Milo Ventimiglia Says Jess and Rory Not Working Out on 'Gilmore Girls' Is 'Kind of Great'

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Milo Ventimiglia is reflecting on one of Gilmore Girls'biggest romances -- the one between his well-read bad boy character, Jess Mariano, and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). The fictional couple got together in high school and split shortly before graduation, only to later form a friendship as adults. 

Ventimiglia, who now stars as Jack Pearson on This Is Us, looked back on the TV romance with Bledel, whom he dated in real life, while appearing on his Gilmore Girls co-star, Scott Patterson's, podcast, I'm All In

"I think things are complicated when you're young," the 44-year-old actor said of the teen characters. "I think you're going through a developmental change. You are seeing things in the world that you've never seen before. You're experiencing things from the heart, from the gut, from the head, that you're experiencing for the first time. So I think Jess and Rory, I think they were what they needed from the moment, from each other and at the same time, it didn't work out. They went in different directions. And that's OK too. That's kind of great."

He went on to praise the young fictional couple, saying, "Outside of what anybody wanted to put onto those two, they kind of made their own world and I think that's pretty cool." 

Ventimiglia admitted to Patterson that he felt very different from Jess when he first took on the role. Jess shows up in season 2 of the show when he's sent to live with his uncle, Luke Danes (Patterson), in Stars Hollow. 

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"You and I were always really cool and engaged and had a lot to talk about, but of course, we're playing these characters. Jess was a punk kid who didn't want to hear it from anybody, and Luke was losing his mind with this kid that he got saddled with from his sister," Ventimiglia told Patterson. "You and I could not have been more opposite than who Jess and Luke were. But also where Jess and Luke kind of got to, I think ultimately, was closer to who you and I were in terms of relationship and what not, because I think Jess grew up, Jess learned some lessons and Luke went through some stuff. It's all fascinating."

He also revealed that the famous scene among viewers where Luke pushes Jess into the lake was done in one take, though they did shoot it one more time "just in case."  

As for whether he'd do another revival if the show came back, Ventimiglia joked, "I can't ever get away from it." 

"For me, knowing that you and Lauren [Graham] and Alexis and probably just about everybody else in the show would show up and on top of it, it'd probably be Dan [Palladino] and Amy [Sherman-Palladino] there writing their a**es off, it's like, yeah why wouldn't I?" he said of the show's stars and creators. "It would feel like it was there for the right reason versus the wrong reason."

'Gilmore Girls'
Mitchell Haddad/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Ventimiglia noted that Gilmore Girls only came back the first time when there was a new story to tell, so he'd be comfortable returning with the Palladinos, the show's writers and creators, at the helm. 

"I'd be a jerk to not show up," he said. 

As for what he liked most about Jess, Ventimiglia shared, "I think he had a lot of confidence and he had a lot of insecurities. He kind of had to find his way back to that center, back to that middle and it made him complex."

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