“There are many paths in life…and then there’s my path, where I found myself 16 and pregnant and I realized ‘I have to get a job, I have to raise a kid and being me, I have to do it all by myself.’ Not easy. But the thing with my path was, when I reached the end, I turned around and realized I’d ended up someplace really good.” – Lorelai Gilmore
There can be no doubt that Gilmore Girls was in a league of its own when the first episode aired in 2000. It introduced us to the undeniable bond between a single mom and her teenage daughter, brought us a lot of up-and-coming actors, and made us fall in love with a small town vibe. Keep reading to discover some interesting tidbits about the show and its stars.
Lorelai and Rory are known for their love of coffee, but Alexis Bledel (who plays Rory) hates it! She’s actually drinking Coca-Cola in the scenes where she’s supposed to be drinking a hot cup of java. Even Lauren Graham (Lorelai) made the switch to water every so often.
Scott Patterson, AKA Luke Danes, was only supposed to be in the first episode. After realizing the chemistry between him and Graham, the producers cast him as a series regular! Also, the character was originally written for a woman.
Patterson was once a minor league pitcher in the Atlanta Braves' system, and was pretty close to making it to the big time. Maybe that's why you can catch his character wearing a backwards baseball hat in almost every scene he’s in.
Bledel dated co-star Milo Ventimiglia, who played her onscreen boyfriend Jess in the show, in real life for three and a half years.
Ventimiglia was also only supposed to be on the show for a handful of episodes, but the producers loved him and offered him a six-season contract. He only accepted for two seasons.
The show almost produced two spinoffs. The first, after Jess left in season three, would have been focused on Jess's attempt to mend fences with his estranged father. The other spinoff was for Rory after the seventh and final season. The network decided it would have been too tricky to pull off, plus Bledel didn’t want to work without Graham.
Paris Geller was written especially for Liza Weil. She had auditioned for Rory, but the producers liked her so much they created a whole new character.
A few places in Stars Hollow can be seen elsewhere in the magical world of television. The exterior of The Dragonfly Inn was the house from The Waltons, and the town itself is Rosewood in Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale in, well, Riverdale. You may also recognize some areas from The Dukes of Hazzard.
Adam Wylie, who portrays Rory’s classmate Brad Langford at Chilton Prep School, left the show for a brief period to play Jack in the Broadway musical Into the Woods. When his character comes back to the show, this is exactly what he tells everyone when they ask where he’s been.
If you recognized the dresses that characters were wearing in the season 5 episode “You Jump, I Jump, Jack," that's because you've actually seen them before! All of them were reused from Rory's cotillion in the episode "Presenting Lorelai Gilmore" in season 2. The originally white dresses were just died different colors for their second appearance.
There’s no ad-libbing or improvising on Gilmore Girls. The scripts were unusually long because of the fast-paced talking, so there really was no room for the actors to add in their own bits. The average script ran 75-80 pages. For comparison, in other hour-long shows the scripts are generally 45-50 pages.
The show brought in a dialogue coach to help make sure the cast was speaking at a proper pace, resulting in upwards of 20 takes per scene.
Bledel’s first language is Spanish, not English! She only learned to speak English when she went to elementary school.
Show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino based the town of Stars Hollow on Washington Depot, Connecticut, where she once visited with her husband. They went there to check out Mark Twain’s wallpaper.
The series may have been filmed on a set in Burbank, California, but the pilot was filmed in Canada!
Two superfans of the show transformed Washington Depot into Star Hollow for a weekend before the release of the Netflix reboot. Sponsors, townsfolk, and local businesses helped make it happen, and some of the stars from the show even showed up! There were also a lot of Gilmore Girls-esque activities like knit-a-thons, a town hall meeting, a dance recital, and screenings of favorite episodes.
Kelly Bishop, who plays Lorelai’s mother Emily Gilmore, also played the mother in Dirty Dancing. The movie is referenced a number of times during the course of the show.
A running joke throughout the show is that the elder Gilmores have a new maid whenever Lorelai and Rory go over. Emily hired maids from all over the world: they hailed from Guatemala, Britain, Ireland, Romania, USA, Portugal, France, and Germany, just to name a few.
Alex Borstein, of Family Guy fame, was originally cast to play Sookie, but she had commitments at MadTV, so the role went to Melissa McCarthy instead. Borstein did at least end up making a few cameos in the show, and her actual husband at the time played Sookie’s husband, Jackson.
Jackson was only supposed to be in a handful of episodes, but once more the chemistry between actor Jackson Douglas and McCarthy was so great that he became a regular.
According to Rose Abdoo, the actress who played Gypsy, the character had a crush on Lorelai. Abdoo explained that whenever Lorelai and Gypsy were together, Gypsy was way excited, and was an adamant member of Team Lorelai when Lorelai and Luke broke up.
Carole King, who sings the show’s theme song, can be seen in several episodes as the owner of the music store where Rory’s best friend, Lane Kim, practices playing drums.
During the first season finale, Lorelai is proposed to with 1,000 yellow daisies, but they actually needed a lot more. Sherman-Palladino once told EW that they had to go back three or four times just to fill the room on set.
The studio spent $20,000 to use John Lennon’s “Oh My Love” during episode 16 of season 1: "Star Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers," in which Dean builds Rory a car, tells her he loves her, and she doesn’t reciprocate the sentiment. On top of the money spent on the song, Yoko Ono had to review the script and tapes from the episode before she gave the OK.
Ryan Gosling was almost in Gilmore Girls. Yes, you read that right. But sadly he botched his audition, and now we're all left wondering about what could have been. Why, Ryan, why?? We were all rooting for you!
Lorelai’s childhood dollhouse also happens to be the same dollhouse from an episode of Friends; Monica inherits it after her aunt passes away.
Speaking of houses, Sookie’s house on set is actually the back of Lorelai and Rory’s house. There’s a small nod to this in the first episode of season 3, where Lorelai tells Rory of a “shortcut” between the two homes.
The town hall meeting scenes would sometimes take all day to film. There were so many characters involved that it meant a lot more dialogue, and they had marathon filming sessions that ran from 7am to 10pm. Sally Struthers, who played Babette, created a game where cast members would have to guess what was in her purse just to help pass the time.
Kirk Gleason, who’s portrayed by Sean Gunn, had a total of 62 different jobs during the course of the show’s seven seasons. Gunn’s favorite job? The time Kirk was a sports announcer for a hockey game.
Although her character is Korean, Keiko Agena, who plays Rory’s best friend Lane, was born in Hawaii and is of Japanese descent. Agena was 27 years old when she starting playing the 15-year-old Lane.
In the French version of the show, the decision was made to make Michel Italian rather than French, which makes a lot of sense. A Frenchman wouldn't be very exotic on a show where everyone already speaks French!
Luke finds out he’s a father because his daughter, April, conducts a DNA test as a part of a Science Fair. The actress who plays April, Vanessa Marano, went on to star in another show called Switched at Birth, where coincidentally her character conducts a similar science experiment to find out who her real parents are.
Sherman-Palladino and her husband, Daniel Palladino (who was also a producer), left the show at the end of the sixth season. The duo couldn’t reach an agreement with the studio, so David Rosenthal took over for the final season. Sheman-Palladino said that, among other reasons, she was frustrated that the CW Network wouldn't allow them to hire more writers.
We all know that Rory was a bookworm, but did you know that the show makes reference to 339 books? Crazy!
Four Gilmore Girls books told from Rory’s point of view were released in 2002, with each book covering a number of episodes from the show.
Quite a few actors from Gilmore Girls went on to great things: Jared Padalecki from Supernatural, Adam Brody from The O.C., Chad Michael Murray from One Tree Hill and even Jon Hamm, Don Draper himself, all appeared on the show before they got their big breaks.
David Palladino was also a producer for Family Guy, which makes a reference to Gilmore Girls in an episode. Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, also appeared as one of Lorelai's classmates on Gilmore Girls.
Bledel was brand new to acting when she was cast to play Rory. Her only role was in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore, and it was uncredited. She had been modelling part-time while studying at NYU when she decided to audition for the show.
Graham can often be seen with her arm around Bledel, especially in season 1. This may have just looked like a close connection between the two characters, but Graham was actually helping Bledel hit her marks properly, since it was her first acting role!
Graham loved shooting the Friday night dinner scenes even though her character Lorelai despised going to her parent’s house for the mandatory weekly meal. There was a lot of drama and comedy all rolled into one, and Graham especially enjoyed filming when Lorelai was angry with her mother.
The Netflix revival of the show consisted of four episodes and was released in November 2016 with most of the original cast returning. Rory is the same age that her mother was in the first season, the the last four words spoken in the final episode are between Rory and Lorelai: “Mom?” “Yeah?” “I’m pregnant,” bringing the show full circle.
Sadly, Edward Herrmann, who played Lorelai’s father Richard, passed away between the show end of the show and it's Netflix revival. Kelly Bishop, his on-screen wife, has said that while filming the return, she kept waiting for him to walk on set, and that when the set's lights mysteriously went out early in filming, she said "Aha! I knew you were here."
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