Prepare for a brand-new Emily Gilmore when Kelly Bishop returns to the Gilmore Girls role she made famous. Well, brand-new and very much the same. That trademark honesty is still there, but things have changed for the fan-favorite character.
In Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, she's wearing jeans and a T-shirt—something fans have never seen before—and dealing with the loss of her husband, Richard (Edward Herrmann) in some unexpected ways.
"Emily is dealing with widowhood and it's a huge part of the whole thing for her. She has different adventures, some of them are funny, some of them are sad. She's just kind of plodding along trying to find herself, how she does it now, what it means," Bishop told E! News.
Gilmore Girls aired from 2000-2007 on The WB/CW and after all these years fans are still discovering the series thanks to reruns and Netflix. "It delights me, it does surprise me a little…it just thrills me and I'm so pleased because I always thought it was a special show…it delights me to see how many, literally, millions of people agree with me," she said. "I love that."
Back to those jeans and the T-shirt, that has to do with widowhood. "It was meant to be rather shocking," Bishop said when asked about viewer reaction to the outfit. "It was something that was supposed to really surprise people, but I guess they enjoyed it so much that they made you talk about it."
It's been nearly 10 years since Bishop last played Emily Gilmore and the revival sees the character in a new state of mind, but the actress said she didn't do anything different to return to the beloved character. "Not really because I just know that character so well and I did it for so long. It was really sort of like stepping into a favorite outfit or something," she said. "I certainly gave a lot of thought to what she was feeling, but as far as her personality, as far as Emily goes, we are one."
Gilmore Girls wrapped in 2007 with Rory (Alexis Bledel) going off to cover Barack Obama's presidential campaign, Lorelai (Lauren Graham) reuniting with Luke (Scott Patterson) and agreeing to continue Friday night dinners with Emily and Richard. Herrmann, the man behind Richard, passed away in 2014. As viewers saw in the trailer, the Gilmore girls did gather to pay their respects to the fallen patriarch.
"It was hard," Bishop said. "It was hard because it really felt like a funeral and we all three had such tremendous fondness for Ed…"
One way Emily's dealing with the grief in the revival? With a giant portrait of her beloved Richard. Where is that Edward Herrmann painting now? Watch the video above for Bishop's thoughts on where it should go and what her favorite thing about Emily Gilmore is.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premieres Friday, Nov. 25 on Netflix.