With Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life set to drop this Friday, it’s only fitting that we all take a moment to remember the benevolent champion of the series, Edward Herrmann, who always brought joy to both scene and set of Gilmore Girls. The loss of Edward Herrmann loomed large over the cast during the filming and the loss of Richard Gilmore pays tribute to those feelings. As Lauren recently noted, it was the loss of Edward that cemented a storyline that felt truly right:
“The anchor for me in this was that we are all unified by a loss that hits us each in a different way,” Graham says. And as characters, Emily “is dealing with how she’s going to move on. Lorelai (is) facing why she hasn’t grown up in certain ways. It’s this loss that brings them all together in a deeper way.”
Although we’ve heard a great deal from Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel and Kelly Bishop, and many others, about the way that Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is a silent tribute to the memory of Edward Herrmann, the tributes keep flowing in.
Brenda Maben, costume designer for Gilmore Girls, shares how everyone on set struggled to find their place without Edward.
“Everybody was kind of clutching everyone else,” Maben remembers. She and the show’s dialogue coach, George Bell ,struggled to return to the room where they used to chat with Herrmann between takes. “Everybody walked in just kind of holding each other’s hand to maybe get a little extra strength. We couldn’t go there for a while. Then finally we looked at each other and said, ‘Come on, let’s do this.’”
On Kelly Bishop, who has been vocal about the loss of her friend, Brenda notes:
on that first day of filming, “she said she kept waiting for Ed to come,” Herrmann’s wife Star told Vanity Fair at the Gilmore Girls Fan Festival in Washington Depot, Connecticut this fall. She propped up a professional photo of Herrmann as we spoke so that he could join the conversation. “[Kelly] said she kept saying, ‘All right, Edward, where are you?’ She said [they] were just about to start, and all the lights flickered, flickered. And everything went black. And she went, ‘Aha! I knew you were here.’”
Kelly Bishop was the only person whom Edward Herrmann and his wife, Star, invited to their side in the final weeks of Edward’s life. The Vanity Fair profile shares some personal photos from the Herrmann family, giving us insight into the bright life that Edward led.
On the topic of Edward Herrmann, Amy Sherman-Palladino spoke with Hollywood Reporter, saying that Edward Herrmann played an instrumental role in the revival. Aside from always being a champion of the show and a supporter of each actor who appeared there, his passing helped band together those who were left. Amy Sherman-Palladino talks about all the “stars” that aligned, including the passing of Edward:
We really pushed to make it happen quickly, which is not often the way these things get done because there’s a lot of dealmaking that has nothing to do with us going on, but we just felt like the actors were at the right place in their lives. Parenthood had just ended. It wasn’t like we were getting Lauren [Graham] out of a series to do it. Alexis [Bledel] wasn’t in Mozambique doing a movie or whatever it was. Scott Patterson wasn’t taking his band on the road. It felt like, ‘Hmm, it’s the right time.’ Ed Herrmann’s passing was very fresh in our minds and we were all pretty crushed by it and it felt like a way to honor him and what he meant to us. So there was something about everything aligning that you get a feeling. I think Dan and I looked at each other and were like, ‘If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen now.’ It won’t happen a year from now.
When it came to writing the scripts, the passing of Edward Herrmann (and Richard Gilmore) became a central point:
Where are these characters? Where can they be to give us just the right amount of conflict? We weren’t trying to come up with any twists or anything. It was really like, where are they now? What are they going through? Certainly, the death of Richard Gilmore [Hermann] hovers over all four chapters and it affects all their stories in different ways.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jared Padalecki also chimes in on how emotional it was to return to Stars Hollow and that one of his most memorable moments from working on Gilmore Girls was filming with Edward Herrmann”
“We’re sitting there and he’s like, ‘How tall are you?’ I’m like, ‘How tall are you?’ I say, ‘How tall are you?’ But I remember, whatever it was about that night, it was a beautiful night. It was chilly, but you were awake. I had just moved to LA within the year, I’m shooting with this actor that I’ve had utmost respect for and been a fan of for years, when I was in middle school in Texas.”
He adds, “I kind of sat there and went like, ‘I’m living my dream. This is it. When I dared to dream, I dreamt about this and here I am,’ and there were many moments like that, but that sticks out to me.”
And here’s one more about honouring Ed
He’s touched the lives of many, both on the show and around the world. We will always miss you, Edward!