It's been a while, but Lauren Graham is talking as fast as she can once again. And she's loving every minute of it.
Graham, of course, is reprising the most beloved role of her career, the verbally high-octane, pop culturally obsessive and always over-caffeinated Lorelai Gilmore, for Netflix's eagerly anticipated revival "Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life." The event series reunites her with the original cast and creators for a collection of four seasonally-set two-hour episodes that answer all of the lingering questions following the sudden end of the cult hit-turned increasingly popular phenomenon's seven season run.
And when Moviefone and a collection of press joined Graham for a fast-paced conversation about her return to Stars Hollow, she was still hitting Lorelei's top gears: the words, as one would imagine, flew fast and furiously, and the effect was just as appealing as ever before.
What do you love most about Lorelai? How has she changed now, ten years later?
Lauren Graham: I love the positive view she has on almost everything, and the sense of fun and joy. I would say not much has changed, which is kind of where we start our story because she's maybe had a case of slight arrested development, and something about losing her dad is going to propel her forward. But in most ways, in all the ways I loved the character, it's the same.
What was the best part about reconnecting with Lorelai? To be able to look at her again and figure out who she was?
The joy is so much in the language. I always felt a real kinship with this part, and I connected to it so strongly in how Amy writes, in the stories she tells. There have been many parallels in my own life, and I wasn't done. I was left wanting more when we ended. So it was just incredible to get to do it again.
Did you always want to see a reunion happen? Or was there a period where you didn't think it would happen, or you weren't interested necessarily?
It wasn't any of those things. It just kind of, it was never up to me to say yes or no. There were discussions about making a film. We weren't sure what that would look like. It just sort of evolved into what it became, which was a convergence of the way the world has changed, and the right way to do this material. We started having conversations in earnest I would say like two years ago, or something. Then it was slowly happening maybe a year ago.
At Netflix, Amy [Sherman-Palladino] said, it took a year and a half to make maybe "Fuller House," or something, to just make the deal. Because this is all brand new. 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, and everything had to happen in this certain way. And I'm not a gushy actor – you know, having known me for years, but it was part of the magic of what it felt like. Everything just fell into place.
It seems like whenever we run into cast members from beloved programs, we're always asking about reunions, and they're always saying, "Oh no, you can't go home again." Now that you've gone home again, what's your message to those other actors?
None. This was so unusual. "Friends" ended beautifully. We ended on a season that wasn't with the creator of the show. For a show like this, it's really quite a singular voice. There were so many plot points that weren't sewn up in that seventh season, so even that was perfect in its own way with so many questions were left unanswered. 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, I think.
Can you paint a picture of that first day back on set with Alexis Bledel? The moments leading up to the cameras rolling.
Well, of course you don't have your first day on set, you have your camera test, or something that's sort of anticlimactic. I'm just in such a different place. Like, I was saying, it's like, at the end of like "It's a Wonderful Life," I'd be like, "...and you, and you, and you're here! Taylor Doose, you're my favorite character!" I was like a complete dork. So I was just very kind of emotional and excited. It was all...I was like a mess. I was just kind of too emotional. I had to pull it together to say my long lines.
How did you feel about these last four installments?
It's hard because, I'm sure there will be people who won't feel satisfied because that's just people – for me, it was just really satisfying. There wasn't any question left unanswered, for me personally.
Is there anything you had forgotten?
I'd forgotten the whole thing! I mean, 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 regularly do 15, 16, 17. My last day of season seven was 21 hours long. And that wasn't the first time that had happened. It's just, 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 harder 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. And 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 if somebody's like, what'd you think about season four? I'm like, which one was that? What did my hair look like? I don't remember.
Are there any other characters that you want to revisit that you've done?
I mean, I know Parenthood" movie. That's just such a wonderful group of people. Oh yeah. There's just no reason not to go to work there. It was so wonderful and fun. I think, and then obviously, somebody should call me to play Dolly in "Hello, Dolly!" because Langley High School really needs a revival.
Can you talk about when the fact that this was a phenomenon, that this show had a life beyond its existence on television, sunk in with you and how you processed that.
I try not to process really any of that. I find it's really unhelpful as a person to get involved in the sort of, I don't know, that kind of, whatever the hype is around something. I think for me, I did "Guys and Dolls" on Broadway, and the girls waiting for me outside, some of them were quite young. That was just when it was just in reruns. And I thought, "Oh, this is like how I grew up watching 'The Partridge Family' or something. It wasn't in real time. I watched it on reruns, and I thought, 'Oh that's interesting."
But it was Kelly Bishop, when we were doing the show, who said, "This is going to be one of those shows that people don't forget, and that people want to know what happened to these people." She always said, this is this kind of thing that will have legs. And I was like, 'I'm exhausted!' So she had the experience maybe, or the vision, to see.
What would you tell your younger self who's about to embark on this crazy journey?
To try and become an actor? It's so different now. It's hard for me to accept the degree of technology we have, and also the exposure to famous people. I just wanted to work in a theater in Washington, D.C. It didn't even occur to me. There was no "American Idol" even. There was "Star Search," which didn't really make it look that great. So I think it's just, you focus on your work and make sure you have a sense of history that came before you. Acting is a craft that you can go back and learn a lot from the people who came before you. So stay out of the internet aspect of it, I guess.
What's a favorite show of yours you'd like to ask your friends at Netflix to bring back?
Oh, gosh, I don't know. I mean, I loved "Six Feet Under," but they're all dead! So we can't, I mean, I don't know. I'm trying to think of things that I still watch today. I am a freak, for some reason, for "The Godfather" movies. As many times as I've seen them, I watch them continuously.
What would you want to do next? What's on the professional to-do list?
I guess it's a half-hour comedy. I feel like I've had the best experience in the one-hour space that I could possibly have.
Did you ever look at the old episodes?
No, I don't watch myself...Well, I'm writing a book. I have a book coming out in November and it's called "I'm Talking As Fast As I Can." It's a book of essays. It'll come out the week after the show. The two biggest chapters in it – although it's not what the whole book is about – is "Gilmore Girls" the first time, and "Gilmore Girls" the second time. So I kind of had to go back and scroll through. I was mainly just struck by my outfits. They were so crazy! So I haven't really watched it watched it, but I did kind of remind myself.