How fans really felt about pretty boy Tristan.

By Jolie Lash
July 07, 2021 at 04:37 PM EDT
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Tristan Dugray was one of the pretty, preppy bad boys of Stars Hollow's Chilton Prep in Gilmore Girls, but the reaction actor Chad Michael Murray got to his character from fans was more sweet than bitter.

"One response I always get about Tristan is how much they love him," Murray told NBC's Today. "They really do. I've never had anyone come up to me and say — which you would think I would receive all the time — no one has ever come up to me and said, 'Tristan was a jerk! Why did you call her Mary?' It never happened."

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Chad Michael Murray played Tristan Dugray on "Gilmore Girls."
| Credit: Bennett Raglin/WireImage

"Mary," is, of course, a nickname Tristan would use for Rory (Alexis Bledel), who he crushed on at their shared high school. His character crushed so hard, it occasionally led to altercations with Jared Padalecki's Dean Forester, who was usually Rory's beau. 

Looking back on that time, Murray said the scenes with his onscreen love rival Padalecki were some of the most fun.

"My favorite things about Tristan were typically scenes with Dean. Just coming up with just ridiculous names that we would call each other," he said.

"These fight sequences where you're such a jerk, and Jared is like, the sweetest guy in the whole wide world," Murray continued. "We get along so well. And we're having it out. And it was always fun for me to be on set and for us to have these scenes where we absolutely despise each other, but yet, behind closed doors, you know, off set, we're just palling around and two big goofy kids."

Murray also looked back fondly on the show's writing, crediting creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, whose continued work (in shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Masiel) remains vibrant.

"Her writing was just so on point -- it still is obviously today. And she's so good at getting the best out of you and getting the most out of you at every moment," he said. 

He also had kind words for series star, Bledel, telling Today, "Alexis was awesome."

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