RT Interview: Milo Ventimiglia Gets Dark in Pathology, Talks Role In Neveldine & Taylor's Game

The Heroes star on his decidedly dark thriller.

Milo Ventimiglia Oh God, how do you know that? Did you have to...did you...

MV: I spent a lot of time at the coroner's office. Watched nineteen autopsies, saw a couple hundred dead bodies -- I mean, anything from a five month-old baby to an 88-year-old man who was stabbed with a screwdriver.

That seems like a very extreme kind of preparation for you to do. Most actors just have to do a ride-along or something...

MV: It was important for me to, because there are two sides to Ted. There's the loving, fiancÚ side with Alyssa Milano's character, and then there's the medical doctor, who has to act without emotion. And I think it was important to me to see how these people, these coroners and technicians, do function in their jobs. When Mark and Brian said, "Do you want to go to the coroner's office," I was like, "F*** yeah, let's go." I've always had a fascination with medicine; I wanted to be a doctor at one point, when I was 18. Anything medical just fascinates me. So to have that opportunity, to have a reason to go in -- not as a parlor trick, but to actually go in there and study what people are doing -- was huge for me.

Would you classify the gore factor in Pathology in the same breath as the Saws or the Hostels?

MV: No, I wouldn't. Not to look down on those movies, because they are what they are...I haven't seen many, but I've seen enough to know what they are and what they thrive on, and then also what Pathology is. Pathology is a more cerebral approach; it's not sitting around and hacking people up for the sake of hacking people up and showing the most disgusting of kills. It's kind of clever; it's the psychology behind it. That's what I meant about having a subject matter that anyone could fuck up. Mark and Brian did it right, and God bless Marc Schoelermann, the director, who really put what was on the page onto the screen. So we're definitely not in the [torture-porn] style, but I think the people that want to see some blood, want to see something clever, they're going to be turned on by Pathology.


It's been a few years since you were on Gilmore Girls; how old do you think your fanbase is? Mature enough to see this movie?

MV: [Laughs.] If you really look back, let's just say, at the fans who maybe stuck with me since Gilmore Girls, they were probably teenagers back then, and that was almost six years ago...so they're probably kids in their early 20s.

Pathology


Well, Pathology will be quite a change for fans who've followed your career. Do you see Peter Petrelli from Heroes as the latest in a long line of "good guy" roles, with Ted Grey at the opposite side of the spectrum?

MV: I think people forget that actors are actors, who are looking to put on the clothes and the character, and then shed it just as easily. Peter's a character that I play; having been to the darker side with Ted Grey doesn't mean that I'm going to change my perspective on Peter. I think he's a great character; where he's at, there are even things to explore with him. And any other kind of role through the course of my career, however long or short it is, I try to make every character as different as possible. That being said, I do know my limits; I know what I'm capable of and I know that I can't get away from who I am. And I think that if a part is difficult for me to fall into, for whatever reason, I'm not going to waste my time or anybody else's time that would possibly want me in a project of theirs.


Have you felt that way already in your career?

MV: Oh yeah, absolutely. There are roles that I've passed on, and they've even come back to me. Where I read the script, and I looked at it, and I thought, you know, I would be playing dress up if I played this part the way it's written. And I've passed on projects. And funny enough, there have been movies and projects that I passed on because of that reason, and they've come back to me and said, what if we rewrote it? What if we retooled it? What if we made it fit more with who you are? I said, you can do that, but I'm not holding you to it. I wouldn't want to waste your time. I think a lot of actors have that desperate want to be picked, and that want to just work and work and work. I think I've gotten to a place where I can say, I don't want to waste anyone's time by playing this role. Thank you, but no thank you.


You directed the It's a Mall World webisodes for MTV. Is directing something we'll see more from you in the near future?

MV: In the near future, I'm not so sure, but absolutely. I'm kind of nervous in front of the camera as an actor; I think I'm better behind the camera, dealing with the business, and the creative of putting a project together. I really like it a lot; it's a different study than acting. You have to be able to speak actor, and speak crew, speak producer, and have a vision and put it all together. It's something I definitely would love to do more of. The tough part is that every time I line up for a directing job, I get an acting job -- and I've got to go do that! It seems like the acting jobs are there. If they're good ones you want to be a part of, you kind of have to do them -- you owe it to yourself. Directing is something that, God forbid I get into an accident and can't move for the rest of my life, I can still show up on a set and tell people what to do.


Pathology

Are you the kind of person who reads your own movie reviews?

MV: I read everything. I read good, I read bad, I read everything that people write whether it's about me, about the film, about my co-stars...about other films, about other actors, about anything. I read a lot. Every day, I read a lot. But I don't really subscribe to what people say, good or bad, because then it just becomes an exercise in futility and you can really get hung up on things. At the end of the day it's just not worth it. I kind of see it as...if somebody wants to call me a piece of s***, thank you. If somebody wants to say I'm great, thank you. I look at it all the same and try to stand in the middle of it, and try not to err one way or the other.


Pathology was originally supposed to get released last November; why is it coming out only now?

MV: You know what, the business side I really can't speak about. I think there were a lot of movies in that time, it was a competitive slot. The push to February happened, and then the push to April happened...I know a bit about it, but I don't think I'd like to comment on it.

Then that means you guys filmed this a long time ago, right?

MV: [Laughs.] Yeah, it was...I finished the first season of Heroes, directed Mall World three days after I finished for two weeks, and then the weekend after I directed Mall World I went right into Pathology. I didn't have a break. And then, I finished the movie and three days later I went back to work on the show.


Wow...you're a workaholic, eh?

MV: Totally, totally. Then I finished the second season and all of a sudden was like, you know what, I think I'll just jump onto these three movies, how's that?

Pathology opens in select cities Friday, April 18. Check out an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette here and watch for Milo Ventimiglia's return to TV on the long-awaited third season of Heroes this fall.

Comments

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Holy crap its PETER PETRELLI! and ROCKY'S son!

Apr 17 - 08:33 PM

dahluzz

joe shmo

OK, this has nothing whatsoever to do with this article, but I'm posting this open letter to the RT Staff because something feels really fishy about this whole News system now.

I was thinking about it last night and wondered 'how can jeff giles go from the most featured writer on the site to doing very little writing at all, basically over night?' all RT staffers ever said was 'jeff will still be contributing" or something.

answer this: did Jeff Giles get fired or demoted or whats the actual deal, because i find it really hard to believe that all of a sudden the entire News section changes and he's no longer featured much.

I do recall an article not long ago regarding the new oliver stone movie 'W' in which jeff made some slightly leftist remarks and then had to spend the rest of the thread defending himself (with some help from loyal RT readers). Now it could well be a stretch to think that this had something to do with Jeff not being allowed to do his daily stories, but at this point I'm looking for SOME explanation.

And I think we deserve more of an explanation then 'well we're trying some new stuff out and are continuously updating the site to make as good as possible for all of you.' whatever, that doesn't cut it.

Can you RT staffers see how much you've changed the core of the site? No one is commenting on the stupid external link stories and all that remains as far as RT material is an occasional story but mostly features like interviews, critical consensus, total recall, meet a critic, etc. etc. The features are fine, but the story threads were where people really got into the discussions. We had a strong core community of regular posters and now it just doesn't feel the same.

so RT, I really need you to explain why you've altered not only the aesthetic, but the entire dynamic of the site. It's less personal and frankly, less interesting. This is my go-to site and so i really am curious as why a lot of the fun has been sucked out of it in favor of redirecting us to outside pages.

What happened to Jeff and what are the chances that things will return to the good ole days of putting an RT spin on a specific story, making it humorous and palatable and letting us all sling mud over it?

thanks for your time.

-Dahluzz

Apr 18 - 10:49 AM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

Hi Dahluzz,

Thanks for the post - even if it's an off-topic comment on my poor little Milo Ventimiglia article.

Not to be dismissive of this or any of your previous posts on the matter, but the News Ticker we just implemented is being worked on, and everyone's comments heard. I'll try to let you know more when I get an update myself.

Jeff Giles is still around, scouring the web for news and adding stories to the ticker every day. I also liked the "RT spin" on news stories and am glad that you miss it. If only more readers missed the old ways (i.e. old RT news was more popular), perhaps we wouldn't have had to change things...

Jeff, Tim, Alex, Sara, and myself are still writing original pieces for RT - but you're right, most of that is interviews, features, and columns (did you see this week's Total Recall??). You will see Jeff's very witty thumbprint on our upcoming Summer Movie Guide in a few weeks.

Since you're very supporting of the old RT news system, here's a question for you: would you rather see only maybe 5 non-original news stories per day, written with an RT slant so you could comment on them, or get maybe 15-20 all-encompassing stories a day, posted as they break?

We realize that the new ticker is not yet ideal (low comment rate, people leaving site through links), but I assure you it's being continually reconsidered. And thank you for your committed involvement in RT.

Apr 18 - 02:25 PM

dahluzz

joe shmo

Jen:
"Since you're very supporting of the old RT news system, here's a question for you: would you rather see only maybe 5 non-original news stories per day, written with an RT slant so you could comment on them, or get maybe 15-20 all-encompassing stories a day, posted as they break?"

Honestly Jen, I would much rather see 5 stories a day, selected from the fray by you guys as specific items we should focus in and comment on. I read the stories just as much for comments as i did the content. \

with the new system, you guys are valuing quantity over quality. it's not like you maintained the 5 RT-style stories and then supplemented them with 10 additional breaking stories from across the web (thus giving us more than you did before). No, you guys just ditched all the personality of the old ways in favor of dumping a bunch of stories on us that really have nothing to do with RT.

don't try to tell me that Jeff's writing talents are better exercised by him searching the web for other people's work and then posting it on RT. Please, anybody with half a clue can do that. Yeah, the old ways DID require more effort, but that's what made people care enough to comment.

now we can't even rally around a subject long enough to have a forum discussion before another article or two is thrown into the mix. there's much less selectivity on the parts of the Editors now and the site's less interactive and less fun.

Please accept that this 'improved' news feature is actually a step backwards and reinstate the classic way of delivering us our daily stories.

Apr 23 - 09:37 AM

jimtrots

james trottier

I like Milo, as he is by the far the best thing on Heroes. By how can anybody be a big fan of Crank and its script? I mean come on, the sex scene involving Amy Smart might have killed her career.

Apr 18 - 05:40 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

That scene was really funny though.

Apr 18 - 08:11 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

That scene was really funny though.

Apr 18 - 08:11 PM

dahluzz

joe shmo

Jen:
"Since you're very supporting of the old RT news system, here's a question for you: would you rather see only maybe 5 non-original news stories per day, written with an RT slant so you could comment on them, or get maybe 15-20 all-encompassing stories a day, posted as they break?"

Honestly Jen, I would much rather see 5 stories a day, selected from the fray by you guys as specific items we should focus in and comment on. I read the stories just as much for comments as i did the content. \

with the new system, you guys are valuing quantity over quality. it's not like you maintained the 5 RT-style stories and then supplemented them with 10 additional breaking stories from across the web (thus giving us more than you did before). No, you guys just ditched all the personality of the old ways in favor of dumping a bunch of stories on us that really have nothing to do with RT.

don't try to tell me that Jeff's writing talents are better exercised by him searching the web for other people's work and then posting it on RT. Please, anybody with half a clue can do that. Yeah, the old ways DID require more effort, but that's what made people care enough to comment.

now we can't even rally around a subject long enough to have a forum discussion before another article or two is thrown into the mix. there's much less selectivity on the parts of the Editors now and the site's less interactive and less fun.

Please accept that this 'improved' news feature is actually a step backwards and reinstate the classic way of delivering us our daily stories.

Apr 23 - 09:37 AM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato

Dahluzz,

Again, I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I'll bring up your points with the rest of RT editorial.


Jen

Apr 29 - 11:37 AM

Cynthia Varela

Cynthia Varela

Milo Ventimiglia is fucking awesome ^.^ Being that I'm a writer, I'd be so honored if he read some of my work someday. I'll be sure it's a Hell of a book! heheheh

Jun 5 - 02:19 PM

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