EW.com talks to star Lauren Graham about the Thursday night showdown and her new movie

By Bruce Fretts
February 15, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST
Lauren Graham: Frank Trapper/Corbis Sygma

For Lauren Graham, it’s a case of good news, bad news. The good news: The actress has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance as motormouth single mom Lorelai Gilmore on the WB’s rookie sleeper drama ”Gilmore Girls.” The bad news: Starting Feb. 15, ”Girls” (airing Thursdays, 8 p.m.) will have to face both NBC’s ”Friends” and CBS’ ”Survivor.”

More good news for Graham fans: She can be seen humping (then dumping) Keanu Reeves in the big screen weeper ”Sweet November,” which — bad news — opens against returning box office monster ”Hannibal” on Feb. 16. Yet Graham chose to look on the bright side while talking to EW.com:

What ratings grabbing stunts does ”Gilmore Girls” have planned to take on ”Friends” and ”Survivor”?
My character’s starting to get some serious action. I get action from my TV daughter’s father (David Sutcliffe), who comes back into town, and I get action from her teacher (Scott Cohen). I’ll be doing my first TV version of sex. I’ll have the sheet fully wrapped around me, but you’ll all know what happened.

What do you make of the ”Survivor” phenomenon?
I’ve never seen the show, but I have all kinds of opinions about it. Reality shows equal death to actors. To me, well written, well performed human drama is so much more interesting than actual people in bikinis fighting.

So do you not watch reality shows on principle?
I don’t watch them because my work schedule means that I’m lucky if I get home in time for ”Conan.”

Are you now or have you ever been a ”Friends” fan?
Oh yeah, I love the Friends. But I’ve mostly seen the reruns in syndication. It’s a great show. I wouldn’t want to be up against it.

Has ”Gilmore Girls” thought about super sizing its episodes?
We talk so much in an average episode that our episodes, to my mind, are super sized already. I just talk faster to try and get you all that material in the time we have. What I’m after is the two hour ”Murder, She Wrote” type movie where Lorelai solves a mystery.

How does it feel to get a SAG nomination alongside Sally Field, Edie Falco, Allison Janney, Sela Ward, and Gillian Anderson?
As honored as I could possibly feel. Lorelai is a bit of a tricky part — it’s language dense, and the fact that actors get the challenge in that has been a highlight for this year. It’s lovely company to be in. It’s all those cheesy things people say when they’re nominated.

Are you stressing over what to wear?
Always. I’m a girl who wears jeans and sneakers every day, so dressing up is real event for me. I’ve worn a long dress once in my life, and that was when I was 10 in the ’70s, for my aunt’s wedding.

What was it like getting nearly naked with Keanu Reeves in ”Sweet November”?
It was the most traumatic thing I’ve ever been through. I just kept trying to think, ”It’s worse for him. He’s the famous guy.” I could walk around saying, ”He has no body hair! You heard it here first!” Which is not true, and I didn’t do that. He’s a charming dude, and that’s how you would want the famous naked star to be.

How do you think your movie will do against ”Hannibal”?
I think it’ll do well. It’s a choice. Do you want to see people’s bodies or do you want to see somebody eat them? There’s something out there for everybody.