Gilmore Girls introduced fans to seven seasons of comedic bliss, but it also helped launch the careers of one of television’s biggest rising stars: Rami Malek.
During Saturday’s Gilmore Girls panel at EW PopFest in Los Angeles, series creator/executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino dished on the show’s signature wealth of guest actors, which the network was at first hesitant to bring on.
“Warners kept saying, ‘What? It’s a small show! It’s two girls waking around talking to each other. It’s just those two faces,'” she said. “I’m like, ‘Those two faces have to talk to somebody else!’ So, it was more like accumulating characters and every year we kept sucking them in… we kept sucking people into our universe to build the world a little bigger.”
She continued: “We got to amass quite a large cast, but it was all done by necessity, it wasn’t like we did it and then went what the f— do we do with these people. The boys would come and go. Jared [Padalecki] left, and then Milo [Ventimiglia] left, and we brought Matt [Czuchry] in… we needed those people very badly. The world existed with those people.”
Executive producer Dan Palladino later revealed some of his favorite guest stars, which included familiar faces who would go on to star in other popular TV shows like Parks and Recreation and Mad Men.
“We had Nick Offerman on as Jackson’s brother… he’s someone we would have had on a lot, but we were at a point where we had a big secondary cast of people that we loved going to,” he said. “And, of course, Jon Hamm, and the kid from Mr. Robot! We gave him his first job!”
Malek, who currently stars on the USA Network thriller, first appeared as Andy on a 2004 episode of Gilmore Girls titled “In the Clamor and the Clangor.”
Referencing Malek’s recent awards success for his performance on the show, Sherman-Palladino chimed in: “You’re welcome for that Emmy! Thank you!”
Watch the Palladinos discuss some of the show’s most notable guest stars in the video above, and for more from EW PopFest’s Gilmore Girls panel, read our full recap here.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life debuts Nov. 25 on Netflix.