Milo Ventimiglia

Milo Ventimiglia's film credits include the Disney film Stay Alive, the Wes Craven/Kevin Williamson thriller Cursed, and he recently completed work on the sixth instalment of the Rocky series, Rocky Balboa, playing Sylvester Stallone's son. On TV Ventimiglia has appeared in The Bedford Diaries, Gilmore Girls, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, C.S.I. and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. He currently stars in NBC's Heroes as Peter Petrelli, a male nurse and politician's younger brother who is plagued by nightmares that he can fly. Sci-fi Online caught up with Ventimiglia as Heroes was about to start broadcasting on the Sci-Fi Channel...

Sci-Fi Online: How quickly did you discover your character's power of duplicating other heroes abilities?

Milo Ventimiglia: Going into the pilot I had no idea what my power was, I just saw there was this dynamic relationship between Nathan [Adrian Pasdar] and Peter. It was Peter aiding his brother Nathan in the discovery that he could fly.

It wasn't until a couple months later, after the show had been picked up and we were all in New York when Tim Kring [executive producer] walked up to me with a big smile on this face and he said: "I think we figured out Peter". Then he dove in to his explanation of what Peter's ability was.

SFO: Peter has the potential to be the strongest of the heroes. What happens if he is with two or more of the other characters, will he adopt all of their abilities?

MV: The physical and the mental pressure of being in a room with two superheroes would be overwhelming. It could possibly get him into trouble. We do get into that, we do explore it. There is also the question of whether he is ever going to retain any of these powers or whether it is just when he's nearby somebody.

SFO: How much do you know about the plot directions?

MV: I like to try and keep focused on the page and the work at hand. I have a vague idea of what's coming up. When the scripts come in they're always better than I ever expected. It is so different to anything I've ever read before. There is this base human emotion and these wonderfully written characters interacting. I'll watch my scenes to see where I can improve what I'm doing, but I actually watch all the other characters as well because I'm so drawn in by what they're doing.

People that work on the show are as big, if not bigger, fans than the people who watch it on Monday nights. They are just so happy to be a part of this whole effort. We can't wait to see what the special effects team has done. We are all working in our own little world with so many people and locations that, when we work, we don't always see everything. To see it all come together in such a great manner is so rewarding and so exciting.

SFO: The show has already had fantastic success. Why do you think it has attracted such a wide audience, both young and old?

MV: It is the subject matter and the state of the world at the moment, people are interested to see a group of characters with unusual circumstances.

With regard to the age question, it is funny, my best friend's 88 year old grandmother watches the show and her favourite character is Sinclair. So there is not just one story line that plays to a younger audience and another that plays to an older audience. Overall, you look at it collectively and realise that there is something for everybody and ultimately every story line is appealing to an 88 year old woman as well as a teenager or a woman who is in their 20s, 30s or 40s.

SFO: What has been the biggest surprise about the production?

MV: The execution and the collective nature of everybody involved, from camera crew and production through to the actors, it's really gone in such a linear motion. It would have been more of a surprise if it hadn't done so well because on set we see so many talented people working hard and working well together.

SFO: Were you a comic book fan when you were growing up?

MV: I grew up on comics and was into Batman and the Punisher. They were guys who didn't have these out-of-this world abilities. They were just crazy and had a vendetta stance. But of course at the same time I followed Superman and Spider-Man, those characters are always exciting too.

SFO: Thank you for your time.

With thanks to Julie Warmington at Holler

Heroes begins broadcasting on the Sci-Fi Channel from February 2007.

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