‘Gilmore Girls’: Scott Cohen Turned Down the Role of Max Medina for a ‘Long Time’

Gilmore Girls fans are mostly in agreement when it comes to Lorelai Gilmore’s love life. They think she ended up with her perfect match. Still, Lorelai dated other men before settling down with Luke Danes. Her first main love interest, Max Medina, still gets some love. The romance almost didn’t happen, at least not with the actor fans came to know as Max. Scott Cohen, the actor who portrayed Max, revealed he turned down the part multiple times.

Scott Cohen appeared in ‘Gilmore Girls’ as Max Medina

Cohen is known to Gilmore Girls fans as Max, Lorelai’s first serious love interest and Rory Gilmore’s English teacher. Max first appeared in “The Deer Hunters,” the fourth episode of season 1. In the episode, Max and Lorelai meet for the first time, and sparks fly. Lorelai’s interest in Max wavers when he refuses to let Rory take a test because she was late for class.

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Eventually, Max helps Rory out by allowing her to make up the test through extra credit. The relationship didn’t begin right away, though. Ultimately, Max and Lorelai date briefly before breaking up. They rekindle their relationship in the middle of season 1 and even get engaged. By the start of season 2, the romance was over. Max did show up several more times before disappearing from the series after Rory graduates from Chilton.

Scott Cohen revealed that he turned down the role of Max Medina for a “long time”

While fans still recognize Cohen for his role in Gilmore Girls, he wasn’t initially sold on the idea. During a visit to I Am All In, the podcast hosted by Scott Patterson, Cohen revealed he initially turned down the part of Max multiple times. Cohen recalled that he initially thought, “that sucks.”

Scott Cohen appears as Mark O'Connor in 'Liars & Theives'
Scott Cohen | Craig Blankenhorn/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Cohen didn’t have an issue with the role or the storyline. He told Patterson that the pay rate and the number of episodes showrunner, Amy Sherman-Palladino, offered him didn’t impress him. Max was slated to appear in just three episodes of season 1. He did not go into detail about the pay rate. Still, Cohen noted he’d be “happy” today to be offered something similar.

Lauren Graham is the reason he eventually took the part

Cohen reconsidered after a chance encounter. He told Patterson that his feelings changed when he met Lauren Graham. Cohen said that he ran into Graham at a publicity event for one of his projects. He recalled that Graham seemed fun. Her personality made him reconsidered the role. Cohen agreed to take the three-episode part shortly after. Graham spent seven seasons portraying Lorelai.

Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham sit in Stars Hollow's town square in a scene for 'Gilmore Girls'
Rory and Lorelai Gilmore | Mitchell Haddad/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

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Sherman-Palladino eventually expanded Cohen’s part. Instead of just three episodes, he and Lorelai’s romance dragged on for a season. According to IMDb, Cohen appeared in 13 episodes in total. His final appearance came in the season 3 episode, “Keg! Max!”