company called DiVide in 2003 and in 2005, with the addition of  radio/voice-over talent Dino DeMilio, they found the DiVide Social Club (here the link to the website), a Los Angeles-based clothing company actively involved in clothing design as well as the creation of original digital content for the Internet and wireless space.

Milo is also the producer of the web series Ch:os:en (watch here the trailer) starring himself (for the first two season) and One Tree Hill former star Chad Michael Murray and  airing via online streaming video service Crackle.

Vegetarian since childhood, Milo describes himself as a hodmebody. He doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink and he is not a fan of the worldly life link to his profession.

Soon Milo Ventimiglia will be on the big screen with three movies: Wild Card, Madtown and Tell (which is also the producer) and, now, he is on set for the new ABC awaited series The Whispers (read here our previous article and watch the trailer).

I had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful artist a couple of weeks ago at the London Film and Comic Con.

It took me three days of perseverance and patience, if we want to be honest they could also be considered persecution by a stalker (due to the huge queue of fans to please, certainly not due to a lack of accessibility or patience on his part) to have the honor  to get a brief interview with the guy who, on the screen, accompanied many of my teenage and college years.

It’s the last day of the LFCC. Just a few minutes at 9 am (opening time)  the people waiting already exceed one hundred. When I reach the station assigned to Milo some people are already forming a queue waiting for an autograph.

Milo arrives after a few minutes from the door side of Earl’s Court 2  addressed to the guests.

The day is warm and he is wearing a black leather jacket, a striped T-shirt and a pair of jeans…in addition to the earphones.

He  greets, takes a seat at his desk and prepares himself  for the last long day. The girl from the organization gives me a few minutes for the interview to which Milo kindly agrees.

“Milo, why do you think for biopic movies like Grace of Monaco, or Diana before it, it is so difficult to get good reviews, especially from the press?”

“I think people have expectations for everything. No matter what the subjects are. If they know a version of it and movies like Grace of Monaco or Diana are stories about women who are inspiring, women who are look up to, women who did great things. I think if people have their own version and in the movie they don’t get what they want, they go to panic. So I think it’s the nature of movie making: you have to produce the movie you want to produce and if you get positive or negative press or audience reviews it doesn’t matter; you have to make the movie you want to make and be excited about it”.

“In 2008, you took a United Service Organization tour. After what you lived with them, which is your approach to films that try to tell that reality, for example, Lone Survivor?”

“I mean, see a war was a great and horrible thing. Great for heroes and horrible for loss of lives. I think experiencing it in second hand…what militaries are going to in conflicts that are happening in the Middle – East…see the other side of things, what the local are going to; it’s really hard to explain. It’s something that need to be experienced and you have to take this experience and share it , hopefully, with responsibility to moving forward in life. For me, I tried to be appreciative  to men and women in uniform, to the whole country and the whole nation; and I learned to live life more fullness, with more happiness”.

“What is your biggest regret  for something that you did or you didn’t do in your  19 years of career?”

“None. I have no regrets about my career. I look back and definitely I grow up as human been part. In art I hopefully can just keep working and growing as an artist; enjoy myself and spend time with people who inspire me”.

“Where and how do you see Milo Ventimiglia in another 19 years?”

“In other 19 years?!?! I don’t know. I hope he is still here working. I hope he is still here creating and smiling”.

 

He smiles. I thank him for his kindness and patience during these three days and I leave him at the mercy of the affection of the fans that have meanwhile formed an endless line.

I go out in the warm London air and I’m happy because I had the good fortune to meet a wonderful person who does not have disappointed 14 years of expectations.

Sometimes I’m an ass, sometimes I’m sweet as peaches” (Milo Ventimiglia)

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