Milo Ventimiglia Gilmore Girls Interview

Gilmore Girls Revival: Milo Ventimiglia Ready to 'Strap the Leather Jacket on and Shake Things Up' as Jess

Add Milo Ventimiglia to the list of Gilmore Girls vets experiencing something of a nostalgic mind frak upon returning to Stars Hollow.

“It’s a little strange in the best possible way,” the actor tells me in his first interview since signing on to reprise his role as Jess in Netflix’s forthcoming revival. “All of a sudden, you’re teleported to being 25 years old again. But you’re not 25 anymore. We’re all a lot older.”

In the following Q&A, Ventimiglia tackles the big Jess-related revival mysteries, including — but not limited to — in how many of the four installments he’ll appear, what’s up with Jess’ publishing empire, and with which of Rory’s men does he think she ultimately belongs?!

TVLINE | When did you first get the inkling that this was maybe going to happen?
It wasn’t until the [cast] reunion in Austin a year ago that it was something that felt potentially, possibly real. When Amy [Sherman-Palladino] first told me [that it was happening], my first response was, “Yes. Absolutely. I’ll be back. I don’t care if I’m in Tunisia doing a movie. I’ll fly home, I’ll be Jess, because I love you guys so much. And then I’ll go back to my job in Tunisia.” As it turns out, I don’t have a job in Tunisia. I’m here in L.A., which is nice.

TVLINE | How many of the four episodes are you in?
I would say more than two, less than four.

TVLINE | What can you say about where Jess is in his life when we pick back up?
I was trying to recall where we left off with him. I think he was starting his own press in Philadelphia. He had written a book. And he was trying to re-inspire Rory into going back to her roots. Not much has changed in Jess’ world since then. Jess might’ve been a pain in the ass when he first got to Stars Hollow, but he grew up and became a pretty decent guy. So it’s kind of a continuation of that with Jess.

TVLINE | Obviously, many of the headlines about the revival have focused on Rory’s men, especially now that you, Jared and Matt are returning.
Always a hot topic. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Where do you currently stand on the question of who Rory should be with?
[Laughs] Oh, God. I don’t know. I kind of love Scott Patterson’s reaction to it at the Gilmore panel last year, where he said, “None of them.” The fans are a better authority about who Rory should possibly be with or could be with.

TVLINE | When do you start shooting?
Soon. I’m looking forward to being back on the Warner Bros. lot. I feel like it’s the studio that raised me, so it’ll be a nice homecoming.

TVLINE | Do you feel like you have unfinished business with Jess?
[Laughs] I really don’t think about a character beyond what the run is. When my stretch on Gilmore ended, I was done. But I had a lot of fun with this character and the cast and Dan and Amy, so [it’s really about] going back to a fun bunch of memories in my life. And reconnecting with old friends. So I’m excited. But I personally don’t have unfinished business with Jess. I don’t have a grievance with Jess. There’s nothing in particular I’m excited to play, other then maybe strap on his leather jacket and pop back in to shake things up.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Courtney says:

    What a great start to the day. 3 episodes of Jess!!!!

  2. Maria says:

    Yet he couldn’t be back for Heroes (Reborn). The revival might have been better with him in it.

    • Drew says:

      That was a smart move on his part. Honestly, the show’s problem wasn’t the cast or even the concept of its characters. It was the horrible lack of focus in the writers room, creating a mess of a plot. His being there wouldn’t have helped the show, but it would have once again tied him to a mess that he managed to break free of years ago.

      • Ann says:

        Agreed. Heroes became a hot mess after season 2. I don’t blame him for not coming back, I think he has a soft spot for Gilmore Girls because that’s the show that really launched his career. Plus, he and Alexis dated for several years, so I think he truly means it when he says he liked all of them.

        • finngodo says:

          What Ann said – TV shows rarely shoot in order, they like to block scenes. It saves time and money, and they’re probably only spending a couple week on each 90 minute episode anyway.

          Also, it’s more than conceivable that he may not be in a middle episode and then return for the 4th.

          We’ll see!

  3. Bwhit says:

    With the episode count number he gave, I don’t want him to be in the first one so he’s there in the fourth lol. To me, if he ends up with Rory that would just be icing on the cake. I just want him to be around in general. Jess did grow up, it’s just not remembered as well because he was in very few episodes after season 3.

  4. I agree. None of the three boyfriends were good enough for her. Dean was a glorified farm boy, Jess was a date rapist and Logan was a rich jerk who dumped his girlfriend when she didn’t want to get married at age 22 and give up her career for him. I want her to be single and focused on her career.

    • Marcie says:

      Remember, this is 8 years later and Rory is pushing 30. How long do you want her to wait before getting married and having children of her own?

    • Lorna says:

      He was NOT a date rapist. Learn the definition.

      • Look the definition up, he attempted rape.

        • Winter says:

          He tried to sleep with her she said no. He tried to convince her she said no. He stopped, let her up, and let her leave. He pouted about it like a teenager. None of this is rape and when you equate it as such you minimize what actual date rape is. It doesn’t make him a great guy but it certainly doesn’t make him a rapist.

          • Jeri says:

            Agree, nothing even similar to date rape occurred. Someone needs to educate themselves on sex terms. Asking, stopping when turned down is not rape.

        • Erin says:

          Wow. That is incredibly and extremely offensive. You may not like the character which is fine, but no he did not attempt rape as per what everyone else is saying cause clearly you do NOT know the definition. A teen boy wants to have sex with his girlfriend and is knocked back as she is not ready and says no, he stops and is upset (but due to a bunch of different factors as per the storyline in the actual episode – failing school, unable to deliver through on the Prom for Rory). Dean jumped to the wrong conclusion and they the fight but nothing happened, it never ever went even slightly close to rape. I’m guessing you’re on of these people who love to assume and label people but../. oh I can’t even.

          I actually love how they left the series even after a few crappy seasons, focused on herself instead of a guy and the girls had each other’s backs. But I”m looking forward to her settling down, I just hope they don’t screw it up.

    • Toni Sheposh says:

      A date rapist? Because he tried to talk his girlfriend into sex like just about every other teenage boy? When she said no, he let her go, and acted like the disappointed teenage boy he was playing. Attempted sex with your girlfriend and attempted rape are two entirely different things. He was a horny teenage boy who got shot down, period.

  5. Maryb says:

    Team Jess

  6. Denise Rambo says:

    “More than two, less than four.” Let’s hope that means episodes 2, 3 & 4 and Rory ends up with Jess!

  7. Ian says:

    Will there be chats with Jared and Matt too? Because depending on how they answer, that’ll decide who I want Rory with. Because Milo just sounds a little too blase in this interview. Let whichever of them has the most passion left for Gilmore Girls walk off into the sunset with Rory. They can write any number of perfect endings.

    • Lorna says:

      Why, because he said he didn’t feel the character had unfinished business? He mentioned how he would’ve traveled from a different country to play Jess again. Don’t twist his words around.

    • Hso says:

      You know that Milo used to date Alexis, right? They were a couple for about four years. I believe some of his elusiveness in the “who’s perfect for Rory” department comes from that. It must be some kind of awkward for him to talk about who is the perfect man for his ex-girlfriend’s character.

    • Sarah j says:

      If Jess is with Rory he can’t say that. He did say how happy he is to be back and basically said he would have flown in from anywhere.

    • Erin says:

      You want Rory with the actor who wants it more regardless of character or story line? Okay that’s um different. Though Milo saying he’d say yes without any reservation and fly in from anywhere seems pretty passionate about the project to me. Just because he isn’t being drawn into the shipper wars but keeping it diplomatic doesn’t mean he’s blase.

  8. sarah t says:

    I’m so excited about this! I did love Jess (though ultimately Dean is still my favorite). I think Jess grew up well though. I imagine he’ll be much more settled on the show with a career. Since Milo and Alexis didn’t up together in real life, I wouldn’t hate it if they got together on the show.

  9. Karen says:

    More than 2, less than 4? Why can’t he just say “3” and answer the question? He likes to hear himself talk?

  10. Amy says:

    He is Rory’s intellectual equal. He just needed to mature a bit. I like him the best, then Logan, then Dean (who is not Rory’s intellectual equal).

  11. Karin says:

    Did i miss your interview with Alexis or has that not happened yet? If so, why not?!? Thanks

  12. Lorna says:

    Omg, I hope Rory gets back with him. If not, just glad to have him back. Anybody but Logan is all I ask ASP.

  13. Hawk says:

    What I like the most about this character is that he was a character in its own right. It didn’t exist just to be a love interest, but as his own life, got his own purpose and faced his own struggles.

    • 100% Agreed with this. He was a well-developed character. His relationship with Luke was just as interesting as his with Rory. Also, we got to know so much about his backstory and why he was the way he was.

    • Erin says:

      That’s why we were going to get a spin-off… and then we didn’t :(

      I’m torn. I really wanted more of Jess. I especially adored his relationship with Luke, and Rory even though I’m not a big shipper, and the begrudging acceptance between him and Lorelai was lovely to watch. But then I didn’t really love the spin-off idea, I wish they would have given us more of what they planned there. It had awesome potential but then I would have missed the Jess and Luke interactions, one of the many reasons why I fear we ended up with April, ugh. That said I love what they did with him in the very few episodes on latter seasons. They grew him up well. He matured into a lovely young man and IMO into the best suitor for Rory (though I’m happy she chose herself by series end).

      I just hope they don’t screw this up. Three episodes is promising. I wonder if he’ll be at war with Taylor, still.

  14. Eliane says:

    Rory and Jess, OMG!!!!!!!!

  15. Michelle says:

    I used to look forward to the next episode that Jess would finally be in and always thought they’d end up together. The great thing about his character was how passionate he was; he seemed to love Luke and Rory so much, but was unable to show it because of how he was raised. It seems like he needed to figure out how to love himself first before he could show them. So he goes off on his own and figures it out, only it seemed too late. Now, it might not be! I’m rooting for Jess. Always have!

    • Hso says:

      Love your comment. :)

    • memecoffee says:

      Yeah, I feel that too. And I love Jess caracter, hi is so emotional. I agree when you said that HE needed to figure out how to love himself first before he could show them. Siento lo mismo. Amo el personaje de Jess, es muy emocional. Estoy de acuerdo con usted cuando dice que Jess primero debe encontrar la manera de quererse él mismo , para poder demostrar lo mismo a los demás .

  16. S. says:

    Yay I can’t wait for this revival!! So happy to see what happens and hopefully Rory and Jess will have a future together #teamJess
    We only miss Melissa Mccarty as Sookie to make it perfect

  17. Whatevah says:

    I’m so happy there is no Christopher so far!

  18. Ale says:

    I loved Jess and he will always be my favorite character on the show, along with Lorelai. I don’t think AmySP will make Rory end up with neither of them, but I so hope it’s with Jess. I can only dream. After all, two dreams already came true: Gilmore Girls is back and Jess is going to be on it <3 I think people judged teenager Jess too much without thinking where he came from. He loved Rory and Luke, but just couldn't express it or be there for them because he hadn't figure out whom he was yet. But the last episodes with him showed me how deeply the character had grown and how only he could take some sense into Rory's head. He knew her too well. I'm so excited to see what happens!! And Dean was never a match for Rory, they had NOTHING in common. He was a nice guy, but that was it. Logan at least challenged her, but he was too spoiled. #TeamJess always. Milo rocks!

    • Jeri says:

      I like Scotts answer too, “None of them,”

      • Michelle says:

        I somewhat agree only because there are SO many fans that would have different opinions if she ended up with one or the other (bc let’s be real, it’s not gonna be Dean). However, it would make me feel a little empty and as though there was still something left unsaid. Regardless, the creators have always known what they wanted for the show and I doubt they let the public sway their decisions. Either way, team Jess.

  19. 3!!! (Hoping it’s the last 3)

  20. tsevca says:

    Well, he once said he wouldn´t come back for season 7, because it was without Palladinos, but would always come back for them.. I´m glad that he didn´t change with other roles and fame not coming from them.

  21. aww he sounds so happy to be part of this project! a lot of interviews I’ve read of his have been surly. so it’s nice to see he’s in a good place.

  22. Judy says:

    Why don’t you ask Sookie to come back……she keeps saying “No one has asked me to be on it”. So just go ahead and ask….she would say Yes …..I bet.

  23. isabelle says:

    Sookie has to come back! Even if it’s only for one.. I can’t be the only one who thinks she played a huge part in making it the show we all love. It just won’t be the same without her.

  24. Mitzi Ryder says:

    Absolutely cannot wait to see these shows! I miss this show so much and my daughter grew up watching it! We are as close as the Gilmore girls, but can’t talk as fast! I want to live in Stars Hollow, get coffee at Luke’s and stay at the Dragonfly Inn! Thank you for bringing everyone back! Love you guys!