Lauren Graham is just like you. She's just so excited to return to the world of Gilmore Girls with the Netflix series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, a four-part movie event.
"We started having conversations in earnest I would say two years ago or something. Then it was slowly happening maybe a year ago. At Netflix, like Amy [Sherman-Palladino] said, it took a year and a half to make maybe Fuller House or something, just make the deal. Because this is all brand-new," she told reporters at the 2016 TCA Summer Press Tour. "Nobody knows how to do it. We only had the backlot for this very small window before the Pretty Little Liars had to take it. Everything had to happen in this certain way and it was part of—I am not a gushy actor—but it was part of the magic of what it felt like. Everything just fell into place."
Still, she admitted it was a bit of an odd circumstance, so she really doesn't have a message to the cast of Friends or other shows resisting reunions. "This was so unusual. Friends ended beautifully. We ended on a season that wasn't with the creator of the show, and for a show like this, it's really a singular voice. There were so many plot points that weren't sewn up in the final season, so even that was perfect in its own way with so many questions left to answer. So it wasn't so much that we went home again as we sort of needed to give the answers to some of those questions."
The four movies, each set in a different season in the year of Lorelai Gilmore (Graham), Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) and the rest of the Stars Hollow gang, aimed to wrap up lingering Gilmore Girls plot lines. And yes, the final four words creator Amy Sherman-Palladino will be said. What did Graham think of the movies?
"I really think they answer—it's hard because I'm sure there will be people who won't feel satisfied. For me, it was just really satisfying," she said. "There wasn't any question left unanswered, for me personally."
It's been almost 10 years since Gilmore Girls wrapped its seven-season run, so you better believe Graham had a "moment" when she returned to for her first day. "Well, of course you don't have your first day on set. You have your camera test or something anti-climactic. I'm just in such a different place. It's like, you know, at the end of It's a Wonderful Life," she said. "I'd be like, ‘And you, and you! And you're here! Taylor Doose, you're my favorite character!' I was a complete dork. I was just very emotional and excited. It was just the best. It was too emotional. I had to pull it together to say my long lines."
The show ran for seven seasons from 2000-2007 of The WB/The CW, and Graham said she had "forgotten the whole thing."
"It was a blur of a time for seven years. They don't allow the hours we used to do anymore. They cut it at 14. We used to do regularly 15, 16, 17. My last day of season seven was 21-hours long. And that wasn't the first time it had happened. It was film. It was the long scenes and dialogue. It's really theater in a way and it's like filming theater, so it was hard to remember. But then if I see it on TV or someone says a line to me—they wanted to play a game today where you guess who said what. I was like, ‘I could tell you who said what. There's no problem.' Once you say it to me, I snap back in. But when somebody's like, ‘What did you think about season four?' I'm like, ‘Which one was that? What did my hair look like?'"
The show was always a fan-favorite when it was on TV and in the intervening years it's developed an even bigger following, thanks in part to returns and its placement on Netflix. New audiences regularly discover Stars Hollow every day as the nostalgia fever reaches new heights, creating a Gilmore Girls phenomenon, something Graham said she tries to stay away from thinking about.
"I try not to process really any of that. I find it's really unhelpful as a person to get involved in that kind of whatever the hype is around something. I think, for me, I did Guys & Dolls on Broadway, and the girls waiting for me outside, some of them were quite young. And that was just when it was in reruns and I thought, ‘Oh, this it like how I grew up watching the Partridge Family or something.' It wasn't in real time. I watched it in reruns. And I thought, ‘That's interesting.' But it was Kelly Bishop who said, ‘This is going to be one of those shows that people don't forget and that people want to know what happens to these people.' She always said, ‘This is that sort of thing that has legs.'"
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premieres on Friday, Nov. 25 on Netflix.
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