If you follow this blog even a little bit, you probably already know that I have a pretty intense Gilmore Girls obsession. I've ranked the top 10 episodes, visited the set in LA, declared what should and shouldn't happen inthe rumored movie and made shrinky-dinks of Lorelai and Rory's faces. And now I can add traveling almost two thousand miles to see the cast reunite to the list.
This weekend, I was in Austin, Texas for the ATX Festival and paid witness to the cast reuniting for the first time since 2007. Here's what you missed:
Will there be a movie or new season?
I know that's what you're dying to know so I won't keep you waiting. Despite Scott Patterson (Luke) getting our hopes way up a couple of weeks ago, Amy Sherman-Palladino dashed any movie dreams...for now:
“There’s nothing in the works at the moment. Here’s the good thing: Nobody here hates each other. That's a very important step. It would have to be the right everything—the right format, the right timing, the right budget—it would have to be honored in a certain way. And if it ever came around, I think we would all jump in and do it. If it ever happened, I promise you I’d do it correctly.”
The beginning of what was to become Gilmore Girls was written on hotel stationery.
After Sherman-Palladino unsuccessfully pitched a bunch of ideas to The WB, she blurted out a vague idea about a mother and daughter who are more like friends. They bought it and Sherman-Palladino had to scramble to figure out what the story actually was. "It's a mother, it's a daughter. Do they rollerskate?" It all came to her on a trip to Connecticut.
"There were pumpkins and hay rides and people asking where you can go buy your pumpkin. And I thought this is not real...I didn't understand the concept of people talking to each other and caring and wanting a response. It was strange. And that's when I decided, Well, I'll put them here, it seems nice, there's trees. And over the weekend, I said 'Oh, we're staying at an inn. Maybe she works at an inn...look, I was desperate.'" The first kitchen scene was jotted down on the inn's stationery and the rest is history!
Lauren Graham (Lorelai) on what it was like reading the script for the first time:
"Something really clicked. I remember Christopher Reeve saying 'The way you know a part is really for you is if you can't stand the idea of anyone else doing it.' And that's how I felt about this. I was like, Oo, this is mine, I can't stand the idea of anyone else doing it! I had that kind of a strong reaction."
Alexis Bledel (Rory) was sick during her audition and came across as hateful.
Because of a cold brought on by a modeling job that involved buckets of water being thrown at her head during winter, Bledel came across as prickly. Sherman-Palladino thought, “She hates me! I love her! I want the one who hates me!”
Lorelai and Rory's cozy chemistry in the first season is due to Alexis Bledel not knowing what she was doing.
“I didn’t know how to clear the camera...I’d walk right behind Lauren because I didn’t know so she would have to grab me and make sure I was on-camera,” Bledel said.
Graham added: "You can watch me doing a lot of man-handling of Alexis in the early episodes. I think part of the Wow, they have instant chemistry is that I was literally mauling her all the time, like ‘over here, over here, we made it!'”
Bledel agreed, “I was never on my mark the first week of shooting, she was always scooting me over during the scene trying to help me.” Aww!
The first year was "particularly brutal" for the leading ladies.
Because much of the first season was spent building the world of Stars Hollow, much of the focus fell on Graham and Bledel. “The two of them were in every f*cking scene,” Sherman-Palladino said. The exhausted actresses came to Sherman-Palladino to beg for some rest: “We’re so tired. Is there anything you can do because we’re so tired?”
Team Jess rules! Teams Dean and Logan drool.
It didn't take long for the rivalry between Rory's boyfriends to come up. Both Jared Padalecki (Dean) and Matt Czuchry (Logan) admit they are Team Jess. Milo Ventimiglia (Jess) said he is Team Dean and added that "Logan was a dick." Amen! Scott Patterson channeled Luke with the final word: "None of you are good enough for Rory."
They all really miss Edward Herrmann (Richard Gilmore).
Amy Sherman-Palladino prepared a retrospective of Herrmann's best moments (he passed away last December). Bledel, Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore) and especially Graham were super emotional after watching it, wiping away tears. Sherman-Palladino spoke for the group: “It’s really crappy that he’s gone and we miss him so much.” Sherman-Palladino added that he was the first person in the cast to RSVP for the reunion panel. An empty leather armchair on the stage stood in honor of Herrmann.
Liza Weil (Paris) auditioned for Rory and was only supposed to be on the show for three episodes.
"I went in and read for Rory and then I got a call and they were like 'They really liked you, but they don't think you're quite right, but...maybe they'll find something else for you to do.' I thought that was probably the end of it. And the show went and they wrote Paris and the younger version of myself was really freaked out that that's what they wrote. I just couldn't fathom that they would think that I could do that. Now I think it's very flattering and I'm really glad. It was supposed to just be three episodes and then it just kept going."
Dean was supposed to be Canadian.
“There was another Dean. A Canadian Dean. Two Canadian Deans. Then we realized you gotta go American,” Sherman-Palladino said.
Lauren Graham (Lorelai) hates the show's last season just as much as you do.
"For me, it didn’t end in a satisfying way. We weren’t sure it was the end. Amy wasn’t with us in the last season. It didn’t really end. It didn’t resolve satisfactorily.”
Graham also didn't care for the episodes when Rory and Lorelai were estranged.
“I remember not liking it. I remember really struggling with it and feeling bad. It was personally difficult, as it should’ve been, as the actor and as the character. It was hard, but it set up something that was also important.”
The studio really wanted Rory to have sex.
Amy Sherman-Palladino remembers that the decision of when to have Rory lose her virginity was a bigger deal than the decision of when to let Luke and Lorelai be together. "At the time, everybody on TV was just f*cking. I’m all for a bunch of little whores running around. We weren’t trying to make a statement. We were trying to play the truth of who she was. I didn’t want her to get drunk at a party and be like, ‘Woo, what happened?’ The studio was finally like, 'Seriously, she should have sex. What’s the deal, is she like a nun?'"
Lauren Graham doesn't watch the show and has no idea why people keep quoting "Oy with the poodles already!"
“I haven’t watched myself on television since 1995. I’m not kidding. I don’t find it helpful.” Which explains why she doesn't have a favorite episode: "I just don't remember." And why she is perplexed by the line that's most quoted to her by fans: "Why did I say it and why did you like it so much?” Graham asked the crowd.
Amy Sherman-Palladino is not giving up those hallowed final four words anytime soon.
"For a while, I thought, 'I'll just hold on to it in case.' And then I thought, Oh my god, I've held onto it for so long, it's a thing, it's going to let everyone down. Now I'm just being an a-hole. I'm holding on to it still because in my mind... who knows? But on my deathbed, I'll be like, 'Rosebud.'"
Graham doesn't know what the four words are and is OK with that. “I don’t wanna know unless either I’m saying them or I’m listening to someone say them on the show the way it was intended, otherwise I would feel sad to know what I wasn’t a part of,” she said.
Where do the actors see their characters now?
Scott Patterson:"Luke has moved to a lake outside of town. He reopened Luke's diner and it's a bait-and-tackle shop. He sells camping gear as well. He fly-fishes in the nice weather." Graham interjects: "Does he have a girlfriend?" Patterson scrambles to correct his faux pas: "Lorelai is coming out for a fishing lesson."
Lauren Graham: "I think [Luke and Lorelai] are together, 100 percent. But I'm not fishing."
Alexis Bledel: "Rory would be a journalist. She'd still be on her highly ambitious career path post-academia."
Kelly Bishop: "I actually think if Richard were still with us, we would be pretty much in the same place. I think we were very comfortable with that life—the country clubs and all of that. Probably still fighting the battles. But now, Emily's a widow, so that's a whole other world, so I don't know where she is."
Milo Ventimiglia: "I think Jess is just out being Jess and walking away when too many people show up."
Keiko Agena: "In my imagination, Lane is trying to figure out what kind of mom she wants to be. She wants to be Lorelai, but I think in her heart, she's really just a little Mrs. Kim. I hope she's still playing music with Hep Alien."
Yanic Truesdale: "Well, it's a tough one for Michel, because I never really understood how he ended up in that town. But patronizing people for sure, somewhere. Maybe in an inn that he now owns or in Paris, because he couldn't deal with Americans anymore."
Liza Weil: "I like to think Paris and Doyle are still together. I think they’re really well matched. I hope they’re supporting each other taking over the f—ing world."
Matt Czuchry: "Logan would not be working."
Jared Padalecki: "I think that Dean Forester probably would've worked long and hard at the market and he probably would've taken over Doose's Market."
Liz Torres: "I thought that Miss Patty would end up running for mayor of Stars Hollow and winning. I thought she wouldn't know what she was doing and then she would call Taylor at three o'clock in the morning."
Amy Sherman-Palladino considers Gilmore Girls her crowning achievement.
“You get one in a career. You get that one thing, that if everything else fails, and I wind up a big dumb drunk in a gutter, at least I got this. I used to say when I got Gilmore, that ‘it’s all downhill from here.’ There’s no way to top this experience, this cast, these leading ladies—and that’s okay. That’s what this business is. Some people get lucky and some don’t. And, god, I got so lucky.”
If you're still craving more from the reunion panel, Entertainment Weekly has your back. Check out an edited down version of the evening below!