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...
How quickly did you discover your character's power of duplicating
other heroes abilities?
Ventimiglia: Going into the pilot I had no idea what my power
was, I just saw there was this dynamic relationship between
and Peter. It was Peter aiding his brother Nathan in the discovery
that he could fly.
wasn't until a couple months later, after the show had been
picked up and we were all in New York when Tim
[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.
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?
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
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.
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.
The show has already had fantastic success. Why do you think
it has attracted such a wide audience, both young and old?
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
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.
Thank you for your time.
thanks to Julie Warmington at Holler
begins broadcasting on the Sci-Fi Channel
from February 2007.