"I kind of feel like he was responsible for my husband and [me] getting together," Alyssa Milano tells PEOPLE of friend and former costar Milo Ventimiglia
Milo Ventimiglia and Alyssa Milano
Credit: Rachel Worth/WENN

Before he became the object of TV fan crushes on Gilmore Girls, it turns out Milo Ventimiglia was on the other end of one aimed at Alyssa Milano.

In an interview with W Magazine, the 39-year-old actor revealed Who’s The Bossera Milano as his childhood dream girl. “When I was a kid it was totally Alyssa Milano,” Ventimiglia told the magazine. “I think everybody had a crush on Alyssa Milano.”

Milano, 44 — who costarred with Ventimiglia in the 2008 horror film Pathology as his fiancée — remained oblivious to this infatuation, even after becoming close enough friends to name her first child after him.

“I had no idea,” Milano tells PEOPLE. “Milo Ventimiglia is such a good, smart dude.”

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Pathology - 2008
Credit: Lakeshore Ent/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

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Ventimiglia became the namesake for Milano’s son after he encouraged her to date her now-husband David Bugliari, whom she has two children with: 5½-year-old son Milo Thomas and daughter Elizabella Dylan, 2½. Bugliari worked for the agency representing Milano, which made her question whether she should pursue a relationship.

“I used to confide in Milo Ventimiglia and say, ‘Is that weird if I date an agent that’s at my agency?’ and he was very, like, ‘No, if you’re compatible, you should go for it,’ ” Milano says.

“So I feel like he was responsible for my husband and [me] getting together,” she continues.

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Adds Milano of the moniker, “I loved that name, but when Milo was born, he just looked like a Milo to me and I thought it would be a lovely homage to Milo Ventimiglia for encouraging me to find my love.”

As close as she may be to Ventimiglia, Milano — who will appear in Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later in August — refuses to watch him in his hit drama This Is Us for one simple (and relatable) reason.

“It makes me cry and I cry from other things too much nowadays, so I can’t watch that show,” she admits.