'I would be crazy to not want to be part of it,' says Truesdale, who played Lorelai’s biting colleague Michel Gerard
Where Gilmore Girls leads, fans will follow … and that might just take them to Netflix.
On Monday, news broke that creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s beloved series about a mother-daughter pair, Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel), living in Stars Hollow, Connecticut, might receive a limited revival at the streaming behemoth. The excitement was palpable amongst fans — and the cast, too.
Yanic Truesdale played Michel Gerard, Lorelai’s hilariously biting but still lovable colleague who never, ever shied from offering his opinion — and more often than not, it was with a heavy dose of sarcasm. (He was also a health nut for the ages and adored Celine Dion and his pet chow chows more than life itself.)
On Tuesday, Truesdale told EW that the interest in joining the revival is definitely there for him, but he had not been contacted about it and did not know if the reports were true or not. (EW has confirmed that Netflix is in serious negotiations with Sherman-Palladino and her husband and writing partner, Dan Palladino, for a limited revival.)
Here, Truesdale talks about his desire to see Michel as a dad, the show’s need for a satisfying ending, and why he thinks it’s all continued to resonate with fans 15 years since it first debuted.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What did you think when you heard about the possibility of Gilmore Girls returning to the screen?
YANIC TRUESDALE: Like anyone else that has been part of the show since day one, every day I feel the enthusiasm of fans and I’m very aware that the show is still very popular and relevant. Ever since it’s been on Netflix, it feels like the show just started all over again and when we went to Texas to the ATX [Television] Festival it was quite a thing. People flew from all over the world, from Brazil and Australia. They had to change venues twice to accommodate the very large number of people.
And everyone in the room was 20, which was fascinating to me because obviously when we did the show in 2000 they were five. So it’s a whole new generation, but [also] the same generation that started watching it 15 years ago. I’ve heard for the last seven years, “Oh, you know, a movie and this and that,” but it’s always been talk. Am I surprised to read about it? No, in the sense that they’ve been talking about it for a long time. This time around, is it more concrete? It sounds like it. I don’t know where [journalists] get their sources or where this is coming from, but if it’s true that’s great news.
Is this something that you think the show needs, to address unresolved story lines?
I think it would be fair to say that, for everyone involved in Gilmore Girls, it was not a satisfying ending. It wasn’t supposed to end when it ended and it should have [ended with] Amy — it was her voice, it was her show. It’s always been kind of frustrating that it didn’t end properly and mainly that it wasn’t told by the creator, so of course I think it would be fantastic for us and the fans to have a shot at the conclusion of all of these people, these characters that came beloved.
At the ATX Television Festival you were asked where you think Michel is now, and you said you thought Michel could be patronizing people, possibly at an inn of his own, or he could be back in Paris. Can you elaborate on that? What else is Michel up to?
Those questions are always interesting because you don’t live with that person anymore. I live with [Michel] in the sense that every day I’m reminded by people on the street, but other than that I don’t think about it because I don’t get scripts anymore and I don’t think about the trajectory. But after Texas, I was really kind of thinking where it would be interesting to see him today. One thing that crossed my mind that would be amazing to see, because it’s so the opposite of what we’ve seen from this character, is him being a dad.
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Michel can be cold but he loved his dogs, Paw-Paw and Chin-Chin, and acted like a dad to them.
Exactly, you can see a sensitive side to him. That would be great material, seeing him being a dad or in a relationship and seeing that type of persona. Another thing was that from day 1, Lorelai has always been, in my mind, a little sister. Someone that you really, really like but is annoying, doesn’t know better, and you’re there for them because you want to kind of guide them and educate them but they’re irritating.
It’s a love and hate relationship like family. Family is complicated. I think because of that bond and love that is there, wherever she would be professionally they would have found a way to remain connected. Whatever she’s doing, he manipulated her and found a way to be part of it. It’s like when the inn burned down and he went to work for another hotel and he came back, but wasn’t really asking for it but clearly wanted to come back. I think it would be something similar.
What do you expect from the revival more broadly, or what are you hoping for?
As I said before, having a satisfying conclusion for those characters is what I’m hoping for because too many things were left up in the air. When you follow a show — I know from being a very demanding audience member with shows that I love and watch — if you’ve committed to a show for seven years, you want to have a satisfying ending because otherwise you feel cheated. You’re like, “Oh I invested all this time in these people, these characters and it didn’t go anywhere. What about this? What about that? She was doing that. Is it going to happen?”
So I think it’s very legitimate for the cast and for the fans to want a conclusion for those characters. If anything happens that’s what I would wish for the show, Amy telling that conclusion and bringing it to this finish line. I’m thinking of shows like Breaking Bad or Six Feet Under. In that last episode [of Six Feet Under] everyone cried, just bawled and it felt so satisfying because there’s a real conclusion to the emotional investment that you had in these characters.
What was it about the ending, specifically, that you didn’t find satisfying?
It kind of just ended. It went like a normal episode. It wasn’t like a finale. I think people involved and whoever was writing it didn’t realize that we were not going to come back for whatever reason. I would love to have a finale, one day.
You talked about how Netflix has brought new viewers to the series, but what is it about the actual material that you think has resonated with the fans so much? Why is there still such a devoted fan base?
It’s hard to really put your finger on why a show like that is still so popular and so fresh and growing 15 years later, but I can relate and speculate that [it has something to do with] the modern daughter-mother relationship. I’m the godfather of two kids, in a world where most kids are raised by a single parent or [ones who share custody]. It’s about a mother who wants the best for her daughter and it’s about family and it’s about having someone meaningful in your life — that’s [something that] anyone in any country can relate to.
That mother-daughter relationship is so modern and has such an idealistic view, but it’s not perfect. Family is never perfect, but it certainly aimed at something — a lot of moms and daughters and kids and parents would like to have that connection. I can’t tell you the hundreds if not thousands of times that people have told me the only time I spent with my mom was watching that show. It brought mothers and daughters together, and hopefully fathers and sons. I think that that is something very, very powerful.
Also, Amy has a talent of creating characters, small or big, that are all multi-dimensional and colorful and full of heart and zest. [The show had] all these quirky and interesting and different people that created a family in that town. It’s really a show about family within a family. The town is a family and Lorelai and [Rory]. It doesn’t matter if you speak Chinese or Italian, everyone has a family and everyone is probably struggling in that family. [laughs]
All things considered, if the revival becomes concrete, and you’re asked to come back, would you be in?
Oh my god, I would be crazy to not want to be part of it.
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