Milo Ventimiglia is getting candid about his romantic history.
The 40-year-old This Is Us star covers this week's issue of The Journal, MR PORTER, and opens up about previously dating his Heroes co-star, Hayden Panettiere. The two started dating in 2007, when Panettiere was 18 years old, before splitting after two years together.
“Never do it again,” he says bluntly of what he learned from their highly publicized relationship. “There are things that happen to you in your life that shape who you are. Everything I’ve been through from jobs to friendships to partnerships, everything has built me to who I am. You learn from it. You learn a better way of doing things."
"It wasn’t until my mid to late twenties that the job wears on you, relationships wear on you," he adds. "But I wouldn’t change a thing. When you get knocked over the head in life, it builds your perspective.”
Ventimiglia also talks about his NBC hit, This Is Us, in which he plays a father of three. The actor is coy about whether or not he wants to have kids in real life.
“At some point," he muses. "I’m sure I’ll be a father when I’m meant to be a father. If I never have kids, then I was never meant to have kids as well. I think there’s a societal norm where you get married, you have a family, you raise a family, you pass on yourself to that family. Then you pass on. In entertainment, sometimes being a known person, you get to pass that on to a larger group of people than just your kin, than just your immediate family. You’re able to, hopefully, give something good out to a larger group of people.”
Clearly, This Is Us is resonating with plenty of fans. The show is a critical and commercial hit, and Ventimiglia earned his first Emmy nomination this year in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category.
“People need shows that are similar to their life, where heart and family is front and center," Ventimiglia says of the series' popularity. "Hopefully, it’s forcing them to look at their lives, how to make a positive change, to connect with a family member or connect with a loved one, see another side, communicate. People have told me the show is therapy -- they have a good cry, but also they feel like they have a better approach to their own life by watching the show.”
ET spoke to Ventimiglia last month, when he admitted that playing the romantic Jack Pearson on This Is Us has set the bar high for his real-life relationships!
“Totally hurts because people are like, ‘Man, I wish my husband were more like Jack,'" he explained. "‘Man, I wish my boyfriend would do the things that Jack would do.’ And I’m like, Jack’s not real. The dude standing in front of you is real and he’s probably sitting down watching the show with you, so therefore, give your dude some love.”