L.A. Confidential: Milo Ventimiglia By Aleksandar Tomovic For BELLO Mag
Featured in Bello Mag #52 November 2013 Holiday Issue.
If you look up the word “sexy,” you’ll probably see Milo Ventimiglia’s name listed below it. If you look up the word “talented,” you’ll probably find his name listed there too. While both of these qualities aren’t hard to come by in Hollywood, it’s something else about Milo Ventimiglia that allows him to stand out. What that quality might be is yet to be determined…but the mystery of it is enough.
Even though he grew up in California, Ventimiglia was miles away from Tinseltown’s lights.
Photography Aleksandar Tomovic
Styling Warren Alfie Baker
Grooming Barbara Guillaume For Murad
Styling Assistant jen Edelson
Production leslie Alejandro
Words by Dio Anthony
“I grew up down in Orange County, so it was still sort of a world away,” he says. “I wasn’t like the kids that are born in Los Angeles and have all of the resources and tools and places, and their parents are big producers. I grew up on theater, basically. But for me, growing up in California was more about the sunshine.”
Ventimiglia soared to fame in 2006 with NBC’s Heroes, playing Peter Petrelli for four seasons, but his current projects are about to blow his Heroes performance out of the park. Chosen, a crackle web series in which the actor both produces and stars, is gearing up for its second season, with a new addition to the cast coming in the form of One Tree Hill’s Chad Michael Murray.
The web series is the story of a man who finds a box on his doorstep. Inside, there’s a gun and a photo of a man he’s never met before, along with instructions to kill him.
“We had a really successful first season on it,” says Ventimiglia with a proud tone in his voice. “It was just something that I thought would be relatable to people. Anyone can sit back and think, ‘what would I do in this situation? Would I treat this like a video game, or would I actually have a problem with the idea of having to kill someone?’” What’s in store for the sophomore season of the hit web series? Ventimiglia assures us, “A lot of action, a lot of heart, and a lot of heartbreak. Things get dark, and then things get really, really broken.”
As if a plot as thrilling as that one wasn’t enough, come December 4th – just in time for the Christmas season – the universe is gifting us with something more. Milo’s brand new TNT series Mob City, in which he plays Ned Stax, is a noiry tale of not two cities, but one: Los Angeles. The period piece has been generating buzz months before its premiere, and is said to change the network’s scripted programming platform.
“It’s one of those networks that people across America are watching. And I think they have leadership over there that sees the Breaking Bads of the world, and sees The Sopranos. I think TNT also has a bigger reach, because it’s more of an American network,” says the 36-year-old.
Mob City, which also stars The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal, as Ventimiglia describes is “a dark and gritty” story of Los Angeles in the 1940s.
“At its core, at the bottom of its belly, L.A. was a very seedy place. It wasn’t Hollywood and sunshine, it was sunshine and shotgun slugs. There was a lot of corruption; there were a lot of bad happenings in the turn of Los Angeles. It was a war over the city, and hopefully we’ve shown that,” he says.
We’re sure the gunshot-ridden stories of the 1940s will captivate us all come the show’s premiere. But it was the story of self-realization that Milo Ventimiglia told at our sit-down that drew me in, a story that maybe for once reveals what it is about this man who shines with such warmth and who, at 36 years old, has 57 professional credits listed on IMDB.
“You know, there was a turning point for me when I was 27. I was at an age where I was kind of feeling comfortable as a man, but I still had a younger way of thinking. I worked on Rocky Balboa with Sylvester Stallone, and I remember being quiet, and just watching…not really speaking up about ideas, not really thinking that a good idea could come and be embraced by a guy like Stallone. I think that was one of the moments where following that, I was so worried about fucking up, because it was such an important piece for a lot of people that I didn’t speak up, or try things out, or push myself harder into being more of a creative collaborator. I was kind of just there, listening, because I didn’t want to mess up. After that, the jobs that followed – Heroes or working with Adam Sandler – were different. From that point on at 27, which kind of turned the corner, I was like, you know what, I think I’ve got some good ideas. I think I deserve to be here. I think there’s a reason why I’m getting picked for a handful of these roles. I’m going to speak up.”
It’s evident that Milo Ventimiglia has come a long way. “It’s kind of like seeing a roadblock,” he says. “You can do whatever you like, whatever you dream of, whatever you’re passionate about. You just have to find the different angles to go about it, and say to yourself, ‘This obstacle’s not going to stop me. I’m either going to go over it, around it, or go through it.’” And just like that, I heard the wisest words I’d ever hear.
The Tie Bar
Shipley & Halmos
This fashion story + Interview from Bello Mag Issue #52 with Milo Ventimiglia and Jennifer Morrison is available to purchase worldwide on iTunes Newsstand for iPad and iPhone.