Lauren Graham would return to Stars Hollow in a heartbeat, even without a budget or real sets, for that matter.
“I would do that just as an actor in a barn in the middle of nowhere,” the actress said at a Netflix event in Beverly Hills on Thursday night. The Emmys For Your Consideration showcase, moderated by Graham’s former “Parenthood” co-star Mae Whitman, offered press and Academy voters a chance to revisit Graham’s moving performance in Netflix’s “Gilmore Girls” revival.
On the original “Gilmore Girls” series, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, Graham played former teen mom Lorelai Gilmore, opposite then-newcomer Alexis Bledel (as precocious daughter Rory Gilmore), for nearly seven years before the show ended in 2007. Almost 10 years later, the show returned as Netflix’s “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” four movie-length installments that coincided with the four seasons of the year.
But as with that revival, Graham emphasized coming yet back again would require all the right people back on board. Graham stressed that she was “just one piece” of the show, and that any new story had to be “pleasing.” It was a reminder that resurrecting a beloved show isn’t always that easy, even if the story is there. For a “Year in the Life,” that meant addressing the death of co-star Edward Herrmann, who had played Graham’s TV dad during the show’s original run.
“It had to be a more mature version of itself. It couldn’t be the same,” she said. “Losing Ed was a hole in our hearts and in the show. He was everything. We couldn’t not address that, we couldn’t address it in a glossy way… The show is still the show but it started getting all mixed up in terms of the story we were telling and what we had experienced.”
Check out more highlights of the Q&A below:
The Father or Rory’s Baby
Graham addressed the Wookiee in the room when it came to speculating on who had gotten Rory pregnant. Was it the Wookiee one night stand in New York? Or her longtime fling Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry)? Or someone else? “I don’t know,” she said. “Amy and Alexis know who they think it is.. It’s just one of those things. [Amy is] not going to give it to you all tied up in a bow… These characters can live in your imagination as they did… It feels a little like she left you hanging, but it was for your own good.”
The Pretzel Speech
One of the clips screened for the audience showed Lorelai after she quit trying to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and instead called her mother to reminisce about one of the best days she had with her late father, when he bought her a mall pretzel and then watched two movies with her. “It started as ‘What do you think, the longest monologue on television?’” said Graham. “[The show] not known for its brevity in any way.”
Graham Is More of a Rory Than a Lorelai
The actress revealed that she’s nothing like her character when it comes to being bold in public. “I am not comfortable publicly. I have developed a way,” she said. “I would not have chosen the public aspects of an actor. I was more a Rory, I was a very bookish… not outgoing, not all that positive energy that Lorelai always had. She never feels sorry for herself. She had all this hardship as a teenager. I didn’t have that. I rode horses. Amy is not Lorelai either. It’s someone who is the best version of everything she loves… It’s a real wish-fulfillment character for us both.”
Favorite “Year in the Life” Scene
Graham revealed that one of her favorite scenes features Kelly Bishop as her mother Emily, who is purging her household of worldly possessions after her husband’s death. Graham said she loved to see Emily be “imperious to the help. “[Bishop] is so not that person,” said Graham. “She’s a lovely dog rescuer.”
The Impact of Playing Lorelai on Her Life
“I will never get tired talking about this,” Graham said. “We’ll be doing panels ’til I’m 95 years old. Come visit me at the home.”
“Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” is currently streaming on Netflix.