Fresh off the hotly reviewed heels of "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life," Lauren Graham's new autobiography, "Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)" hit bookstores on Tuesday (November 29). And, as the title suggests, it serves up some juicy show-specific tidbits perfect for anyone suffering from post-revival withdrawals.
Peppered throughout with Lorelai-esque wit and pop culture references, "Talking as Fast as I Can" includes Graham's reminisces about the show's previous seven seasons, as well as notes she took while filming the revival. It's a must-read for any fan — though, given the inundation of "Gilmore" over the past week, it's understandable if you don't have the bandwidth to pick up a copy now-right-now. To that end, we've done some of the work for you.
Here are Graham's 13 best "Gilmore Girls" secrets that'll make you say "Oy with the freakin' poodles already!"
There was a very real chance that the role of Lorelai was going to be recast after the pilot.
Graham and Alexis Bledel have natural mother/daughter chemistry despite having never met before filming began.
"I was overwhelmed, but I could tell I liked [Bledel] right away," she wrote, effectively debunking those rumors that the duo never quite hit it off in real life. "She was only eighteen years old, but kind and curious, and beautiful of course. I had a good feeling about us from the start. We clicked as friends right away too."
It was Graham's contractual obligation to another show at the time — NBC's "M.Y.O.B." — and not any lack of chemistry with Bledel that threatened to have her role recast, even after the pilot episode had already been filmed. Thankfully, "M.Y.O.B." was ultimately cancelled, freeing Graham to fully commit to bringing Lorelai to life.
Graham and Kelly Bishop had a WAY better relationship than Lorelai and Emily did.
Graham said she lovingly refers to Bishop as her "TVM," or TV Mom, and that Bishop took the role of protector quite seriously, "beyond the pages or the sets and out into the real world." Clearly, the pair have a much better IRL relationship than the contentious one we see onscreen.
"Right away we developed the easy rituals of old friends: meeting for lunch at Joe Allen in New York, or out for guacamole at our favorite Mexican place in L.A., or allowing ourselves to split a little bag of Cheetos when we were filming in the middle of the night," Graham wrote. "In a maternal, protective way, she found most of my boyfriends at the time lacking, and once told me I needed someone who was more my equal, like 'that wonderful actor on 'Six Feet Under.'"
That, of course, would be Peter Krause, who later costarred with Graham on "Parenthood." Oh, and became her real-life partner — the two have been dating for several years now, since 2010. Nice call, Bishop!
Some of Graham's personal wardrobe made it on the show.
Though the bulk of Lorelai's quirky personal style was modeled after that of the show's Key Costume Supervisor, Valerie Campbell (per a Gilmore Girls Fan Fest panel), pieces from Graham's personal wardrobe — like the shirt pictured above — made cameos, too.
"I’m proud yet horrified to tell you that the entire outfit I’m wearing in the first scene (of Season 4) — the kelly-green EVERYONE LOVES AN IRISH GIRL T-shirt, the Ireland soccer jacket, and the oversized knit pom-pom hat with the word DUBLIN on it — were all from my personal closet," Graham wrote. "Oh, and the gold clover necklace was mine too. I was really hitting the Irish thing hard."
The Lorelai/Rory rift in Season 6 was hard on both Graham and Bledel IRL ... and Graham wasn't a fan of the plot line in general.
Just as many of us mourned the uncharacteristic tension between mom and temporary-dropout daughter this season, Graham, too, said she "struggled" with the plot line.
"While I totally understood the need to keep the story moving in different directions, I have to admit I struggled with the Lorelai/Rory separation this year," Graham confessed. "It went on for a while, and Lorelai was so crabby with Rory for several episodes, not to mention that I missed my favorite scene partner. I’d never played a character for this long, and while it’s a bad actor cliché to say 'my character would never do that,' the line between personal and professional starts to get so blurry, and after a while you start to feel like what’s happening to your character is sort of also happening to you."
Graham wrote that she even approached show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino with her misgivings, and said she was told they "felt it was important developmentally that this always-close relationship hit a significant growing pain." Thankfully for us all, it was just that — a growing pain — with Rory and Lorelai reuniting in the aptly titled Episode 9, “The Prodigal Daughter Returns."
"That reunion hug was for real!" Graham wrote of the conciliatory scene. "We were both excited to get back to happier times."
She also wasn't thrilled about Lorelai's marriage to Christopher. So greatly did she dislike this plot turn, in fact, that she apparently erased it from her memory.
"I have to admit, this seemed so odd to me back then (especially after all that time apart; I just didn’t think Lorelai would get married without Rory present), that I somehow managed to completely forget it ever happened," Graham wrote. "While we were filming the reboot, Dan Palladino had to call one of the superfan assistants in the office to have her explain the whole episode to me in detail. Even then, I wasn’t sure she was telling me the truth: 'No. Really? Are you sure? No. Paris?' I kept saying to her."
We feel you, Graham. As Lorelai herself said in the revival — it should've been Luke. It always should've been Luke.
Weirdly, Bledel is the reason Graham doesn't have a tattoo (?).
Rory has always been the voice of reason, we suppose (except when she, y'know, isn't). Graham wrote about an influential exchange that occurred one morning in the "Gilmore Girls" makeup trailer.
"I was prattling on to Alexis about the possibility of getting a tattoo and the exciting potential of designing it myself ... Alexis smiled and gently said, 'So, what would you get? A shamrock?'" Graham wrote. "Um, no. I mean, what? NO. A sham—? Please, that’s just SILLY! Why would you think I’d get something as predictable as a sham — OH DEAR HOW EMBARRASSING YOU’RE RIGHT. I’M A CLICHÉ OF A SOMEWHAT IRISH PERSON."
And that, dear readers, is curiously why Graham claims to remain ink-free to this day.
Also weirdly, Graham and Bledel were the only cast members to be officially notified that "Gilmore Girls" was canceled.
Though the show's future hung uncertainly in the air following Season 7, as far as anyone *officially* knew, the cast would be returning for an eighth season. It caught Graham by surprise, then, when her agent phoned her at a restaurant to tell her "Gilmore Girls" was over.
"I was told that I was the first to know, and was asked to wait before reaching out to anyone. I assumed this meant everyone would be getting a call, and given the size of the cast, they needed time to do that," Graham recalled. "But I found out much later that Alexis and I were the only cast members who were officially informed, and others found out in far less conventional ways. Ed Herrmann (the late Richard) learned the show was canceled from the clerk at his video store in Connecticut, for example."
She added that if she had the chance to do it over, she'd "have called everyone myself, and thrown a party too."
"To end so abruptly was such an odd conclusion to our epic adventure," she said.
Meanwhile, Graham didn't say she enjoyed making "Parenthood" more than "Gilmore Girls," but she also didn't NOT say that.
Graham praised "Parenthood" and that show's cast at every possible turn in "Talking As Fast As I Can," and something about the praise felt a bit more authentically effusive than when she talked about "Gilmore Girls." The title of one chapter — "Parenthood Is the Best Neighborhood" — even felt a bit like a Stars Hollow slight. She prefaced her worshipful ode to the show with the following passage:
"Don’t you hate it when one of your friends starts dating someone fabulous, or gets a cool new job or an unexpected promotion, and they’re so excited and happy and they can’t stop talking about how lucky they are and how amazing everything in their life is, and generally just won’t shut up about it? That’s what me telling you about the experience of doing the show 'Parenthood' is going to be like," she wrote.
True to her word, Graham spared nothing in her adulation, and we can't entirely fault her. After all, even if she and Bledel got along well enough, surely the experience of working closely with her real-life best friend (Mae Whitman) felt pretty incomparable.
Much like the show's sudden cancelation, the revival's announcement caught cast members off guard, too.
Sherman-Palladino reached out to Graham as early as 2014 with the idea of pitching a "Gilmore Girls" revival to streaming services, and the pair also had a telling lunch date in which Sherman-Palladino mysteriously asked Graham if she'd read "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" or read/seen "Wild."
For the most part, though, Graham and the rest of the "Gilmore Girls" cast were kept in the dark. When Scott Patterson first ignited revival buzz by telling the "Gilmore Guys" podcasters of a revival plan back in mid-2015, that was apparently premature to the point of possibly being false, Graham implied.
"Scott Patterson went on a podcast and mentioned there were 'talks,' which had basically been true since the day the show ended in 2007, but the comment caught fire and people thought he knew more than he was saying, when in fact none of us did," she explained.
Eventually, it was a joint press release from Warner Brothers and Netflix that informed "Gilmore Girls"'s stars that the oft-alluded to revival was actually, officially happening, meaning the cast got the news at the same time we the public did. What's more, the deal the two production companies struck included a stipulation that filming had to begin within the next two months, but further details were still "up in the air" as late as one week before the cast arrived on set in February. Talk about last minute!
Throughout the entirety of filming "A Year in the Life," Graham said she was "very, very emotional" on set.
"I have honestly never had an experience like it," Graham wrote of returning to the "Gilmore Girls" set, adding that she was "very, very emotional the whole time."
"I don’t usually cry easily, but throughout the days and months of filming, I welled up a lot," she recalled. "I’ve told the story before about how Alexis was so green when we first started, and our walk-and-talks so lengthy and complex, that I’d sometimes put my arm through hers to help guide her to our mark. But the first day we returned to Lorelai’s house it was me who reached for her arm for support — I was so overwhelmed that I felt a little shaky."
Some of the (many) tears shed had to do with Ed Hermann's passing, Graham said.
"It wasn’t just emotional because it had been re-created. It was also genuinely sad because Ed Herrmann had passed away the previous winter," she wrote. "Kelly spoke to him that first day on set. 'Ed? We know you’re here. We miss you,' she said, and everyone choked up."
All of Stars Hollow had to be reconstructed for the revival — and some of the dimensions are off from the OG set.
According to Graham, not one set or piece from the original series, including the famous gazebo, had been saved, meaning a complete do-over was in order.
"All the sets had to be reconstructed, which also contributed to the surreal quality. No one had saved any set pieces from the old show, because why would they have?" Graham wrote. "Netflix didn’t exist when the show ended, and no one had had any concrete reason to believe we’d be back in the Gilmore house or Luke’s diner or Stars Hollow ever again."
The fact that no original sets survived the nearly decade-long hiatus meant there was nothing to compare proportions to, and the scale of some of the revival's sets are different from those seen on "Gilmore Girls"' first seven seasons.
"There were no precise measurements of the rooms either, so ... in most cases the measurements were slightly off," Graham said. "This added to the eerie quality of being back: in the Gilmore house, for example, the foyer was completely familiar, yet just a little bit larger than it was in the original."
Shockingly, Graham didn't even know the show's mythical final four words "were a 'thing'" until halfway through filming the revival.
"I don’t know how it’s possible that I missed this information. Amy and I just never talked about it for some reason ... and somehow the whole hoopla missed me entirely," Graham wrote.
It was at the end of February that Sherman-Palladino realized her oversight and clued her in. While the words weren't what Graham was expecting, she did call them "wonderful" in the book — an opinion certainly not held by all — and said they possess a "simple symmetry, which makes perfect sense within the origin of the story of 'Gilmore Girls.'"
But that's not all Graham had to say about the final four words. And it's quite possible her take includes a foreshadowing to future "Gilmore Girls" episodes.
Throughout the book's last chapter, Graham recounted consistently asking the Palladinos and fellow cast members if they agreed that the final four words felt more like a "cliffhanger" than a real ending. According to her, each time she asked the Palladinos this, they responded only with smiles. And the ambiguous note Graham concluded the book on feels the most telling of all:
"We waited a long time to get the chance to finish this show, and now, finally, 'Gilmore Girls' is really and truly over. I mean, it is over, right? Yes. It is. It’s over. But seriously, didn’t you sort of think that ending was really more of a cliffhanger? Hmmmm…"
What's particularly revealing about Graham's wording choice here is that throughout the book, she consistently relied on "hmmmmm"'s as a means of jokily identifying overt foreshadowings. When Bishop told her she should date "that wonderful actor on 'Six Feet Under,'" for instance, Graham confirmed for readers that this had, indeed, happened by following up Bishop's words with a pointed "hmmmmm."
For all her delightful humor, it must be noted that Graham isn't exactly the subtlest of writers, and clearly she has to be careful about revealing too much (something she got in legal trouble for when guest starring as a judge on "Project Runway," an anecdote she humorously told in an earlier chapter). The reason for her ambiguity is open to individual interpretation, of course. But by referencing a clear literary ploy she uses elsewhere in the book in conjunction with the possibility of future episodes, it sure feels like this is Graham's way of winking at the reader. At least, we sure hope so.