Where Are the Gilmore Girls Characters Now? Exclusive Interviews and Photos From the Cast’s ATX Reunion

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“Gilmore Girls” reunion at the Paramount Theater during the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas on Saturday, June 6, 2015.. (Photo by Jack Plunkett)

The Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas became a celebration of all things Gilmore Girls and Amy Sherman-Palladino when the still-adored WB show reunited on Saturday evening at the ATX Television Festival. Surprisingly hat-less creator Amy Sherman-Palladino was accompanied by stars Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Kelly Bishop, and much of the rest of the Stars Hollow gang, noticeably minus Melissa McCarthy, who wasn’t mentioned once. After playing the theme song and credits, as the audience sang along, the event began with a family reunion, where the Gilmore women and Sherman-Palladino spoke about how the show came to be, including how Graham and Bledel didn’t meet until filming. Then the rest of the cast joined them on the stage, sitting in chairs from the Stars Hollow sets.

The last armchair was placed in honor of the late Gilmore patriarch Edward Herrmann, who passed away in December. Sherman-Palladino cut together a video tribute to Richard, after which all three Gilmore girls were seen wiping away tears. Later, she recounted how Hermann would yell at her on the dailies because of multiple takes: “We’re not puppets!”

The direction of the show was clear to Sherman-Palladino. “I always had a feel for where we were going,” she said. “Shows have a life of their own and they surprise you.” Her approach to writing came from her time on Roseanne, where the motto was “make the small big, make the big small.” She explained, “It’s in the small moments that life changes, and the big, giant headlines have got to be there to serve the small ones.” This can be seen in the pilot’s dinner scene, which summed up the heart of show. “The core of it,” Sherman-Palladino said, “the interplay, the sniping between Lorelai and Emily, the way that the past came up, the way Rory was caught in the middle.”

Throughout the evening, questions ranged from the future of each actor’s character (see below) to their most popular lines. When asked about the origins of Lorelai’s oft-quoted, “Oy, with the poodles already,” Sherman-Palladino explained, “It’s this extremely white-bred goyim family, and all they did was talk and argue, like Jews. So she’s just going to start talking like a Jew.” She added, “There’s something so wrong and so right about this.”

The men who played Rory’s boyfriends picked which #Team they’re on. Milo Ventimiglia (rebel loner Jess) chose Dean, explaining that “Logan was a dick.” Jared Padalecki (floppy-haired Dean) and Matt Czuchry (wealthy Logan) both went with Jess. Czuchry called back to something Sherman-Palladino previously said: “The right boyfriend came at the right time. They each brought something out in Rory that she needed at that time.” Alexis Bledel refused to pick.

Getting Lorelai and Luke together couldn’t happen until the entire plotline was figured out. “There’s so much to mine in characters,” Sherman-Palladino said, “when you jump to that next moment, you’re going to lose three or four moments.”

As for the rumors of an on-screen extension of the show, heavily hinted at by Scott Patterson on the Gilmore Guys podcast? Ain’t happening. That isn’t to say a movie or another season on Netflix is off the table, but Sherman-Palladino said, “It would have to be the right everything,” adding, “It would have to be honored in a certain way.”

Sherman-Palladino has only accidentally seen episodes from Season 7, which she was not a part of, on ABC Family, the same channel that declined to renew her other (great) show Bunheads. When asked to finally reveal her infamous final four words, Sherman-Palladino refused, as did her husband Daniel, the only other person alive who knows what they are. Graham, for one, doesn’t want to know, unless “either I am saying them or I’m listening to someone say them who’s in the show, the way it was intended. Otherwise I would feel sad to know what I wasn’t a part of.”

“Gilmore Girls” reunion at the Paramount Theater during the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas on Saturday, June 6, 2015.. (Photo by Jack Plunkett)

The futures of the Gilmore Girls characters:

Rory: Journalist

Emily: If Edward Herrmann were still around, they would live the same lives. “Now, Emily’s a widow,” Bishop said mournfully, “So that’s a whole other world. I don’t know where she is.”

Luke: Either stay in town, or move somewhere 40 miles away to open Luke’s Diner, a bait, tackle, and camping store. Graham jokingly asked, “Does he have a girlfriend?” Patterson said of course, and that Lorelai would come for a fly-fishing lesson, to looks of horror on Graham’s and Sherman-Palladino’s faces.

Jess: Ventimiglia said, “Jess is out being Jess.”

Lane: While still playing for Hep Alien, she’s figuring out her mothering type, according to Keiko Agena. “She wants to be Lorelai, but I think in her heart, she’s really Mrs. Kim.”

Michel: Either running his own inn or back in Paris.

Paris: She and Doyle are still together, “taking over the fucking world,” said Liza Weil.

Logan: Not working at all.

Miss Patty: She’d become mayor of Stars Hollow but wouldn’t know how to do the job.

Dean: Take over Doose’s Market and rename it Dean’s Market.

Doyle: Married to Paris while working as a reporter at some website.

Jackson: A billion children because his vasectomy never took.

Zach: Gets to play a triumphant gig with his hot wife in his hometown.

Brian: Creates a music app and becomes best friends with the Kim-Gerbig twins.

“Gilmore Girls” reunion at the Paramount Theater during the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas on Saturday, June 6, 2015.. (Photo by Jack Plunkett)

Flavorwire talked to a few members of the Gilmore Girls cast.

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel:

Flavorwire: What do you hope people walk away from the show with, whether they’re watching for the first time or for the billionth time?

LG: I think it was a very kind show. It was really comforting and offered you this, not only in some ways an ideal relationship but in a picturesque kind of small-town feeling that I think a lot of people are missing, and especially today, which is maybe why it’s kind of come back. It’s so many zombies, why so many zombies? Just the dialogue, the sort of intelligence of it is still relevant.

AB: I hope they connect to the mother-daughter relationship. I think that’s what people loved about it the first time around. Hopefully they see themselves in it, in one of the characters.

Kelly Bishop:

Do you keep in touch with the cast?

Edward [Herrmann], unfortunately, he and I had a regular email conversation. I’m so sorry he’s not here in every way.

Which cast members did you wish you had more scenes with?

I was a little spoiled because I loved my family on Gilmore Girls. As actors, we read each other, we knew what the routine was going to be with each person, the strengths, weaknesses, needs. That felt so comfortable. That house truly felt like mine. The one person I didn’t get to work with was Keiko [Lane]. I think she’s a wonderful actress and a little doll.

What was it like working on such a female-driven show?

Amy is hands-down a genius. The whole dynamic: the granddaughter, the grandmother. It’s something that I had experienced in my life. My grandmother was very harsh with my mother. She loved us, she accepted us, but my mother couldn’t do anything right. My mother and I had a relationship very much like Lorelai and Rory. We were girlfriends. I understood that strange triangle between the generations.

What was your favorite scene to film?

When I went on that crazy shopping spree with the two girls, because that was one where the three of us were together. The three of us together trying to deal with me, that was very special.

What was it like working with Sherman-Palladino?

That last year, Amy wasn’t with us. It was very, very hard. They were trying to imitate her and you can’t imitate genius, I’m sorry, you just can’t. It was pretty darn good writing, but if you compare it to Amy, she was just so good. So there was just a falling apart feeling about it.

Scott Patterson

What was your favorite scene to film?

With Lauren, it was the romantic stuff. When we were on the park bench and she broke down crying. I liked the moment when we’re dancing and she had the flowers in her hair. That was inherently romantic. I remember enjoying that evening quite a bit. I also liked a scene Lauren and I did when we were looking for an apartment for me, because it was a long scene. All the Taylor Doose stuff.

What was it like working with Edward Herrmann?

The first scene I got to do with him, I was a little nervous because you’re waking up that morning and you’re going to work with a legend.

Which scene?

The golf course. I was a little nervous. I kind of blew the first take, because I was like, “You’re Ed Herrmann.” So I was a little bit starstruck but got over it real quick. Amy came on set and slapped me in the face a couple times and said, “Just, come on.”

Because you’re working on your own scripts, what have you learned from working with Sherman-Palladino?

Just really dogged determination to write with your own specific voice. The strength of Gilmore is, Amy’s got all those characters running around in her head. She created all these iconic archetypal characters that resonate around the world. They recognize themselves in these characters. That’s really the key to it: just being truthful to your voice, finding your voice, getting it out on paper.

Liza Weil

What was your favorite scene to film?

I remember the ones where we got to do sort of training outside, like the sword-fighting scene. That was an amazing gift, in that when these episodes come up, we would get to go and learn how to do these things. The Krav Maga thing with Doyle. Those felt really special to me. I remember the CSPAN one. All the things that were Paris events. When she got into all the schools. There’s so many, and there’s a lot that I kind of forgotten about.

Which cast members did you wish you had more scenes with?

Of course Ed and Kelly. We kind of collided a little bit, and when we did, it was just always so special. Whenever we got to go to Stars Hollow, it felt really fun.

What was it like working with Sherman-Palladino?

She’s an an incredible writer, and she’s so smart. To be able to work with somebody like that, and to be able to play a smart, driven young woman on television who made it cool to be smart — I was really lucky to be able to focus on that aspect of the brain and not physical stuff at that age. I was extremely fortunate.

Jared Padalecki

What was it like working with Bledel and Graham?

It was my first job that I ever did, but to work with two talented and very professional actresses was a learning experience for me. I didn’t know I would need to have those experiences later in life when I would have my own job. It was an honor and it was a privilege to be able to work with them as role models for me.

Milo Ventimiglia

How was it, playing against Bledel and Patterson?

Both of them are pros. In the workload that we had, we all still laughed and have a good time and enjoy ourselves. Couldn’t dream up better partners to do the work that I had than Scott and Alexis.

What was your favorite scene to film?

It was the episode called “Teach Me Tonight,” where it was Jess and Rory in the car right before the car accident. I just remember Alexis and I being in that car, cracking jokes, and we couldn’t get out because it’s a process trailer. That was a distinct memory of fun. And the very last scene before Jess took off, and he was talking to Luke and it was a big argument. Those things hurt, it still hurts. Those are the moments that stand out to me a little bit more. The times you have with your fellow actors. All the moments in between cut and action.

Matt Czuchry

What was it like working on two shows, Gilmore Girls and The Good Wife, with such strong characters?

What’s unique about them is that they [have] great actors. When I started Gilmore Girls, it was my first big job, so learning from Alexis, especially the pace of the dialogue that was necessary and the wit and the charm that Alexis brought to it. Now learning from Julianna [Margulies] and Christine Baranski and Archie Panjabi, I think they’re just great actors.

What was your favorite scene to film?

There’s a scene in “Wedding Bell Blues” where Rory and Logan were dancing, and it really established their relationship. Logan says to Rory, “I’m not a relationship guy,” and she says she can do no strings attached, and he says, “Look, you’re beautiful, you’re incredibly interesting and intelligent,” so he valued all those things about her and he wanted to do right by her. I think that started that relationship for them. That’s why I love that scene.

Keiko Agena, Todd Lowe, and John Cabrera

What was your favorite scene to film?

TL: The first time I got to kiss [Agena] with John on my shoulder.

JC: That was an awesome scene, but that was extremely painful for me.

TL: But for me, it was nice because I had a reward.

JC: That was one of my favorite scenes of Hep Alien ever. Brian intruding in on their date, and then passing out, and then the kiss with the butt right next to them.

KA: I like the wedding. Just all the aspects of the wedding.

JC: And the Korean New Year, because the food was delicious.

KA: What about that kid? That crazy kid.

JC: This is something fans do not know. We had these great food people, those two sisters. I remember talking to them, “Yeah, we like to make sure that the actors really love the food.” And the Korean New Year, I was personally, John Cabrera, chowing down on all the food.

Which cast members did you wish you had more scenes with?

KA: All of them. oh my god.

TL: I’ll go ahead and say Lorelai. I never got to work with Paris, and I like that character a lot.

KA: I couldn’t choose, because it was very separate. There’s so many people on that show that I was with for years that I never had a scene with.

JC: I think it would’ve been nice if Kirk would have had a little bit more with the band. Kirk would’ve been a great roadie.

Danny Strong

What did you learn from working with Sherman-Palladino?

I was intimidated by what a genius she was. I just thought she was so talented and still is, and I just loved the writing on the show. The way that she was able to infuse such a strong voice to the show. I was really inspired by that, and made me want to infuse my voice into things when I wrote. It’s a different voice.

What was your favorite scene to film?

I loved the scene where I was really drunk after Paris dumped me at the bar, where me and Rory were lamenting and she gives me her pink jacket.

Jackson Douglas

What was your favorite scene to film?

It was the Thanksgiving barbecue, the deep-fried turkey thing, because I had replaced the fake beer in the cooler with real beer. So we were having a good time on the lawn.

Which cast members did you wish you had more scenes with?

I always wish I would’ve worked with Yanic more because we always seemed to work on the same day but we were never in the same scene. We always had a great time off-screen. We always had this banter back and forth that was very fast.

Yanic Truesdale

What was your favorite scene to film?

There was a scene where Michel comes back from LA and he’s telling Lorelai about his experience. He got Botox, veneers, he went to a coffee shop where everyone had an accent, that was very fun to shoot. There’s another scene where Michel walks in and there’s a horse in the living room and he acts as if it’s normal and Lorelai walks in and he’s talking to her like there’s no horse.

Which cast members did you wish you had more scenes with?

Kelly Bishop and I had one scene, one time. I think there’s a lot in her character that was in mine. We recognize each other as those types of people. I respected her and she respected me. I think there would be a lot of stuff that could have been explored there.

Liz Torres

What was your favorite scene to film?

Sally Struthers and I singing “Fever” and trying to be sexy.

Which cast members did you wish you had more scenes with?

I always wanted to work with [Truesdale], and I’m intimidated by [Douglas].

Arielle Kebbel

What was your favorite scene to film?

I had two, it kind of bookended the show for me. The first was the very first episode where you meet me and we’re at the rink and we kiss, because that was my very first day on set. My other favorite scene was the meatloaf scene because Amy directed that episode, and it was actually one of the few episodes I got a chance to work with her as a director. [She] just pulled me aside, woman to woman, and really kind of talked to me, what this meatloaf represents in our relationship. She brought a certain sensitivity level to it that I was blown away. I’m so thankful for her direction, and to this day I’ll always remember it.

Which cast members did you wish you had more scenes with?

I wouldn’t mind having scenes with Milo, make people all jealous there.