"Chosen" interview with Milo Ventimiglia (part 1)

Foto: Milo Ventimiglia, Chosen - Copyright: 2013 Colton Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Milo Ventimiglia, Chosen
© 2013 Colton Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

January 19, 2015 | As the thrilling action-drama "Chosen" is about to start airing in Germany on 13TH STREET soon, lead actor and producer Milo Ventimiglia kindly made time to answer a few of our questions describing what makes the show special. Many of us fell in love with Ventimiglia a few years back when he portrayed Jess Mariano on "Gilmore Girls" and Peter Petrelli on "Heroes". To those of you and everyone else who loves a good thriller, we highly recommend "Chosen", because Milo really comes into his own in the role of Ian Mitchell, a father who finds himself trapped in a deadly game, to the point that he makes you forget that Ian actually is a fictional character we're rooting for. In this first part of our phone call Milo talked about how this sense of realism was created on "Chosen". He was also kind enough to give us a little insight into how he feels about "Heroes: Reborn".

Read the second part of our interview with Milo Ventimiglia, in which we talk in detail about what happened on "Chosen".

German translation of the interview.

Note: © myFanbase 2015 - The interview is exclusive to myFanbase and may not be published on other websites or the like. You may share the first two questions (up to 180 words) if you link back to this site. Translations other than English and German may be posted with full credit including the link to this site.

The first season of "Chosen" is about to air on German television. How would you describe to new viewers what makes the show so compelling?

I think the fact that this fits within the realm of possibility. It's not scifi, it's not out of this world, it's not fantasy, it is something that feels like it could happen to you or I or anyone that we know. And that is terrifying.

You're not only the lead on "Chosen", you're also the producer. How did you come about this project?

I had previously been developing something with Ben Ketai, our creator and director, and he and Ryan Lewis at the same time as Crackle / Sony had approached me about this I was also developing a different project with Sony / Crackle, so I had two different projects with both of these people and then both at the same time called me about being on board to produce as well as star in "Chosen" and I had a lot of confidence in Ben as a filmmaker and a lot of excitement about what Crackle / Sony was doing as a digital network. And it was one of those projects that I had to sign on to.

One of the things that make the show stand out is, we focus completely on Ian Mitchell, the main character. There is almost no subplot, no time to catch a breath. What was that like for you during production?

Wow, it was the first day of production on season one I actually broke my nose. I think we were filming episode 2 possibly, it was a big battle, big fight scene with Brett Davern's character, Paul, we were in the big warehouse and we were wrestling around and I got kneed in the face and I broke my nose in the first couple of hours of filming and we just had to keep going. It was kinda non-stop action, non-stop learning of what was happening and it was a very fast-paced shoot.

How did the level of action compare to working for example on a supernatural show like "Heroes" that uses special effects?

It was all practical. There was nothing faked about what we were doing on "Chosen", we had no tricks, we had only what we could do as artists and stunt artists and what we could shoot with the camera. Ben and I and Ryan Lewis, our other producer, we just wanted to make it look real, and look thrilling and feel like something that is terrifying as if it actually happend.

With the moral dilemma "How far would you go?" a show like "Chosen" gets people thinking because Ian Mitchell is a normal guy that everyone can relate to. Is that something that happens, people coming up to you, telling you about what your work inspired them to think about?

Yeah, I do get that quite a bit. Luckily I have a lot of people walking up to me with smiling faces saying that they like any number of films or television shows that I've done and telling me how it impacts their life. And hopefully it inspires people to be creative, hopefully it inspires people to be kind and hopefully - bottom line - entertain.

What do you look for most in a new project, a challenging role, working with friends, meeting people to learn from?

It's kind of everything in all of the above. First and foremost I look for interesting roles, something that's gonna challenge me as an artist but then also beyond that, what is the overall project, what's the subject matter, and then yeah, who are you working with. Who do you get to share your time with because if you really think about it we spend a lot of time together on film sets, on TV sets, and you wanna work with people that you enjoy being around.

Foto: Milo Ventimiglia, Chosen - Copyright: 2013 Colton Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Milo Ventimiglia, Chosen
© 2013 Colton Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

They say it's the golden age of television right now. Do you enjoy watching some TV shows, too?

I do the best I can. I just finished up a show for ABC called "The Whispers" which will start sometime early summer / late spring in the United States and probably shortly after internationally. But I think for as much as I work I try and keep up on television. I try and sit down and watch my "Sons of Anarchy" and "Peaky Blinders" and of course "Game of Thrones" or "Breaking Bad" or anything you can. I'm a fan of watching my friends and for the 20 years I've been in the business I made some very good friendships and I get to watch their shows as I can.

Can I get one "Heroes: Reborn" question in? It's all a big secret with who might be back on that show but what does it feel like for you to maybe go back playing Peter Petrelli?

In my mind there's no "maybe". I finished that show five years ago when we were cancelled and we did the run of our story so the fact that it's coming back... it's like an ex-girlfriend that you were in love with and you finally got over the heartbreak of that relationship not working out and then all of a sudden there a knock on the door and she's back and she wants talk to you and everbody wants to talk to you about her but you've kind of moved on, you're already in love again somewhere else. As I'm excited for Jack Coleman and anybody else that's gonna be working on that, you know, whether or not they're gonna mention Peter Petrelli it's up to them but I kind of moved on to other projects and other parts and keep my focus in the presence as opposed to in the past.

So you're not someone who likes to live in the past...

No not necessarily. Look, that was a great show, we had a lot of fun making it, it was a massive success internationally and I think that was amazing and it's given me a lot of great opportunities but it's a little emotional back and forth when something maybe takes a couple of hits and then gets cancelled, you gotta let things go and then when you let things go, then there's the big trend to revitalize everything that was cancelled, you know making a "Veronica Mars" movie, bringing back "Arrested Development" on a different network or try to continue stories that actually had closure. That's an emotional rollercoaster that personally I don't like to be on. So I tend to live in the present and be very thankful for the past because it's taught me lessons and brought me to exactly where I am today but I like to keep my eyes looking forward as opposed to to the past.

I think that sounds good!

Thank you!

Thank you, it was great talking to you, Milo, and you're coming to Germany next week, aren't you?

I am, I'll be in Munich and then move on to a few other spots in Europe.

You've been to Munich before, right?

I have, yeah, I was actually out there on a world tour for "Heroes", almost 8 or 9 years ago.

Foto: Heroes World Tour, München 2007 - Milo Ventimiglia - Copyright: myFanbase/Philipp Maslowski
Heroes World Tour, München 2007 - Milo Ventimiglia
© myFanbase/Philipp Maslowski

Part 2 of the interview with Milo Ventimiglia

Nicole Oebel - myFanbase