By Anna Ben Yehuda | December 5, 2016 | People
Reprising her critically acclaimed role as Lorelai Gilmore after a nearly 10-year hiatus, Lauren Graham opens up about the Gilmore Girls revival and her first memoir, Talking as Fast as I Can.
Lauren Graham at NYC's 92nd Street Y.
Stepping into an auditorium already electrified by the mere expectancy of her impending entrance, Lauren Graham appears to be astonished by the reaction that her presence generates.
“I love your adherence to ‘use of photography is strictly forbidden,’” she tells the crowd (which welcomed her with a standing ovation and lots of shouts and screams) at New York City’s 92nd Street Y. Graham is here to talk about her second book and first work of nonfiction, Talking As Fast As I Can, and discuss the recent release of the Gilmore Girls revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (Netflix), in which she reprises an iconic role after an almost 10-year break.
Chatting with moderator Michael Ausiello, founder of TVLine.com and a guest star on both the original run and the revival of the TV show, Graham candidly speaks about her affection for Lorelai, working on a memoir, and, of course, the possibility of even more Gilmore Girls.
When asked how her obviously hectic week has been, the actress responds: “[So hard], trying to answer questions like ‘How has your week been like?’” Clearly sharing her character’s sense of humor, Graham drew heartfelt laughs from the crowd of fans throughout the entire talk.
“It was in the works anyway,” says Graham about her new book, a release that coincided with the debut of the Gilmore Girls revival. “I like the idea [of the show] bookending [both the beginning and the end of the memoir].” Would she ever consider writing more memoirs? “I [would have to] live longer.”
Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham in the original Gilmore Girls series.
After shooting the Netflix special, Graham locked herself in her apartment to binge watch all 7 original seasons of the show… but she never actually watched the revival. “I don’t earn anything [by watching myself] and this has the added level of [me being] on another level when shooting it,” she explains. “I had so many best moments as an actor shooting it and I just want to leave it there for now.”
Only shooting that scene twice to keep its core rawness, Graham discusses her near impossibility at even reading through the script. “I couldn’t [read] it and eventually I had to do it, so I sat at the kitchen table and cried from page one [until the end].”
“Amy [Sherman-Palladino, the show’s creator]’s writing centers on a tiny little thing that [has this epic quality to it],” explains Graham. Focusing on Lorelai’s relationship with her father, Richard Gilmore, as chronicled through a story about a birthday pretzel, the monologue also functioned as a sort of ode to Edward Herrmann, the actor who played Richard and passed away years before the revival became a reality. As a parting gift to Sherman-Palladino, Graham gave her a pretzel brooch.
“I laughed every single time,” says Graham when discussing a scene involving her watching Sutton Foster sing in the town hall. As for her favorite cultural reference in the revival: “How Emily does the Marie Kondo book,” she says.
Describing her attempts to get as many former colleagues and friends on the revival, Graham recalls Mae Whitman, who played her daughter on NBC’s Parenthood, having the stomach flu while filming her short cameo (“She was puking into a bucket!”). As for the park rangers in the episode “Fall,” yes, those were Jason Ritter and Graham’s real-life-boyfriend Peter Krause, both her ex co-stars on Parenthood.
Playing a large role in the original run of the show, Melissa McCarthy was rumored not to be available for the Netflix special. “There was confusion about what to do with someone who was such an integral part of the show but probably wouldn’t be available for the five months that we were shooting,” explains Graham. Spoiler alert: The confusion was resolved.
Although future episodes have not been discussed with any cast members, Graham urges fans to think about whether they’d really enjoy those additional episodes by comparing the latest special to a much sought-after ice cream serving and advancing the possibility that further episodes might be equivalent to too much of that initially fought-for ice cream.
Laura Massa/Michael Priest Photography (92Y); by Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA (still from original series)