‘Gilmore Girls’: Lauren Graham Was Warned Not To ‘Play a Mom’

Lauren Graham will always be Lorelai Gilmore to fans of Gilmore Girls. Her turn as a fast-talking, coffee-obsessed single parent earned her a Golden Globe nod and a spot in pop culture history as one of the most memorable TV moms

Lauren Graham at the 2020 NBCUniversal Winter Press Tour
Lauren Graham at the 2020 NBCUniversal Winter Press Tour | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Given the program’s success, it might seem like a no-brainer that Graham took the role of Lorelai. However, the actor was advised that playing a mom would be a mistake. Lucky for Gilmore Girls fans Graham didn’t take the advice. 

Lauren Graham didn’t read the script for ‘Gilmore Girls’ right away

Graham wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about reading the script for Gilmore Girls. When she got the script she was working on M.Y.O.B., a short-lived series. As previously mentioned, Graham received the Gilmore Girls script twice before actually reading it. 

The actor explained why in her 2016 book, Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, (and Everything in Between). Graham said she pushed the script aside to focus on M.YO.B. because she didn’t want to get her heart set on another project she probably wouldn’t be able to do. 

After receiving the script for Gilmore Girls a second time, Graham read it and fell in love.

People told Lauren Graham playing Lorelai Gilmore wasn’t a ‘smart thing’ to do 

Playing Lorelai was a career-changing move for Graham. But some people felt Graham taking the role of Lorelai would be a disaster.

“At the time, I was 30, 31. All the advice [I was being given] was, ‘Don’t play a mom. That’s not a smart thing,’” Graham told Rookie in 2015.  

Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore
Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore | Getty Images / Handout

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Besides playing a mom there was another aspect to Gilmore Girls people around Graham were hesitant about, the network broadcasting the series. 

“The network that the show was on, [the WB,] was just starting out, and TV was so different then,” she said. 

Luckily for Gilmore Girls fans, none of that mattered to Graham. 

“But, I didn’t care. It felt like what I had been looking for,” she said. 

Gilmore Girls ran on the WB-turned-CW for all seven seasons from 2000-2007. 

Lauren Graham didn’t sign on for ‘Gilmore Girls’ right away

Graham found herself in a tricky spot when she was up for the role of Lorelai. At the time she was committed to M.Y.O.B. on NBC. The program didn’t resonate with viewers which allowed Graham to negotiate a deal with Gilmore Girls

She signed on to the series in “second position,” meaning Gilmore Girls agreed to cast Graham even though she was filming M.Y.O.B. The NBC series only aired four episodes before it went off the air.

Normally an actor would be bummed about losing a job but M.Y.O.B. ending was a good thing for Graham. It allowed her to play Lorelai. 
Watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

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