‘Gilmore Girls’: How Jon Hamm Got Cast as a Potential Love Interest for Lorelai

Years before Mad Men, Gilmore Girls cast actor Jon Hamm as a date for Lauren Graham’s character, Loreali Gilmore. How did Hamm get the part on Gilmore Girls?

Jon Hamm
Jon Hamm at the Paley Center for Media’s 25th annual Paley Television Festival on Mar. 27, 2008 | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

The ‘Gilmore Girls’ casting directors struggled to cast love interests for Lorelai

When Gilmore Girls casting directors Mara Casey and Jami Rudofsky were invited on an episode of Gilmore Guys, they told the podcast hosts how hard it was to cast for Lorelai’s potential romantic partners.

“It’s hard, because back in that day, movie guys weren’t doing television,” they said. Those actors were essentially saying, “no TV, no TV, no TV.”

“Nowadays, it’s everything’s much different … the climate has changed over the years,” the Gilmore Girls alums explained. Lorelai found a few serious relationships over the seasons: with Luke, played by Scott Patterson, with Christopher, played by David Sutcliffe, with Jason, played by Chris Eigeman, and with Max Medina, played by Scott Cohen.

Outside of those partners, it was difficult for the Gilmore casting team to find a good match for her character romantically. However, one actor’s name kept coming up.

The ‘Gilmore Girls’ season 3 episode with Jon Hamm

“Before Gilmore Girls, I worked on a few other shows, and we kept bringing this guy in and he always got so close, and he would test for something, but he was always the second choice,” Rudofsky and Case explained on the podcast.

The casting director insisted: “‘he’s so good. I love this guy. He’s good looking.'” When they invited him to read for a part on Gilmore Girls Season 3, he was cast in the episode.

“That was Jon Hamm,” they shared.

Gilmore Girls cast
Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls | Mitchell Haddad/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

‘Gilmore Girls’ Star Lauren Graham Said She Couldn’t ‘Stand the Idea of Anyone Else’ Playing Lorelai

Hamm appeared in the season 3 episode,” Eight O’Clock at the Oasis,” as the character Peyton Sanders. He and Lorelai flirt at an auction, and end up going on a date.

“The funny part about that once he got Mad Men, everyone was like ‘Who’s this guy, where’s he been, Oh my God?’” the casting directors continued. “And we were like, ‘he’s always been great, no one’s taken the chance.’”

‘Gilmore’ almost cast another future movie star

Rudofsky almost cast another future Hollywood celebrity on Gilmore Girls. The casting director met the actor on “a very small, independent feature.” She admitted on Gilmore Guys that she was “obsessed with him,” and told Casey and Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show’s creator, about him.

“I’m like, ‘Mara, Amy, this guy is a huge star, you guys are gonna love him,’” she said. Eventually, the actor came into read for a small “football guy” role.

Rudofsky kept advocating for him; meanwhile Casey and the Gilmore Girls showrunner were telling her: “we don’t get it,”

“… I just knew he wasn’t the right fit for Gilmore Girls,” the casting director eventually relented. Rudofsky admitted the name of that actor: “his name was Ryan Gosling.”