Milo Ventimiglia Says Will Smith Inspired Him to Treat 'Everybody with Kindness and Respect'

Milo Ventimiglia learned an important lesson from his guest spot on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Ahead of the 2018 Emmy Awards, the This is Us star — who’s nominated for outstanding lead actor in a drama series — opened up about one of his first roles: a 1995 guest spot on the classic NBC sitcom.

“I was a kid with one line on his show, but what I did was watch [Smith] and what I saw him doing was treating everybody with kindness and respect,” Ventimiglia, 41, told Giuliana Rancic during the E! Live from the Red Carpet pre-show.

“At 18, I watched one of the biggest TV and movie stars be nice to people,” he continued, adding that even at a young age, “I thought, ‘I want to be like him. I want to be like Will Smith.’ “

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The actor also shared that much like the patriarch Jack Pearson, whom he plays on This Is Us, Ventimiglia really tries “to be an agent of love and kindness and goodness.”

“It’s good to be part of a show that inspires men to be good and other families to come together,’ he added, later saying that his personal motto is “live with love.”

RELATED VIDEO: Why Milo Ventimiglia Says His ‘Foul Mouth’ Gets Him Into Trouble On Set

Last month, while opening up to PEOPLE about the best thing he’s ever taken from set, Ventimiglia proved he has another similarity to Pearson: He’s very sentimental.

“The best thing I’ve ever taken from a set is friends,” he said during an interview with PEOPLE Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle, for The Jess Cagle Interview.

“For me, it’s not about an object or anything,” he explained.” For me, it’s about looking at someone that I’ve now worked with for a year or a month or something and saying to them, ‘I’m gonna know you the rest of my life.’ That’s probably the best thing you can take from a set.”

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Michael Che and Colin Jost, will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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