‘Gilmore Girls’ Pilot: Scott Patterson Remembers Moment of ‘Absolute Perfection’ With Lauren Graham

Scott Patterson’s picking favorites. The Gilmore Girls actor who played Luke Danes,  the main love interest of Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), is sharing his favorite moment between the on-screen couple. Although there were plenty of memorable Luke-Lorelai scenes throughout the TV show’s seven seasons and later the Netflix revival, Patterson counts a scene in the pilot as his favorite. 

Chemistry between Scott Patterson and Lauren Graham led to on-screen romance

Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore and Scott Patterson as Luke Danes sit next to each other in a doctor's office on 'Gilmore Girls'
Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore and Scott Patterson as Luke Danes on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life | Saeed Adyani/Netflix

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The part of the flannel-and-baseball-cap-wearing diner owner wasn’t originally part of Gilmore Girls. The show’s creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, added Luke to appease network executives when they called for more male characters. Sherman-Palladino originally had the diner owner as a woman named Daisy. Following the notes from the network, she simply changed the name and kept the dialogue. 

Patterson landed the role of Luke and quickly Sherman-Palladino picked up on the chemistry between him and Graham. She decided to capitalize on it by making Luke and Lorelai love interests. Over time Patterson got more and more scenes until his character became an important secondary character. 

Scott Patterson’s favorite Luke-Lorelai moment happened at Luke’s Diner in the ‘Gilmore Girls’ pilot

Scott Patterson poses for a photograph after stopping by AOL Headquarters in New York City
Scott Patterson of Gilmore Girls | Donna Ward/Getty Images

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On May 3, 2021, Patterson returned to the world of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, when his I’m All In podcast premiered. A rewatch podcast, the 62-year-old actor began with the Gilmore Girls pilot. While promoting the podcast’s launch, Patterson spoke with Us Weekly about his favorite Luke-Lorelai moment. 

“I am always, always, always going to go with the very first time that we see those two together in the diner,” he told the publication after the premiere of I’m All In. “And she comes up and I say, ‘You have a problem, you know, how many cups?’”

The scene Patterson’s referring to is the opening scene in the pilot. Lorelai walks into Luke’s Diner and begs him for coffee. It’s when fans first learn about Lorelai (and Rory’s) coffee obsession. 

Patterson continued, explaining why he’s so fond of this particular scene. 

“Because it says everything about the relationship,” he said. “It says everything about the sexual tension between the two and the way she played it, it was just absolute perfection. And it was the moment I realized that I was going to have a lot of fun working with Lauren [Graham] and that the work was going to be on a very high level.”

Luke and Lorelai became the will-they-or-won’t-they couple of Gilmore Girls. They started dating in later seasons before getting married in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Scott Patterson’s watching every episode of ‘Gilmore Girls’ for the first time

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Unlike many fans of Gilmore Girls who have seen the entire series multiple times, Patterson never sat down and watched it. That is, until now. He’s watching all 150-plus episodes for I’m All In.

In 2016, the actor told Vulture he’d only ever watched the Gilmore Girls pilot. Now as part of his podcast, Patterson will watch all seven seasons of the original series plus all four episodes of the Netflix revival. 

New episodes of I’m All In premiere every Monday. Stream Gilmore Girls on Netflix to follow along with Patterson.