Alexis Bledel Talks "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life"by IMDb-Contributing-Writers | last updated - 3 months ago
Alexis Bledel reflects on revisiting the first significant role of her acting career for the upcoming revival of "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life." — Scott Huver
For Alexis Bledel, who launched her acting career with the much beloved role of Rory Gilmore when she was just 19 years old, it’s hard to describe “Gilmore Girls” as a life-changing, perspective-altering event. But when reprising the role for Netflix’s upcoming reunion series “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” she found there were still some significant new takeaways to be discovered.
Having embodied Rory throughout her young adulthood, Bledel reveals that, while in many ways the role still fit like a glove, returning to the character required a degree of reimagining as she now navigates her early 30s, which is about the same age Rory’s mom Lorelei was when the characters were introduced. That significant shift, along with the high regard in which the original series has continued to be held, were much on her mind as she returned to Stars Hollow.
Returning to Rory felt as current as it did nostalgic.
“It was surreal but, at the same time, as if no time had passed at all,” says Bledel. “What a great experience to have to have those two things happening alongside each other.” Falling back into that legendary Amy Sherman-Palladino-scripted dialogue posed no challenge at all. “It’s really easy. You get a script from Amy. The way it’s written, it just informs you as to how it’s supposed to be said. It’s all there on the page.”
She’s been part of the conversation to bring back the show for some time.
“We [all] stayed in touch. It was so many years that we shot the show,” she said. “Amy and I would talk from time to time. She’d kind of check in with me and see what I was working on and express an interest in taking these characters further, and we’d talk about different possibilities from time to time.”
“I knew she was interested in a more satisfying conclusion ... but not even so much about the conclusion. These characters were still very much alive for her,” the actress adds. “So, you can’t ignore someone’s creative impulses when it comes to something like that. I mean, we just kept talking about it.”
Despite everyone’s willingness, Bledel wasn’t convinced they’d be able to stage a return to Stars Hollow.
“I didn’t imagine that we would get this chance to revisit the series,” the actress admitted. “I was eager to explore other characters, other opportunities, when our show concluded. I couldn’t have dreamed that we’d all be back here at talking about the show.”
“I have to say that these chapters really do feel familiar but different, more mature,” she adds. “It’s not like a different show, but it’s really a progression of the story we told initially.”
Rory’s remained a driven go-getter, even as her chosen profession has endured a massive upheaval.
“She has been working hard, as she does,” revealed Bledel. “She started her work as a journalist at the same time that newspapers were going away. Her field changed dramatically as she was just kind of getting up and running. So, that’s where we pick up with her.”
“It’s real time. So, it’s been about eight years that she’s been living a bit of a vagabond lifestyle, kind of chasing each story that she becomes passionate about and wants to tell,” Bledel explains. “So, crashing on couches and staying with friends ... not necessarily planting roots anywhere.”
The passage of time allowed Bledel to rethink her role.
“It’s almost like crafting a new character in a sense: a completely different approach,” the actress said. “I mean, my life experience now is completely different than it was when I was 18. So, I was able to just kind of pick and choose what I wanted to bring with me and create the rest.”
Revisiting her first significant role has been a uniquely meaningful experience.
“It’s almost like getting a do-over, you know? To come back and visit a program,” says Bledel. “It was such a big opportunity for me the first time around. And to get to revisit that same experience and do it all better, I can’t really articulate what specifically was done better. [But] we were able to do it the way we would have liked to do it the first time."
“Going into this experience knowing what she means to people and knowing how many young women she’s inspired to work hard and pursue an education at the highest level, you treat the experience with great care knowing these things,” she adds. “So, I carried that with me, and it’s inspiring for me. It’s almost like a circle. I can energize people. They energize me. And we just keep going along that line.”
All three of Rory’s oft-debated beaus are slated to return.
“It think there is satisfying closure for any fans of any of the three couples that tend to get some attention,” she said. “But they’re very different interactions. I would say each one of them is a closure in a different way. I can’t unfortunately say too much about it. I know! It’s frustrating!”