‘Gilmore Girls’: Chris Pine Might Have Auditioned to Play Young Christopher Hayden

Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino carefully crafted the show’s story and hired the cast. Over the years, she often picked out lesser-known actors to take on roles that expanded over time. Chris Pine, who would go on to stardom, was one of several actors who didn’t make the cut. Pine, along with Ryan Gosling, auditioned for a role on Gilmore Girls and didn’t get it. While fans assumed Pine tried out to be one of Rory Gilmore’s love interests, it turns out he might have auditioned for Lorelai Gilmore’s love interest instead.

Chris Pine may have auditioned to play young Christopher Hayden, not one of Rory’s love interests

Long before he became known as the face of the Star Trek reboot, Pine was a young, hopeful actor who auditioned just like anyone else. In several interviews, Pine revealed that his very first acting audition was for Gilmore Girls. In an interview with W Magazine, Pine revealed that he landed the audition through nepotism. He told the publication that he could not remember who he auditioned to play.

Gilmore Girls superfans made quick work of figuring out who Pine would have played. Most fans initially agreed that Pine would have likely played one of Rory’s love interests. After all, that’s what role he seemed to think he was up for. That doesn’t seem to be the case, though. Pine landed his first role in 2003. He also revealed that he had just graduated from college when he auditioned for Gilmore Girls. Considering that information, it would only make sense that the audition was for young Christopher Hayden. Logan Huntzberger did not appear in the series until 2004. Jess Mariano made his first appearance in 2001. Fans think the theory fits, too.

The actor who ended up playing young Christopher Hayden instead of Chris Pine quit Hollywood

Pine didn’t end up getting the role of young Christopher, but he’s mostly OK with that. Instead, the part went to an actor named Phillip Van Dyke. Van Dyke began acting in 1993 at the age of 9. Best known for his roles on Hey Arnold! and Halloweentown, Van Dyke added his last acting credit in 2003. According to IMDb, he amassed over 30 credits before packing it in.

Chris Pine stands next to the Netflix logo at the premiere of 'Cowboy Del Amor' in 2015, more than a decade after he auditioned for 'Gilmore Girls'
Chris Pine | Alison Buck/WireImage for Netflix, Inc.

The role ended up being one of Van Dyke’s last. Gilmore Girls fans certainly had opinions about his inclusion in the series. While they didn’t dislike Van Dyke’s portrayal of Christopher, they argue he looked absolutely nothing like the actor who spent seven seasons playing Rory’s father in the present day. Fans are quick to point out that Pine happens to look remarkably similar to David Sutcliffe, the actor who portrayed adult Christopher.

Bustle caught up with Van Dyke in 2015. The former actor revealed that he was happily married and working for a financial services company. When he sat down with the publication in 2015, he didn’t seem to have any plans to return to acting.  

Despite disliking the casting, ‘Gilmore Girls’ fans consider the episode one of the show’s best

Fans would have preferred to see Pine take on the part of young Christopher. Still, they mostly agree that the episode turned out just fine. In fact, they argue that “Dear Emily and Richard” is a must-watch episode, regardless of the odd casting choice.

The season 3 episode delves into Lorelai’s backstory and exactly why she and her parents remained at odds decades after Rory’s birth. Rated an impressive 8.7 out of 10 stars on IMDb, it is considered the episode that provides context to the series and lays the groundwork for further conflict between Lorelai, Christopher, Rory, and the Gilmores.

RELATED: ‘Gilmore Girls’: Three Major Casting Changes That Altered the Course of the Series