PEOPLE caught up with Milo Ventimiglia at Tuesday’s PaleyFestival fall TV preview for his upcoming NBC series This Is Us, and the actor opened up about how Herrmann, who died in 2014, was regularly honored as they filmed the hit series’ upcoming Netflix revival.
“You know what, I think he was remembered every day,” Ventimiglia said of Herrmann, who played Richard Gilmore, the on-screen father to Lauren Graham‘s Lorelai.
“He’s such an impactful guy in the industry,” continued Ventimiglia, 39. “When we worked together 15 years ago, I sat and just kind of watched him. I kept my mouth shut and I just watched him.”
“Because here’s a man who’d been in movies that I’d seen when I was a kid, and now here I am shoulder to shoulder with him,” he continued. “And I think in the years that he did it, he still kept a very young spirit to the work, and again was very encouraging to young actors – and he was a human being through all of it. So he’s missed.”
Graham, 49, echoed the sentiment in a recent interview with PEOPLE: “He would have loved this [revival],” Graham said of Herrmann.
“His death was just a loss for us personally. It’s given the show a new complexity and depth,” she added. “It’s a nice tribute to him.”
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life debuts Nov. 25 on Netflix.