‘Gilmore Girls’: Lauren Graham Reveals Her Secret to Being a Great TV Mom – Even Though She’s Not One in Real Life

Actor Lauren Graham has shown the world she’s pretty good at playing a mom. Mom to young kids, older kids – Graham plays the part perfectly.

The Gilmore Girls star opened up recently about her mastery at mothering on set, particularly when she isn’t a mother herself. Here’s what she had to say.

Alexis Bledel (left) and Lauren Graham in 'Gilmore Girls'
Alexis Bledel (left) and Lauren Graham in ‘Gilmore Girls’ | Mitchell Haddad/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Lauren Graham on capturing the Mom life

Lauren Graham with her 'Parenthood' daughter, Mae Whitman
Lauren Graham with her ‘Parenthood’ daughter, Mae Whitman | Colleen Hayes/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

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The Middle School star opened up about the plethora of maternal roles she’s handled over the years. She’s noticed a few common traits to being cast as Mom, regardless of the program or film she’s working on.

“Almost every Mom I’ve played has a scene where she folds laundry…,” Lauren Graham wrote in her book Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls. “Sometimes members of the crew on a Mom project won’t even use my character name but will just refer to me as ‘The Mom’: ‘Okay, now, The Mom stands over here with the laundry basket.'”

She then listed some of the moms she has played throughout her career.

“My Moms have included: Joan in Evan Almighty; Phyllis in Flash of Genius; Pamela in Max; Jules in Middle School. By the time I was cast as Sarah Braverman on Parenthood, playing the mom of two teenagers was age appropriate,” she wrote.

Working with her TV Mom on ‘Gilmore Girls’

Lauren Graham (left) and her 'Gilmore Girls'  parents Kelly Bishop and Edward Hermann
Lauren Graham (left) and her ‘Gilmore Girls’ parents Kelly Bishop and Edward Hermann | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

What Gilmore Girls fan can forget Lorelai Gilmore’s friction-filled relationship with her mother, Emily, played by Kelly Bishop? The push and pull of their fraught relationship was one of the highlights of the series and one Graham touched on in her book.

“From the start of the show, Kelly named herself my TVM or TV Mom, by which she meant she was taking her character’s role seriously, beyond the pages or the sets and out into the real world…,” she wrote.

“In a maternal, protective way, she found most of my boyfriends at the time lacking.”

How does Lauren Graham capture that Mom vibe so well?

Lauren Graham
Lauren Graham | Jordin Althaus/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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Lauren Graham is one of the most beloved television mothers in recent years. So how does the Hawaii-born actor, who isn’t a Mom, play one with such authenticity?

In a 2010 conversation with MainLine Today, Graham offered some insight into how she gets the Mom job done.

“It’s just a combination of imagination and having really good luck to have actors playing my kids who are really good,” she said, “who I have chemistry with.”

Keeping her younger siblings in mind, and their welfare, she said she tries to picture “what a big deal that relationship is, and how I want [my little sister] to do well; I feel responsible for her. With both my little sisters, I feel like, you know, I want to guide them.”