With Netflix’s upcoming four-part Gilmore Girls revival, titled Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, a large number of the show’s original cast members were given the opportunity to reinhabit the characters they said goodbye to years ago. However, getting back into character after eight years is an experience every actor approached differently.
As far as Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop were concerned, snapping back into the mindsets of their Stars Hollow — or Hartford, Connecticut — counterpart was simple. “To pick it up again felt really kind of inevitable,” Graham tells EW of playing Lorelai. “[It was] definitely easy in most ways.”
For Bishop, Emily Gilmore was easy to tap back into because she never went anywhere. “She’s been there all along,” Bishop says. “She travels around with me, so as far as Emily’s personality and her character, it was just waiting for me to climb into the suit and zip it up.”
But not everyone made such a seamless transition. For many of the returning actors, it was about preparation, putting in the work before returning to set. “I thought a lot about it and what I wanted to bring to the character now that would be different from where we left off,” Alexis Bledel says of Rory. “I mostly just imagined where she’s been since we left off, what she’s been doing, how that’s shaped her.”
Ironically, it was Jared Padalecki, who plays Dean, who took the most Rory-esque approach to his preparation: Research, research, research. “I watched a few of those first seasons,” Padalecki says. “I wanted to see what my initial take was on the character. I tried to study who I was and who I wanted Dean to be. I really focused on seasons 2 and 3, not 4 and 5 as much because Dean was embroiled in controversies. I got to focus on the parts of Dean that I liked the most and thought stood the test of time.”
Then there’s Matt Czuchry, who focused first on reacquainting himself with the pace of the show’s dialogue, and then from there, tried to tap into the mental state of Logan Huntzberger. “Logan’s in a different place in his life,” Czuchry says. “The relationships that he has throughout these four chapters are in a different place, so there was a lot of preparation that went into that to get into that headspace. At the same time, what I love about all four chapters that Amy [Sherman-Palladino] and Dan [Palladino] wrote is that it’s just so perfect in terms of where the characters have been, where they are now, and where they’re going. So in some ways, once we did that preparation, when I got on set, it felt like we had never left.”
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Speaking of getting back on set, for Scott Patterson, reconnecting with Luke didn’t happen until he was standing foot in the diner. Actually, it happened right after that. “I got on set the first day, walked into the diner, started rehearsing a scene, and I just didn’t have it,” Scott Patterson says. “I think I came in there with some overconfidence, and it just wasn’t there for me. So I asked Amy if I could just take a break so I could stroll around Stars Hollow. I walked around and tried to relive some of the moments, really take it in. And that actually worked. I got the walk back, and I just felt like him, and then after that, it was a breeze.”
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life hits Netflix on Friday, Nov. 25.