In the Gilmore Girls universe, Luke and Lorelai seemed inevitable. He served the coffee; she needed the coffee. (Correction: NEEDED the coffee.) And from that moment in the pilot where Lorelai sees Luke out of his diner clothes, fans felt a spark. But when did the Gilmore creative team of Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino feel that spark? Well, let’s just say it wasn’t immediate.
“Luke was originally a female character,” Sherman-Palladino tells EW. “[The network] came to me and said we need another guy, so I literally just took a character and changed the name, didn’t even change any of the dialogue because I’m that lazy.”
Thankfully, the part was “unisex” so it didn’t make much of a difference. But for those of you wondering, Luke’s original name was Daisy.
However, once Daisy became Luke, something changed. That something is called the undeniable chemistry between Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson. “We did a few shows and they just had chemistry,” Sherman-Palladino says. “It was the episode where they were in the market and Lorelai’s spying on Dean. Luke was there and they had this scene that didn’t mean anything.”
For Graham, Luke and Lorelai were not a foregone conclusion. “It didn’t seem like, ‘Oh this is the definite love interest,'” Graham says. “It’s just this funny, weird chemistry that we had in terms of being complete opposites and also this built-in conflict of he has the thing she wants — which is coffee. But in those first couple years, I had a bunch of different dates. Jon Hamm was one of them. We had Max Medina. It could’ve gone in any number of ways. It was just something about the two of those characters together that they kept going back to and then it kept growing.”
Scott Patterson adds: “You just never know about that kind of thing. You can get the two most talented people in the world together on screen, and for some reason, it just doesn’t work. I knew it from the moment we met, and I knew it was going to work on screen. We just had a rhythm.”
Watch EW Reunites: Gilmore Girls here now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on Apple TV, Roku Players, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, iOS, and Android devices.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life hits Netflix on Friday, Nov. 25.