While on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Milo Ventimiglia talking about metting Steve Harvey while directing him in an interstitial campaign for The WB network.
A heart-to-heart with Steve Harvey was all the encouragement Milo Ventimiglia needed to pursue his passion for directing.
During a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the 43-year-old actor — who directed an episode in season 4 of This Is Us — recalled his first directing gig for The WB network when he was just 25 years old.
“Season four I directed. It was myself and Justin Hartley both directed from the cast. I loved it,” Ventimiglia said of directing for This is Us.
He continued, “I actually started directing when I was 25 doing these interstitial campaigns for The WB network. I was brought in just to direct this one set that they didn’t have anybody to do. So they brought me in to direct the whole campaign when I was 25.”
That experience introduced him to Harvey, 63, who left a lasting impact on Ventimiglia.
“One of the bigger guys that passed through the stage was Steve Harvey,” the actor recalled. “Here I am, 25-year-old me, looking like I’m 14, so I wear a suit and a tie because I feel like I need to dress it up a little bit — be a little more buttoned-up a little more professional. And Steve Harvey walks on stage with about 10 people and he says, ‘Well isn’t this some f——— b———.’”
“And I’m thinking to myself, ‘Oh god, what did I get myself into?’” Ventimiglia continued. “My assistant director walks him over and says, ‘This is Milo Ventimiglia, he’s our director.’ [Harvey] kind of looks at me and goes, ‘You’re young, aren’t you?’ And I said, ‘Yes sir, I’ll get you out of here in five minutes.’ ”
However, the cameras broke in the middle of filming. While waiting for them to get fixed, Ventimiglia walked over to Harvey to apologize and the pair ended up having a “real” talk about the industry.
“He goes, ‘How old are you?’ And I go, ‘Oh I’m 25-years old.’ And he goes, ‘You’re directing these?’ And I go, ‘Yeah, I just wanted to get into directing. I’ve always wanted to do it.’ And he goes, ‘Man, that’s impressive. Man, that’s impressive,’” the Gilmore Girls star said. “And I say, ‘Yeah, but look at you. You’ve got a radio show, a TV show. Who knows what else you’re doing.’”
“And we just had a very real conversation about what you give into the business and what you’re creating for others,” he added. “That conversation definitely sent me in a direction, on the producing and directing end, to just keep at it.”
Since then Ventimiglia has added a few more directing credits under his belt, including an episode for Ultradome, an episode for Suite 7, a TV mini-series called It’s a Mall World and the 2009 movie Dave Knoll Finds His Soul, per IMDb.
Agree or disagree with some of his messages but Steve Harvey has always been there encouraging people.