Familiar faces are everywhere on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — but fans still want more. While the Amazon Prime Video dramedy has welcomed Milo Ventimiglia, Kelly Bishop and other Gilmore Girls alums, Lauren Graham remains absent — and showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino exclusively told Us Weekly why.
“I’d love Lauren to be on, but it just needs to be the right part,” the executive producer, 56, told Us recently on the pink carpet at The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Skate Night in New York City’s Bryant Park.
Dan Palladino, her husband and co-showrunner, added, “We want them to have the right parts if they do it, so it’s not just a cameo. We want it to mean something. So we found a really good thing for Milo. You know, we’re hoping to have a couple others pop up.”
Sherman-Palladino, who created both The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Gilmore Girls, said she is still close to the Parenthood alum, 54, who played Lorelai Gilmore on the hit series from 2000 to 2007 and again in the 2016 Netflix revival.
“I miss writing for Lauren Graham,” she added. “Lauren and I are very tight and she’s a little bit more East Coast now. … I get to see her more, and it’s like every time I see her, I’m like [groan], because, like, a whole thing comes to my head. And I can write this whole thing, but it would be weird to make her do it at lunch.”
While Graham wasn’t in the fourth season of Mrs. Maisel, which is now available to binge-watch after the finale premiered on Friday, March 11, fans did get to enjoy guest appearances from Ventimiglia, 44, (Jess Mariano on Gilmore Girls) as a love interest for Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) and Bishop, 78, who played Emily Gilmore, as a fellow New York City matchmaker.
Chris Eigeman, who played Lorelai’s ex Jason Stiles, also joined as a Village Voice editor, which marked a return to acting for the Colorado native. The 57-year-old hadn’t been on screen since Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premiered on Netflix in 2016.
“Chris is literally our neighbor,” Sherman-Palladino explained to Us. “He’s like two doors down, so he can’t hide from us. Chris isn’t acting as much cause he writes and directs, and he’s such a great writer and director. And we’re trying to be respectful of his other talents, but we’re like, ‘Come on!’ He’s so good. And I just love staring at him, and we love working with him.”
She joked, “I think we just sort of camped out in front of his house, and he would come home with his kid and his dog and be like, ‘Really?’ It’s like, ‘Do you wanna go inside, Chris? Let’s strike a bargain here.'”
Graham, however, isn’t the only Stars Hollow alum that the executive producers want to bring to 1960s New York City. “We’re always talking about Sean Gunn,” Sherman-Palladino revealed. Gunn, 47, played Kirk on the long-running series, but he’s harder to book these days due to his role in Guardians of the Galaxy alongside his brother, director James Gunn.
“He’s in Marvel movies and they go on for-f–king-ever,” the six-time Emmy winner quipped. “Like, and they just go from one to another and it’s his brother. So we can’t say, you know, ‘F–k that guy,’ because it’s family, and it’s James and he’s great. So he’s been a tricky one for us.”
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will end with season 5, which is currently filming, so there are limited opportunities to bring in new faces. However, the end of Midge’s journey might leave some time for another Gilmore Girls revival — but Sherman-Palladino warned that many other factors are involved in that decision.
“[Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life] was so fun, and so to be back, it really felt like a family reunion,” the Bunheads creator explained. “But everybody’s doing [other projects]. Lauren’s going back to The Mighty Ducks now, and Alexis [Bledel] is off in Alexis world doing Handmaid’s Tale and raising children and being, you know, gorgeous. Kelly Bishop, her show just got picked up. You just gotta move to Chicago. Yeah. So it’s like everybody’s working, which is annoying for us, but delightful for them, you know?”
“I know it sounds like bulls–t at this point because I keep saying it, but it really is all about the timing,” she added, noting that she’d join a second Gilmore Girls revival “in a hot second” if she knew the cast could get together.
Sherman-Palladino promised Us, “It’s absolutely not off the table. The stars just haven’t aligned yet.”
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 4 is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.