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August 09, 2018 09:00 AM

Milo Ventimiglia‘s blooper reel throughout his career wouldn’t exactly be filled with klutzy moments — but it would need an R-rating.

“I was never one to trip or fall or pass gas or anything like that,” the This Is Us star and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Emmy nominee, 41, tells PEOPLE for Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle’s The Jess Cagle Exercise. “My mouth gets me in trouble.”

“I’ve got a pretty f–kin’ foul mouth,” he jokes.

Austin Hargrave

When asked to share the best career advice he’d ever received, Ventimiglia recalls a less-than-stellar audition that had a lasting effect on his acting.

“I was auditioning to play a spy and I guess for whatever reason I put on the eyebrow and I put on this idea of what the spy in this comedy meant to me,” he says. “The casting director stopped me and he said ‘Just be you. We want you.’ It was one of those things that I realized what I bring, or what any actor brings of themselves is unique.”

We’re guessing that happened sometime after his first acting job, which was on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. “I’ve got one line, I’m at a party — go check it out!” he urges.

If he insists…

  • For more of 2018’s Emmy Power Players, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday

When asked about the best thing he’s ever taken from the set, Ventimiglia is as sweetly sentimental as Jack Pearson himself.

“The best thing I’ve ever taken from a set is friends,” he says. “For me, it’s not about an object or anything. For me, it’s about looking at someone that I’ve now worked with for a year or a month or something and saying to them, ‘I’m gonna know you the rest of my life.’ That’s probably the best thing you can take from a set.”

This Is Us season 3 kicks off on Sept. 25 on ABC. The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards air Sept. 17 on NBC.

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