‘Gilmore Girls’ Star Lauren Graham Says This Acting Legend Is Her Hero – ‘I’d Like To Be Like Her One Day’

Actor Lauren Graham has had her share of hit series: Gilmore Girls, of course, Parenthood, and now, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, which has just been renewed for a second season.

For many aspiring actors, she’ll always be their Lorelai Gilmore and the reason they got into the business. Graham has her own role model and hero that she hopes to emulate in each step of her own career.

Once you find out who this person is, it’ll all make sense.

Lauren Graham
Lauren Graham | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Lauren Graham was thrilled to be cast on ‘Gilmore Girls’

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When Graham discovered she’d been cast in the role of Lorelai Gilmore, she was ecstatic. But she had at the same time been contracted to NBC show M.Y.O.B. and didn’t know how she could get out of it. She found out much later on that the executives involved in both shows “swapped” her out with another actor at another network.

Graham said about the role of Lorelai Gilmore in her 2016 book, I’m Talking As Fast As I Can, “I read somewhere that Christopher Reeve said one of the ways he knew a part was for him was when he couldn’t stand the idea of anyone else doing it. I know that exact feeling.”

“There’s a short of manic recognition that happens very rarely when I read something I want so much that I go briefly but totally bonkers,” she admitted. “That feeling is a combination of ‘Hello, old friend!’ meets ‘Everyone get out of my way, she’s mine all mine!'”

The actor who considers Lauren Graham her hero

Graham in 2015 presented her Parenthood television daughter, Mae Whitman, with a Gracie Award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Breakthrough Role. It was an emotional moment, made only more emotional by Graham’s heartfelt speech before handing her costar the trophy.

“You got to watch a rebellious teen grow into a responsible mother,” Graham said to those in attendance, referring to Lorelai Gilmore. “And I got to watch Mae Whitman blossom into a masterful performer whose gripping portrayal of Amber is clearly a career-defining role and, simply put, outstanding.”

Whitman, for her part, recalled her second to last scene in Parenthood, in which she improvised a line that illustrated her admiration for Graham.

“They let us improvise a lot on Parenthood,” said Whitman. “That was one of the last scenes we shot together…and so right before we were about to cut — I added, I looked at her and it just came out — I said, ‘You’re my hero,’ and that really wasn’t a line. That came from Mae Whitman to Lauren Graham: So she’s my idol and my hero.”

The star Lauren Graham would love to ‘be like’

As for Graham’s hero? That would be the person and actor so many look up to, the legendary Betty White. The 53-year-old Graham noted in her book that White, 98, has had a stellar career while remaining true to herself. That’s where the Parenthood star wants to end up, happy in her own skin and with a smile on her face.

“Betty White went from being twenty- and thirtysomething Betty to eightysomething Betty while maintaining the same wonderful quality she always had of just plain being Betty White,” Graham wrote.

“No matter what character she plays, Betty White is always funny, always smart, and always at least a little sexy…If you happen to run into Betty White, tell her thank you. I’d like to be like her one day.”

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