Theirs is a love story of Mallomars and “Billy Jack” viewings; of dance marathons and mandatory family dinners; of coffee and, well, more coffee.
Lorelai and Rory Gilmore are the duo at the center of “Gilmore Girls.” Together they redefined mothers and daughters as besties—the kind that talk in a cadence that doesn’t leave room for much breathing. Basically, where one would lead, the other would follow.
The dynamic relationship, brought to life by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, is making a return in a way that would surely incite witty pop culture commentary from Lorelai and Rory: as a four-part revival for Netflix on Nov. 25.
We spoke with Graham and Bledel about reprising their career-defining characters.
Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino has said that she's known the final four words of “Gilmore Girls” since 2006, when she left the show ahead of the seventh and final season. Fans are eager to finally hear them. Did you realize this was a thing?
Graham: I did not know that that was a thing. I did not know what they were, or that they existed until filming this, which is weird. Amy was like, "You do not know what they are?" I was like, "I don't know, this missed me somehow." There is a lot of story leading up to that, so of course it is a fun journey getting there. Maybe the four words will become a hashtag. Who knows?
What do you think about the fact that we live in a world today where something like this revival is possible?
Graham: It is incredible. The fact that we got a chance to revisit these characters all these years later, it’s amazing. I think it is a great thing that people can tell stories in just the way they want to tell it, because these online platforms are available to do that. These 90-minute installments are the perfect way for Amy and [fellow “Gilmore” executive producer and Sherman-Palladino’s husband] Dan to work. A 60-minute episode is just not enough for all that they have to offer.
What do you remember about reading the original pilot and the world that Amy had created?
Bledel: It really stood out from other pilots and scripts that I had read because it just seemed very contained. It was a very distinct world that she created, and all the characters in it seemed real, and they seemed like they belonged there. My character, I remember, was so different from any character that was on TV. I remember there was a show called “Popular” on TV where girls were, I don't know, really stylish, and all about the looks, and sometimes very mean. Very opposite of Rory. I thought, "This is so great and different."
Graham: I was like, "Get out of my way, this is mine." I felt that way very seldom in my life, where I am like, "It is as if somebody wrote this for me, but how is that possible she does not even know me?" It was a very intense connection, and at the time, not only was Rory an unusual character, but there were not that many single parents on TV. All my actress friends said, "Aren't you afraid to play a mom? That will put you in a different category." I was like, "This character, one of the 10 things she is a mom." She is this person that I connect to. The whole point of this story is having this child young, so the usual things I might have worried about just did not even occur to me.
What was it like doing that first table read for the new episodes?
Graham: The table read was insane. We had not seen each other. We walked in that room, and there is just so much energy and expectation, and I thought, "Do I still … wait, do I know how to do this?" "I know how to do this. I can still do this." Then it comes out of your mouth, because we had not said it out loud. You do not have to audition for your old part back. Then, it just settles in.
Bledel: I remember being most panicked or stressed before the big scenes: the first scene, the last scene. Then, because it was a finite story with these installments, I knew that there were also some scenes that I really wanted to be present for, get right. A limited number of them that had all the things I wanted to do in the character. I thought the table read was pretty energizing, pretty nerve-wracking. We had a lot of new faces; with Netflix being a part of it.
How was it getting through a 90-minute episode, dialogue-wise?
Bledel: A lot of water was needed. But it felt the same. (Laughs.)