‘Good Girls’ Star Mae Whitman Says She and Lauren Graham Are ‘Basically Best Friends’ in Real Life

Good Girls star Mae Whitman is no stranger to the NBC universe. During the 2010s, she and Lauren Graham starred in the family drama, Parenthood. The actors played mother and daughter duo Amber Holt and Sarah Braverman, respectively. 

When Parenthood ended, Whitman opened up about her behind-the-scenes relationship with Graham. 

Mae Whitman and Lauren Graham sitting on a bed while smiling as Amber Holt and Sarah Braverman on 'Parenthood'
‘Parenthood’ stars Amber Holt, Lauren Graham as Sarah Braverman | Colleen Hayes/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Why ‘Good Girls’ made Mae Whitman think of Lauren Graham

In 2010, Parenthood aired on NBC. Throughout the series, each member of the Braverman tribe had personal problems to face. Graham’s character, for example, was a single mom raising her teenage daughter, Amber. 

RELATED: ‘Good Girls’: Mae Whitman Says Lauren Graham Helped Her Prepare for the Role of Annie

On Parenthood,  Amber and Sarah dealt with several challenges as the series progressed. One major storyline was Amber’s relationship with Ryan York (Matt Lauria). The two budded heads over her decision to marry her fiance without meeting his family. 

Parenthood stayed on the air for five seasons. When the show wrapped, Whitman moved on to other projects. In 2018, she signed on to play Annie in Good Girls. The character is Beth’s (Christina Hendricks) little sister and a single mother. During an interview with Variety, Whitman said that she thought of Graham and her other TV moms while playing Annie. 

“It’s been amazing,” the actor said of playing a mom. “I’ve been acting since I was four years old. I only have flashes of memories from when I was little. But, I’ve been sitting in so many cars looking up at the mom — my TV mom or my movie mom — who’s been driving, and it’s amazing now that I’m driving the car. I look over at my kid in the passenger seat, and it just feels really full circle, and it feels really cool. It makes me remember how thankful I am that I still get to be doing the job I do.”

Inside the relationship between Mae Whitman and Lauren Graham

Whitman and Graham maintained a close relationship after the series finale of Parenthood. In 2016, The Perks of Being a Wallflower actor joined the cast of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The cameo from Whitman brought Graham’s two TV daughters together. Before Parenthood, Graham and Alexis Bledel played mother and daughter on the original Gilmore Girls

RELATED: ‘Good Girls’: Mae Whitman Made 1 Big Purchase Once the Show Took Off: ‘I Cried About It for Three Hours’

As their careers flourished, Whitman shared with Variety that she and her TV mom never lost touch. She also said that watching how Graham interacts with children in real life helped her with her role on Good Girls

“The fact that I get to do something I grew up so closely associate with but never knew if I’d have the chance to play is amazing,” Whitman said.  
Also, I had some of the best moms in the biz. I joke about this all the time, but I take so much from Lauren Graham, especially, who played my mom on Parenthood,” she continued. “She’s basically my best friend. I look up to her so much as an actor, and I’m’ so lucky that I got to have the experience of being able to play her kid and see how she sort of treated her children with respect, and they had a real friendship.”