Milo Ventimiglia has us counting our lucky stars, once again. The man who plays two of our favorite TV love interests — Gilmore Girls’ Jess Mariano and This Is Us’s Jack Pearson — revealed that we almost lived in a world in which he played neither.
Actually, he almost played no one at all, ever. In an interview with People and Entertainment Weekly, Ventimiglia detailed the three times he got so fed up with his career that he almost quit acting: twice to become an auto mechanic and once to ride around Italy on his motorcycle. Fortunately, fate was on our side. Erm — his side.
Feeling frustrated with his acting prospects, Ventimiglia almost gave up his dream to focus on a more steady profession: car repairs. He explained all too practically, “In Southern California there’s this auto school and it’s advertised, ‘Everybody needs mechanics, because they need those cars fixed,’ and I’m like, ‘That’s a job that’s going to be in demand, so why don’t I learn more than I already know about cars and professionally fix cars.’”
Luckily for us, that’s when Gilmore Girls came along. Years later, the actor toyed with the idea of becoming a mechanic again after a failed Gilmore Girls spin-off and because “the business was getting in the way.”
That time, Rocky Balboa and Heroes stepped in to save the day, and roles in the film and TV show kept Ventimiglia in the game for that much longer.
The most recent averted-crisis took place before This Is Us came along. He was ready to leave behind both acting and his auto dreams.
“The third time I was gonna quit I was like, ‘You know what, I gotta leave the country, because this is just killing me, this business,’” he said. “I have dual citizenship with Italy. I was like, ‘I’m gonna sell everything, I’m going to fly to Rome, I’m gonna buy a motorcycle, I’m going to ride around until I can find a farm I can work on. I’m going to shave my head, I’m gonna grow a beard, and I’m going to work on a farm … just lead a very different life very far away,” he said.
Truthfully, that sounds pretty great, but we’re all too relieved that Ventimiglia decided to make us ugly cry on a weekly basis instead.
(Photo via Dia Dipasupil/Getty)