On Tuesday, April 6, Padalecki, 38, posted an Instagram photo of himself holding a sign that reads, “I [heart] JESS 4EVER,” referring to the character that Ventmigilia, 43, played on the teen drama.
“Ohmigod @miloanthonyventimiglia our offices are SO SIMILAR!!” the actor, who played Dean, captioned the picture. “Little bit of @michaelmuller7, little bit of @gilmoregirls homeboy love! TWINSIES! (Well, I don’t have an Emmy nomination, but I DO have a ‘Best Body’ trophy that was worth every dollar @genpadalecki paid for it on Hollywood & Vine). Miss ya brother. Couldn’t be more proud of ya.”
Ventimiglia responded to his former coworker’s post with the comment, “I f—kin love you bro.”
The This Is Us actor had shown off his own “I [heart] DEAN 4EVER” sign during his Monday, April 5, appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The sign was affixed to a framed certificate for the actor’s 2017 Emmy nomination for his role as Jack Pearson on the popular NBC show.
When the host asked if the sign placement was a dig at his fictional rival, Ventmigilia said “not at all” — the pair are still close. “Jared and I are really good friends,” he replied. “I made the sign for some photograph that someone was looking for online or something. And after I made it, I just said, ‘Well, let me just hang on to this ’cause this is cool.’ And I literally just kind of stuck it right onto my Emmy notification that was hanging on my wall.”
Jess and Dean both dated Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) in earlier seasons of the show before she left Stars Hollow for college and started a relationship with Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry). At the end of Netflix’s 2016 Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival, Rory told her mother Lorelai (Lauren Graham) that she was pregnant. The show did not reveal the identity of the father — and even Ventimiglia doesn’t know the answer.
“Maybe I’ll call Mattie and ask him like, ‘Hey, man, so who’s kiddo was it?’ Cause like, it wasn’t Jess,” the actor told Us Weekly in an exclusive interview last month. “That was the only thing I knew. I knew it wasn’t Jess’ baby. I’m positive it wasn’t Jess’ baby.”
Padalecki previously weighed in on the Jess vs. Dean debate in 2015, telling Us at the time that he preferred Ventimiglia’s character to his own. “I’m Team Jess,” he said at the ATX Festival. “I admit it. I even told Milo. I’m totally Team Jess.”
At the same event, Ventimiglia confessed that he was on Team Dean, even after Rory took up with Logan. “I’ve always been Team Dean,” he said. “Logan was a d—k.”