Amy Sherman-Palladino talks ''Jezebel James''
For die-hard Gilmore Girls fans, there was bad news this week — the series finale on The CW — and good news — creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s new show, The Return of Jezebel James, made it onto Fox’s spring schedule. But the original Gilmore Girl is focused solely on the latter. She couldn’t bear to watch the final installment of her fast-talking dramedy, which she and husband/co-executive producer Dan Palladino left a year ago when contract negotiations failed. ”Gilmore‘s too personal,” she says. ”I haven’t watched this entire season.” EW.com chatted her up about just how Gilmore-y her new creation — starring Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose as estranged sisters — will be, and whether she’ll ever reveal the ending she would’ve given the gals from Stars Hollow.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So why this project — a traditional, live-audience comedy?
AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO: I didn’t want to go back to work unless it was something I was desperately passionate about. We wanted to find somebody who would let us do a sitcom, as an experiment, exactly the way we wanted to do it. Very classy and beautiful, with some fabulous actors — something kind of like Cheers. God love Fox, they let us do it. And these are the greatest actresses in the world. I mean, Parker Posey? Parker and Lauren are just knockouts.
You’re working with two strong female leads again. How is it different this time around?
The great thing about a sitcom is you can rehearse it every day…. Parker’s very methodical. And Lauren Ambrose will come [to rehearsal] with a list of brilliant questions. It’s all the things you want to be able to do.
Neither of their characters is named Jezebel or James. What’s with the title?
The Return of Jezebel James is the title of the book [Posey’s children’s book editor character Sarah intends to publish]. It’s based on [Ambrose’s character] Coco’s imaginary friend when she was little. When she’d get in trouble, she’d say, ”It wasn’t me, it was Jezebel James.” To me, it’s that connection that, even though the sisters didn’t realize it was there, it was still there.
More importantly, will we get that trademark Gilmore banter?
There’s a scene in it that I’m very proud of that’s 17 pages of Parker and Lauren talking in a diner. It was wonderful. It was like a play. And they feed on that. They’ve both done theater. I got to direct it. I got to really work with these people. We got to do exactly what we wanted to do. We had this beautiful set, these fabulous actors. If it doesn’t happen, it’s not meant to be. Meanwhile, they’re telling us to move our s— out here. How do we get our dog out here? Solve that for us, Entertainment Weekly. People keep saying, ”Don’t you know someone with a private jet?” Uh, no.
Are you ever going to tell us the ending you’d planned for Gilmore?
Not at the moment, but eventually. I’ll be on top of a building, ready to jump, and I’ll yell it to the world, and I’ll plummet to my death.
Any other new projects?
Oh, angel, we just finished this one! The plan on this one is the same as Gilmore — to write, produce, do everything. It’s love. I don’t believe that bull—-, ”If you love it, let it go.” If you love it, stay there and make sure no one else f—s it up.