February 18, 2018 | New York, NY
I got a haircut the other day. It looks fantastic. The stylist gave me a blowout and when I walked out of the salon, people got whiplash from checking out my hair. Construction workers called out, “Ay sexy!” and I nodded in agreement. The best part is, when I woke up the next morning, I still had Great Hair.
Suddenly, my life was filled with possibility.
With Great Hair, I could become the woman of my dreams. I shook my head in slow motion and felt my smooth, silky hair bounce along my shoulders. I wore my best outfit and filled every minute of my day with plans because when the universe gives us a moment of confidence, we must Milk. It. For. All. It’s. Worth.
I tell you all this because for a moment in time, I shared something in common with a celebrity. Today, Milo Ventimiglia and I sat down to talk about his lauded patriarchal role on the Emmy-nominated “This Is Us.” Here are unedited excerpts from our conversation.
30 million people across the U.S. tuned in to watch the Super Bowl episode that featured your character, Jack Pearson, dying from a fire. How does that feel?
Milo Ventimiglia: Well, I gotta say, it’s humbling.
You’ve played key characters in 3 major TV series: “Gilmore Girls” back in the day, “Heroes,” and now “This Is Us.” What inspired you to start acting?
Milo: Actually, I got the courage to act from having a really great hair day.
Milo: (Laughs handsomely) It’s true, I did. I still remember. I was 18 and I’d worked the perfect amount of mousse through my hair. All day, people turned their heads as I walked by and I thought, “I could live like this.” I felt like I could do anything! So I enrolled in acting school.
Then what happened?
Milo: Well, I let my hair guide me. My first big break was playing Jess on “Gilmore Girls.” I remember flipping my hair in the audition and some women fainted. The producers said I had ‘bad boy hair.’ It had that volume. Then I played Peter Petrelli on “Heroes.” I went from playing a surly teenager to being on a show about superheroes – all because I cut my hair short. Life really started happening to me when my hair took on these different personalities.
That was you being a talented actor.
Milo: Sure, sure.
How did you come across your role on “This Is Us”?
Milo: Let me tell you a story. 22 years after I started acting, I decided to sit back for a second, let life happen. I grew my hair out. Right at that time, I got the call to audition for “This Is Us.” I walked in with my beard and my long hair, and they said, “You look like the dad we’ve been waiting for.” Is that a coincidence? I think not.
It sounds like a coincidence.
Milo: No, no. That’s the universe at work.
“I walked into my ‘This Is Us’ audition with my beard and long hair, and they said, ‘You look like the dad we’ve been waiting for.'”
Do you have a special hair care routine?
Milo: I’m a simple guy. Just shampoo and water. Actually…
Milo: I’ll tell you the truth. My hair – (he pauses dramatically) – is my life’s big gift. And I treat it that way. I look at all my man friends who’re losing their hair and it’s terrifying. “Hey man, this is us,” they say. So I treat my hair well. I take it out for shampoos on stressful days and give it massages. Even though every good thing in the world eventually goes away, my hair cannot be one of those things.
Have you looked in the mirror recently? You really don’t need to worry.
Milo: Mirrors, schmirrors. This (he points to his head) takes more than soap and water. It takes patience. It takes nurturing and encouragement. Each morning, I look in the mirror and say, “Hair, you’ve got this.” Each night before sleeping, I say, “Thank you, sweet locks.” Before every audition and every shoot, I run my hand through my hair, letting it know I’m right there beside it. It takes constant love and attention.
Can I just say – I bet you’re an excellent boyfriend.
Milo: Actually, dating’s hard when you’re always Milo With the Good Hair. See, I really do wake up like this. I’ve been told it takes a toll on women. But what can I say? My whole life, I’ve been holding onto the feeling of that first great hair day.
Well, I’m with you on that one.
Milo: With sexy hair comes sexy responsibility. I’m okay with being America’s Dad.
I’m sorry to say I’ve been waking up early these days trying to replicate my salon’s blowout, to no avail. Now I have regular hair, which makes me sad.
But it’s just hair, right? They’re dead hair cells, for god’s sake. 7,200 seconds a day seems like a lot of time spent on fixing the part of ourselves that’s just trying to rest in peace.
(Don’t tell Milo.)