Gilmore Girls 15th Anniversary: Lauren Graham, Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino Share Favorite Moments From the Pilot

Lauren Graham in Gilmore Girls
Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls.  Scott Garfield/Warner Bros./Getty Images

It’s been 15 years (one year shy of the age at which Lorelai got pregnant!) since Gilmore Girls fans were introduced to the town of Stars Hollow. Since then several generations have met the unsinkable duo of Lorelai and her daughter, Rory, and their crazy cast of friends and family. In honor of the anniversary of the pilot episode (which aired on Oct. 5, 2000, on The WB), star Lauren Graham and show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the pilot, the legacy, and some unknown cast secrets. 

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“I have a lot of [favorite] moments [from the pilot],” Sherman-Palladino told EW. “Lauren had a couple of moments that some of them weren’t even in dialogue, they were just physical things that she did with Kelly [Bishop]. The way she dropped the coffee cup into the trash can by the door which was like a throwaway — a nothing thing would amaze me. I love when Ed Herrmann handed Rory the newspaper while they were waiting while the two women are arguing.”

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Graham’s memories from that shoot, which took place on a particularly frigid Canadian set before the show was later moved to its California set, centered around the actress who would become her on-screen bestie, Melissa McCarthy.

Melissa McCarthy and Lauren Graham in Gilmore Girls
Melissa McCarthy and Lauren Graham in Gilmore Girls Patrick Ecclesine/Warner Bros./Getty Images

“I remember from the minute I met Melissa [McCarthy], she made me laugh and we just had a great time,” Graham said of the comedienne, who played clumsy chef Sookie St. James prior to her breakout role in Bridesmaids. “So pretending she was my best friend was very easy.”

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Though Graham, 48, was a shoo-in for the role of young mom Lorelai, some of the other casting was a little more haphazard, Sherman-Palladino revealed. In fact, in some instances, actors would try out and get hired when a part had not yet been created for them.  

The Gilmore Girls Cast
The cast of Gilmore Girls Warner Bros./Getty Images

“It became us luckily being able to call the studio and go, ‘We’ve gotta make Sean Gunn [Kirk] a regular, you can’t let him go!’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, okay,’” the writer and creator recalled. “The same thing with Liza [Weil]; Liza [Paris] was in my brain from auditioning for Rory. And I’m like that girl is not right for Rory but she’s unbelievably brilliant — she’s like a master comedienne so I just wrote her in.”

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In fact, two of Rory Gilmore’s three biggest love interests only existed thanks to the actors who later portrayed them. 

“Any time somebody was great, we were lucky enough to be able to just sort of snap them up and nobody questioned us,” Sherman-Palladino said. “You know, I got to cast Milo [Ventimiglia, who played Jess] and Matt Czuchry [Logan] without really having a part for them yet. I just knew there was something about them that I really loved.” 

Alexis Bledel and Milo Ventimiglia in Gilmore Girls
Alexis Bledel and Milo Ventimiglia in Gilmore Girls Patrick Ecclesine/Warner Bros./Getty Images

Graham also weighed in on where her beloved mom character would be 15 years later. 

“There’s less need for, of course, Rory in her late-twenties or whatever she would be, to be parented. So, I could imagine the vacations, the adventures, the fun they have talking about their relationships in a more adult way,” the Golden Globe-nominated actress mused. “On the other hand where Rory needs less parenting, I don’t think Emily has changed one bit in terms of her bossiness in regards to Lorelai. I’m sure she’s full of opinions about whatever the life choices have been.”

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