Chatting with Freida Pinto as part of Variety's Actor on Actors series, the actor recalled auditioning
for creator Dan Fogelman and executive producers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and how he "wasn't who they were looking for."
"They wanted somebody completely different," Ventimiglia confessed. "I walked in with my beard and my long hair and set my motorcycle helmet down and they went, 'Who is this guy?'"
"And we just started having a conversation and then we read the lines, and I think they just saw something different than someone who had practiced the words," he continued. "And they picked me."
The former Gilmore Girls star also shared that the role came at a time when he was focusing on his personal life and not chasing jobs. He had just finished the independent movie, Devil's Gate, and had come off of two TV shows that didn't work out.
"I was just trying to be just a man existing as a man, and here’s this man who’s just trying to provide for his wife and his family and all of that,"
he explained. "It was so simple and beautiful that I thought, 'I'd just love to do it. I'd love to be a part of it.'"
Thankfully, the This is Us team took a liking to him and it was a match made in TV heaven.
"I guess…You’re in the right place at the right time as you’re supposed to be," Ventimiglia