The evolution of Dean Forester is a topic of discussion for many Gilmore Girls fans. There is an argument to be made that Dean underwent some changes between season 1 and season 2, most notably after Jess arrived.
As fans of the show will remember, when Rory first met Dean in the pilot, he was a pop culture-loving guy from Chicago with a thing for leather jackets and an air of mystery surrounding him. Flashforward to Jess’ entrance as the leather jacket-wearing mysterious guy, and Dean began to evolve into more of a Stars Hollow townie. It’s a shift actor Jared Padalecki acknowledges, and further, one he attributes a bit to his portrayal of the character. “I do think very truly that maybe as I started to portray Dean more and more, they realized that my take on his character was maybe a bit more small town-y,” Padalecki says, “But I do feel like he kind of warped.”
Then again, Padalecki thinks it could’ve simply been about Dean’s comfort level in a new city. The longer he lived in Stars Hollow, perhaps he started to show his true colors? “Moving to this very, very small town from a big city, maybe he puffed his chest a little bit, played the outsider, the badass,” Padalecki says. “And then as he started to live in Stars Hollow even more, he realized that he was comfortable there and could just be himself and be a little bit more low key and didn’t have to intimidate and act like the loner James Dean-type.”
And as Padalecki puts it, Dean then became so comfortable that he turned into “a small town guy and then he cheated on his wife,” he says with a laugh. Talk about an evolution.