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Milo Ventimiglia on his ‘Crooked Smile’ and why he Almost Gave Up Acting

When you look at Milo Ventimiglia, the word imperfection is probably the farthest thing from your mind. He’s incredibly handsome, but also charming and his attitude only makes him more appealing. From his talent and his generally compassionate attitude to his smile, he’s one of our favorites here at Fan Fest. However, one of our favorite traits about him is one he wasn’t always so sure of himself.

Milo talks out of the side of his mouth, sometimes, if you watch closely. It’s something he spent years trying to correct – at least to the best of his abilities. He was born with dead nerves so part of his lip just doesn’t go down. We have to say, we never saw it as an imperfection, we actually just thought it was something he did without realizing it, and it’s something we thought was totally cute. We still do! It’s that crooked smile thing that makes us weak at the knees. However, he’s still very self-conscious about it.

He was talking to Jess Cagle recently and he says it’s something that people in Hollywood noticed as he went out for acting gigs. They’d even ask him why he did it, or if he could stop.

They’d be like: ‘Could you stop doing that thing with your mouth where your lip is going down? And I’d be like: ‘Hey, I was born that way.’ … I mean, look, I can’t get away from it now. It’s who I am, you know? I’ve got a crooked mouth.

After noticing it when he was on a local television station interview – probably dealing with wrestling, he thinks – he spent hours trying to fix it in front of a mirror. He’d read aloud to himself and look in the mirror trying to straighten out his words and his mouth.

Every time I’d catch myself getting this slanted, really pronounced mouth, I would figure out a way to straighten the word out — straighten my mouth out through the word and kind of correct that so it wasn’t as pronounced. Now, it only pops out if I’m running and yelling. If I’m running and yelling in a scene, I can’t control it. It gets so crooked!

Milo Ventimiglia on his 'Crooked Smile' and why he Almost Gave Up Acting

We are always our own harshest critics, and self-conscious or not, he never let that break him. However, Milo is human, and like all of us, did consider throwing in the towel with acting a few times, but none were because of that sideways smile.

He also told Jess Cagle about three times he almost walked away from it all. The second time was following Gilmore Girls, the failed spin-off, and the way he couldn’t ‘catch on’ to be creative for a while. So long that it frustrated him enough to make him question acting altogether.

I couldn’t catch a break to lock on to some work and be creative. I was going to go be an auto mechanic. 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.

Before he even landed the role of Jess, he also considered taking on auto repair as well. Luckily he held out for that role, no one could have played the character better!

The third time, however, was the time that hit him the hardest and he wanted a life change, not just a career change, so much so that he was going to shave his head and move far away. This happened after Heroes was canceled and he felt like no one saw him as anything other than Peter Petrelli.

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. 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.

We have to say we’re very glad that he didn’t end up going to Italy, when we look at This Is Us and Jack, well, it wouldn’t make sense for anyone else to have taken on that role.


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