When the actor recreated the emotional This is Us moment with Ellen DeGeneres, but it was nothing but laughs

By Stephanie Petit
December 06, 2016 10:57 AM

Milo Ventimiglia can make us laugh or cry — even by doing the exact same thing.

The This Is Us star prompted tears in an emotional scene when his character, Jack, showed his commitment to his adopted son, Randall (Sterling K. Brown), by physically holding him on his back while doing some push-ups.

However, when the 39-year-old actor recreated the moment with Ellen DeGeneres, it was nothing but laughs.

Talk of Ventimiglia’s super strength started when the host pulled out a photo of him in PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive issue, in which he chows down on Chinese food and “accidentally” flaunts his bulging bicep.

“I’ve gotta say, you’re a fit guy,” DeGeneres, 58, said. “When I’m hugging you, you’re like solid.”

They then turned the conversation to the emotional This Is Us scene, but Ventimiglia explained that behind-the-scenes, the cast did have some fun with the physical challenge.

“Backstage, we thought, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if we put Sterling on my back and see how many push-ups I can do?’ ” he explained. It wasn’t long before Justin Hartley also jumped in on the action and the three were in a push-up competition.

Ventimiglia then told DeGeneres to try it out and hopped down on the ground to let the host take a turn on his back. DeGeneres couldn’t resist trying the challenge out for herself. With a little assistance, she completed two push-ups with the actor weighing her down.

The This Is Us fall finale airs Tuesday (9 p.m. ET) on NBC.