Here Are 25 Facts You Didn’t Know About ‘Gilmore Girls’
“Gilmore Girls” first ran on the WB in 2000, and the mother-daughter pair was goals for all of us who grew up watching their banter, coffee addiction and ~drama~. My mom and I would each have our own pint of Ben & Jerry’s in hand as we watched this during those blissful years before teenage angst set in. What we didn’t know then, was that there would be a reboot ten years after the Season 7 finale.
Here’s what else none of us knew about the history of “Gilmore Girls,” its characters and the people who played them!
1. Alexis Bledel, who plays Rory, is Latina.
Her mother is Mexican and her father is Argentinian. She was born and raised in Texas and didn’t learn English until she started school. ‘It’s the only culture my mom knows from life, and my father as well,’ she told Latina magazine in 2005. ‘They made the decision to raise their children within the context they had been raised in, so we speak Spanish in my parents’ house and my mom cooks amazing Mexican food.’
2. She’s damn proud of it, too.
She speaks Spanish fluently to this day, though she did have to act like she had a terrible accent and could only speak a little Spanish in one scene of “Gilmore Girls.” Bledel, your acting blows me away.
3. Rory was Bledel’s first acting gig.
She was a student at NYU, modeling part-time, when she decided she’d wing it and audition for the role. Showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino told A Moveable Feast in 2012, that ‘Alexis had never done anything before. We found her in New York […] and she had the flu. She was very annoyed at having to audition, and she didn’t want to speak to us. She just wanted go home and back to bed, and we’re like, “She hates us. We love her! Let’s give it to her!”‘
4. Bledels and Blake Lively are still good friends.
Bledel went on to star in “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and is still good friends with Lively. Lurk their Insta feeds to see how they support each other as women in a #TimesUp atmosphere in Hollywood and as general pals.
5. Showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino was inspired while on vacation in Washington, Connecticut.
She told Desert News about her trip, “We’re driving by, and people are slowing down saying, ‘Excuse me, where is the pumpkin patch?’ And everything is green and people are out, and they’re talking. And we went to a diner and everyone knew each other and someone got up and they walked behind the (counter) and they got their own coffee because the waitress was busy.” “If I can make people feel this much of what I felt walking around this fairy town, I thought that would be wonderful,” Sherman-Palladino said. Mission accomplished, Sherman-Palladino!
6. Liza Weil, who plays Paris, was turned down to play the part of Rory.
She initially auditioned to play Rory, but Sherman-Palladino had other ideas for her. She said that if the show got picked up, she’d write a role just for Weil. Weil said it “was scary to be a judgmental, mean girl,” but she has owned it since! See her in “How to Get Away With Murder” as the fiercest character.
7. Fast-talking was intentionally set as the “Gilmore Girls” brand.
We know, Columbians own this brand, and the production team had to work really hard to keep up. Normally, one page of a screenplay translates to one minute of screen time, but for “Gilmore Girls” scripts, one page was cut down to just 20 to 25 seconds.
8. The actors often didn’t get the writers’ pop culture references.
They would read the script and have to look up the meaning of the references, which is more than what I used to do. Just laugh through it, girl, I’m sure it was gold.
9. Sherman-Palladino wrote Jess into the show to put a buffer between Lorelai and Luke’s budding relationship.
Jess was Rory’s worst boyfriend hands down, and played a ‘bad boy’ type character on the show, which stressed Lorelai out. To make things more complicated, he was Luke’s nephew. And since Luke & Lorelai’s love would shorten the show, Sherman-Palladino threw in a wrench by the name of Jess.
10. Rumors had it that there’d be a spinoff show on Jess’ character.
Obviously, that didn’t happen, but the only reason why is because it would have been too expensive to shoot it in Venice Beach. The third season even included a casi-pilot for the show, which would have been called “Windward Circle.”
11. P.S. Rory and Jess dated in real life too!
They dated for a year and a half, and even talked marriage before going their separate ways. They returned to working together for the Netflix reboot, and we couldn’t be more maniacally happy to see Jess make his return.
12. In the Season One Finale, Lorelai *didn’t* receive 1000 yellow daisies in a dramatic marriage proposal.
Sherman-Palladino told EW that “A thousand yellow daisies actually sounds like a lot but when you put a thousand yellow daisies in a big room, like our set, it’s kind of like a table arrangement. Three or four times we had to send people back to get yellow daisies. I think we wiped out yellow daisies on the West Coast.”
13. In Season Five, Norman Mailer filled the role of “well-known author” in “Normal Mailer, I’m Pregnant!”
Mailer was a Pulitzer Prize winner and initially declined the offer to be part of “Gilmore Girls” until they asked his son to take a part as well. He actually said, “I almost never watch sitcoms; I really have a prejudice against them. But for some reason I find ‘Gilmore Girls’ kind of agreeable.” Great minds, Norman.
14. Alex Borstein, the harpist, was originally cast as beloved chef Sookie.
Borstein ended up turning down the role to continue her work with “MadTV.” Thankfully, that wasn’t the end for her with “Gilmore Girls.” She made a few appearances as the harpist Drella, and, funnily enough, the actress married the actor who plays Sookie’s husband on the show!
15. Keiko Agena, who played Lane, was only six years younger than Lauren Graham when the show premiered.
She was 27 years old when the show premiered. The age difference between Lorelai and Lane was supposed to be 16 years.
16. Chilton student Brad Langford went MIA in Seasons 2 and 3.
Remember how we didn’t really miss him and forgot he existed and then he came back and told everyone he’d been starring in “Into the Woods” on Broadway. Well, the actor who plays Brad, Adam Wiley, actually was starring in that show at the time.
17. Not quite a cameo tho: Sebastian Bach of Skid Row
Bach played Gil, Lane’s bandmate, and he was recruited for the role! He told TV Guide, “When I got the call, I was like, “Do you guys have the right phone number?” They wanted a “rock star” to [play] the guitar player [in Lane’s band] and [the casting director saw me on] VH1’s “I Love the ’70s.” I love doing the show. I made some great friends. Scott Patterson, who plays Luke, and I are really good friends.
18. Lauren Graham, who plays Lorelai, loves doing Friday night dinner scenes the most.
As much as we hate arguing with our Latina moms, we loved watching Lorelai and Emily hash it out with all the passive aggressive tension that our telenovelas were lacking in. Inside scoop: “The food was always terrible.”
19. Sherman-Palladino had a rocky exit from showrunning “Gilmore Girls.”
Her and her husband, Dan, wrote for the entire series, but couldn’t reach an agreement with WB studios to renew their contracts in 2006. Amy told Vulture Magazine that “It was a botched negotiation… By the way, all this sh*t we asked for? They had to do anyway when we left. They hired this big writing staff and a producer-director onstage. That’s what bugged me the most. They wound up having to do what we asked for anyway, and I wasn’t there.”
20. Lauren Graham was given a producer role in Season 7.
Scott Patterson, who plays Luke in the show, said that there was a ‘perceptible change.’ ” Graham was a producer this year, and there was a little more leeway in how things were shaped. The actors had more input than in the previous six years. And it was less work – I’m not qualifying that either way, whether it was good or bad. That’s just the way it was.”
21. Sherman-Palladino wasn’t involved in the (original) series finale.
She had a different idea for how the show would end, and ten years later, got her wish with the new reboot. At the time, though, she was in discussions to create a spinoff for Rory’s new story.
22. Sherman-Palladino just signed a new deal with Amazon to make room for more episodes.
“We carved out a little niche for ourselves with Amazon saying that if we ever want to do it, if the girls and us get together and we have a concept that works, then we have the freedom to do it,” she told RadioTimes. Tug at our heart strings why don’t you?
23. Jenji Kohan, who was the showrunner for “Weeds” and “Orange is the New Black,” wrote an episode of “Gilmore Girls.”
Jenji is officially iconic, but was a somewhat nameless writer who wrote Episode 7 of Season 1, “Kiss and Tell.” BRB while I go rewatch that episode.
24. Keiko Agena, who plays Lane Kim, isn’t Korean.
She’s Japanese and was born in Hawaii. She ended up playing the role of Yori in “Kim Possible,” another girls-take-charge TV series.
25. Alexis Bledel actually hates coffee.
*American coffee. That’s the only explanation for a Latinx who doesn’t like coffee right? She allegedly had her cup filled with coke throughout the show, but we all noticed the empty coffee cups.