There isn't a This Is Us without Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson. So to learn Oliver Hudson almost played Jack Pearson, well, it's hard to imagine. The Ladygang podcast released a clip from their interview with the Splitting Up Together star Monday, in which Hudson revealed not only did he audition for the beloved NBC drama, but he was even supposed to read with Mandy Moore. Believe it or not, it didn't happen — because Hudson loves fishing so much.
"So I went in and read, and it went very well, and they wanted me to come and do a chemistry read with Mandy Moore," Hudson explained. "But this will tell you how much I love to fish."
He then went onto to reveal how fishing trumped a chemistry read with Moore, who plays lead Rebecca Pearson. "I had a 10-day fishing trip planned. It's my life!" he outright admitted. "Fishing is a big part of my life and it was this 10-day fishing trip and my agent says, ‘We have to test, and they really like you, and this, this, and that.' And I said, ‘Oh. I'm supposed to go on a fishing trip'… And he's like, ‘Ok, yeah…so? I mean this is a big thing.' And I said, ‘You know what? I'm going to do my fishing trip, so…'"
Hudson said he made a "test deal", but just with his audition tape from the room. For those unaware, Vulture explains a "test deal" as follows: "Studios and networks always demand that any actor going in to test for a show sign a 'test deal,' which says they can't accept another deal within a five- to ten-day period following their test; such contracts are required so an actor won’t be able to use the after-the-fact leverage of having beaten out the competition in order to negotiate a better deal for themselves."
Even though he made a test deal, Hudson, obviously, didn't get the part. It's mind-boggling to think anyone would choose fishing over a callback for a series — and one that requires a reading with the amazing Moore. Granted, Hudson had no idea This Is Us would be as successful as it is or that Jack Pearson would become one of the best TV dads ever.
"Of course, it premiered massive and I'm like, 'Oh, sh*t,'" Hudson told The Ladygang. He also said he actually liked what he read. "Who knows what it's all gonna turn out to be," he said referring to new TV shows, before adding, "But I read the script and I rarely like anything, because there's a lot of sh*t, but I read it and was like, 'This is really good.' I thought it was very well written and new and a little different, interesting."
Hudson even gave a nod to Ventimiglia (who even received an Emmy nomination in 2017 for playing Jack) and said, "But good for Milo. He made it."
Some This Is Us fans are, of course, commenting on the possibility of Hudson playing Jack and also thanking him in the process. Here are just a few tweets:
Hudson may have missed out on a the role of a lifetime, but both he and Ventimiglia are two successful talents right now. With both This Is Us and Splitting Up Together returning for another season, they are doing just fine.
If Ventimiglia didn't play Jack, who knows if the Pearson patriarch would be as admired or if This Is Us would be a hit. No offense to Hudson, but thank goodness he went on a fishing trip, because Ventimiglia is Jack Pearson.