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Chad Michael Murray is opening up about his time on Gilmore Girls. The 39-year-old had a recurring role early on in the series as one of Rory Gilmore’s (Alexis Bledel) classmates at Chilton. His character, Tristan Dugray, often called Rory “Mary” and, as Rory eventually learned, had a crush on her. 

When he wasn’t annoying Rory at school, Tristan could usually be found facing off against her boyfriend, Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki). Turns out, the scenes with Padalecki were what Murray enjoyed most about his days on Gilmore Girls

Chad Michael Murray loved his ‘fight sequences’ with Jared Padalecki

'Gilmore Girls' alum Chad Michael Murray wearing a grey sweater and smiling
Chad Michael Murray | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

Murray reflected on Gilmore Girls during a July 2021 Today interview. He recalled it being his first recurring TV role ever. He went on to describe Bledel as “awesome” but it was his scenes with Padalecki as Dean that Murray called his “favorite.” 

“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,” 

“We get along so well,” Murray added. “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, who most recently starred in the Hallmark Channel’s Sand Dollar Cove, appeared in 11 episodes of Gilmore Girls from 2000 – 2001. 

The actor left ‘Gilmore Girls’ to play Lucas Scott on ‘One Tree Hill’

Bethany Joy Lenz, Sophia Bush, James Lafferty, Bryan Greenberg, Hilarie Burton, and Chad Michael Murray at Planet Hollywood Times Square
James Lafferty, Bryan Greenberg, Hilarie Burton, Chad Michael Murray, Bethany Joy Lenz, and Sophia Bush | Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic

Murray’s final appearance on Gilmore Girls came in the show’s second season. His character played Romeo to Rory’s Juliet for a school project. Just before they were supposed to go on stage, Tristan told Rory his dad decided to send him to military school in North Carolina. 

Gilmore Girls made a nod to Murray’s next role when Tristan headed off to military school. The actor left the world of Stars Hollow and Chilton for another WB-turned-CW series, One Tree Hill. Set and filmed in North Carolina, Murray played the lead, Lucas Scott. The teen drama, which Murray also narrated, premiered in 2003. One Tree Hill became a very successful TV series, running for nine seasons.

Murray didn’t reprise his role as Tristan Dugray in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ 


Alexis Bledel Just Shared What ‘Really Annoyed’ Her About ‘Gilmore Girls’

Many Gilmore Girls cast members reprised their roles in the show’s 2016 Netflix revival but not Murray. The role of Tristan was recast. Reportedly Murray declined an invite to appear in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life due to scheduling. Instead, Anton Narinskiy played Tristan in a scene where Rory and Paris Gellar (Liza Weil) returned to Chilton.