Milo Ventimiglia knows that when he does an interview for This Is Us, he’s going to get asked one question every time: How does Jack die? And when we caught up with the actor at Timex’s fall collection launch in NYC on Monday, we asked him to estimate how many times he’s been asked that very question.
“Well into one thousand times right now — maybe even a couple of thousand,” Ventimiglia told PEOPLE. “I’ve never made up anything outlandish.”
The show returns for season 2 on Sept. 26, and Ventimiglia confirms the wait to learn Jack Pearson’s fate is almost over.
“I think the answer is going to be coming soon.”
The 40-year-old actor said filming season 2 has been just as rewarding as season one.
“When we were down for our hiatus every day I couldn’t wait to get back on set to see my friends, and see my family,” he shared. “The experience of going back has been positive. It’s very rare in what I do for a living to be part of something that feels so right when you’re in it. I’m happy to be back at work and I’m excited for the audience to start watching.”
Ventimiglia credits everyone involved in the production of This Is Us for making the set feel like home.
“The writing on this show is so incredible,” he shared. “Not only do we have an amazing cast and an amazing production crew, but the experience of making it is so great. I feel like I’m with friends. I feel like I’m with family.”
The actor, who was on hand to fête the new fall collection of Timex watches at a launch party in New York City Monday, said he has yet to swipe anything for Jack’s closet. And for good reason — he’s not ready to say goodbye to his character — and neither are we.
“I’m sure at a certain point I’ll want something of Jack’s, but right now I’m playing Jack, so I’ll leave it at work,” he said.
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When he’s not playing Jack, he’s very much of a jeans and boots guy, wearing a denim-on-denim look to the Timex event. He reflected on buying his first watch from the brand when he was a teen.
“My first Timex watch was called an ‘easy reader.’ It had an accordion strap. It was the first watch I bought myself when I was 15,” he shared. “I thought It was cool that I could by myself a timepiece – not just a watch, but a timepiece. The more that I understand and learn about Timex, they take into account their history and their heritage. I always appreciate a brand or a person who doesn’t forget about where they came from and their early days. It was a natural fit to come here and host the party.”
But his ‘easy reader’ isn’t the most meaningful watch in his collection. It’s the timepiece his dad gave him.
“I have my father’s watch that he wore in Vietnam that he pulled out of a safe one day, gave it a shake and it still worked,” Ventimiglia said. “I thought, ‘Wow, this survived a war and four to five decades’ and it was very meaningful. It wasn’t of great monetary value, but it mean something to me because it was my father’s watch during a very different time.”
The actor loves incorporating pieces into his wardrobe that have a story behind them.
“The oldest thing in my closet is a navy peacoat that picked up somewhere. It’s ’50s era. I like pieces with history,” he shared. “I don’t have too many of them, but I try to preserve them and make sure I respect the men that wore them. I also have a pair of World War II boots and every time I put them on I always think about the man who possibly wore these and what he experienced and what he went through.”
Are you excited for the premiere of This Is Us? What are your predictions on Jack’s fate? Share below.