For Milo Ventimiglia, the three-time Emmy-nominated star of “This Is Us,” getting into his upcoming ABC project “The Company You Keep” was just about a “haircut and a shave, and here I go.”
The actor said at Wednesday’s Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena that he immediately jumped from the long-running NBC drama to the new caper show, taking roughly a two-week break in between roles and bringing along 90% of the production crew along with him.
“Shorthand, the expertise, the level that which I think ‘This Is Us’ operated, from a production standpoint, we carried it over to ours and everybody folded together and everyone works well together,” the actor said. “Production has been a lot of fun.”
The ABC thriller-drama, based on the Korean format “My Fellow Citizens,” has been in the works for two years, with Ventimiglia also serving as executive producer and developing the project while wrapping the final season of “This Is Us.”
“This one rose to the top very fast,” Ventimiglia said. “It was an early piece of development for my company [Divide Pictures] that we got on board by invitation of [executive producer] Jon Chu. [Executive producer Julia Cohen] was already there, and she had just a wonderfully architected pilot that I know we saw a lot of value in a TV series.”
“And so as an actor, I wasn’t so concerned with what my next project was,” he continued. “But this was just one that was undeniable; the right pieces were assembled and then other pieces were brought in to enrich and make it even more full, and for me.”
“The Company You Keep,” which premieres on the network Feb. 19 with next-day streaming on Hulu, follows Charlie (Ventimiglia), a suave conman trying to leave the family business behind, and undercover CIA agent Emma (Catherine Haena Kim) as they embark on a crash course professionally and romantically — each unaware of what the other does for a living.
Co-showrunners Phil Klemmer (“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”) and Cohen (“Riverdale”) will also serve as EPs alongside Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff (Divide Pictures), Chu and Caitlin Foito (Electric Somewhere), as well as Todd Harthan and Lindsay Goffman. Deanna Harris is also a producer under Divide.