Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel gave an insightful review to Collider about their return to Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The interview goes a little deeper into the question of what it was like to return and what that meant to them as actors and as individuals, what the new storylines felt like and a few insightful comments on the new plots.
Since much of the interview includes commentary the girls have both mentioned in many other interviews, I’ll just highlight the newer or deeper stuff here.
Lauren Graham notes, on the feeling of being back:
People were happy to be working on the show, if they hadn’t been there before. If they had, they were happy to be back. We had a positive perspective on the opportunity we’d been given. There was a lot of buoyancy, and that helped us get through. This is a challenging show to do. These are long scenes and long speeches with theatrical language, and that’s not what most TV is. I hit a point, about half-way through, where I was like, “I remember you.” I had this feeling where I was delirious. But, it’s different to know there’s an end in sight. The overwhelming feeling was gratitude.
Later in the interview, Lauren noted that being back on set was the true reunion. Although many of them met in Austin for ATX last summer, it was such a frenzied event that there wasn’t time to catch up.
I would sit in Town Hall and watch Michael Winters, who plays Taylor Doose, and be like, “He’s so good!” Before, I was like, “I’m tired! Somebody get me a coffee!” Now, I was like, “Look at this beautiful room with these beautiful people!”
Lauren and Alexis both spoke to the difficult transition moving from Gilmore Girls into other projects, which were never as intense, and in trying out different roles. Alexis made an interesting comment on what it was like to return to Rory after having grown herself and experimented so much as an actress:
Coming back to this character, she had grown up. It was interesting that we get to go back to the characters in real time because I had grown up the same amount, but in a very different environment. Getting to think about her and where she’s been, doesn’t happen very often.
Lauren talked about the goodness of the show, which in a land of tv violence and drama is increasingly unusual. It mixes intelligence with humour and drama in a unique way, very unique to Amy Sherman-Palladino, notes Lauren. The return felt more collaborative, noted Lauren, and it sounds like that made the experience that much richer for them all.
Alexis Bledel talked briefly about working again with Jared Padalecki, who she let slip she only shares one scene with, but that it was “fun to film,” and that Jared always has “great energy.” Jared has already spoken to the brevity of his character’s return, which has many fans sad.
Alexis made an insightful comment about the dynamic between Lorelai and Rory and where the two are at now:
Part of Rory and Lorelai’s dynamic was that Rory was always the adult in the relationship, and Lorelai would sometimes act more like a kid. Then, she would pull the mom card. I think what that really was, for Rory, was trying to make Lorelai happy, no matter what she was going through. She wasn’t really being an adult. She was just doing whatever would create harmony in her household. Now, she is out living her own life and taking care of herself and trying to survive her day to day, which is not easy, being a journalist in this day and age. She’s not that far along in her career, but she’s been doing it for a little while. That’s really been her main focus. It’s had to be, for her to survive her own life. So, coming back to see her mom is stepping back into that dynamic that has now matured into something else. I don’t think it’s clear, from the beginning, what that looks like. I think it’s something they discover, as the story plays out.
I think this is something we haven’t talked about yet, not really. The maturity of Rory and wanting to be on equal footing with Lorelai. Facing challenges in her life, this feeling of not wanting to slip back into a place of dependency is likely amplified, wouldn’t you think?
Lorelai talked about Amy & Dan getting to have their ending, after the non-ending of Season 7, and how they had more stories to tell, even now, that didn’t make the cut. She also says the ending is ‘resolved-ish’, perhaps leaving open the possibility for more episodes at a later date.
Lauren and Alexis also shared their favourite memories from the original series, which for Lauren involved scenes in Luke’s Diner or with Kelly Bishop (Emily). For Alexis, it was also working with Kelly Bishop, who “brings everyone up to her level of energy and demands a certain kind of response,” and the sheer variety she gets to experience as an actor working with such a wide range of characters.