1. The Gilmore Girls pilot hired and fired two separate Deans before they got to Jared Padalecki.
Mara Casey and Jami Rudofksy, the show’s casting directors, said at the Gilmore Girls Fan Festival in Washington Depot, CT this past weekend that they came in after the second Dean, Nathan Wetherington, was let go. (You can watch him in the unaired pilot here.)
2. One of the casting directors couldn’t keep it together when Melissa McCarthy came in to audition for Sookie.
“Melissa McCarthy came in and the energy just [skyrocketed] — people sat right up,” Rudofsky said. “I couldn’t keep my shit together,” Casey added. “It was a terrible feeling to not be able to control yourself, because you want to be there for the actor [as a casting director]. And I laughed my ass off, and each time she came back I was like, I gotta get my shit together, man.”
3. The costume designers only had about a day to make those PJs with Jackson’s high school wrestling photos all over them.
“I saw Jackson [Douglas] and I said, ‘I need you to email me pictures of yourself in high school,’” Valerie Campbell told fans at the festival. “I started photoshopping all the images of Jackson’s face onto other people’s bodies. I found some online, and then one of our [crew members]’s sisters had a son who was into wrestling. … She brought us all her son’s wrestling photos, and I photoshopped Jackson’s face onto them. Then Brenda [Maben, the costume designer,] took the images and heat-pressed them at Kinko’s. We were still ironing them on and got them onto Jackson just in time.”
4. It was Rose Abdoo’s personal belief throughout the show that her character Gypsy had a thing for Lorelai (Lauren Graham).
“When someone said to me that Gypsy had ended up with Andrew… I don’t even know why I thought this but I said, ‘Gypsy? She’s got a crush on Lorelai,’” Rose Abdoo said at the festival. “She’s so delighted to be in any scene with Lorelai. I’m sure you guys remember the episode where the town has pink ribbons and blue ribbons [after Luke and Lorelai break up.] I was very protective over her. …Gypsy loves Lorelai.”
6. Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino didn’t like Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel showing much midriff, despite the trends of the era leaning towards low-riding pants and high-rising shirt hems.
So, sometimes in the early seasons, you can see Bledel and Graham pulling down the bottoms of their shirts during scenes. “Amy did not like that the tops were going up, and that all you saw was skin, because if you were in Connecticut in winter, you’d be freezing,” Campbell said. “We would have to watch the monitor in every take to make sure the midriff didn’t rise.”
7. When Casey and Rudofksy first met creator Sherman-Palladino, she was hanging out in her trailer in an “I Fucked Your Boyfriend” T-shirt.
“We met Amy, in her trailer,” Casey said. “Picture this, if you will: She’s got the black Doc Marten boots, she’s got the black fishnets, she’s got a black miniskirt – and she’s got a black T-shirt that said ‘I fucked your boyfriend.’ Like that’s not intimidating.”
8. Those town meetings sometimes took full 20-hour days to film.
The scenes involved a lot of coverage, aka when you have to move the camera to film different characters’ parts and reactions. They’d also play games like “What’s In Sally Struthers’ Purse,” according to Abdoo, which would distract the cast and add to a long day at work.
9. Struthers, who plays Babette, and Ted Rooney, who plays Maury, went to the same high school in Portland, Oregon. Rooney’s dad was one of Struthers’ teachers.
It was Grant High School, for the record. “When I was in high school, she was our claim to fame,” Rooney said at the fest. “My dad was one of her favorite teachers.”
10. Biff Yaeger, who plays Tom, auditioned to play Taylor Doose in the first season.
“I read for Taylor,” Yaeger said at the festival. “And luckily I didn’t get it, because Michael [Winters] does that part better than anybody.”
11. After years of serving as the show’s dialogue coach, George Bell was cast as Professor Bell at the last minute.
“Someone came over and said, ‘George, George, you’re gonna be a professor on the show,’” Bell recalled. “I said, ‘Really? How nice, that’s really nice,’ thinking it’ll be a little line or two. … Then the script got to me, and it’s a, like, page-and-a-half monologue. … And the person says, ‘By the way, your scene is first up.’”
This might have been when being a dialogue coach came especially in handy.
13. When Rami Malek was trying to land his now-famous role on the show, it was via a headshot on which he’d written, “You should really meet me, because I’m great.”
When asked recently about his character, Andy, Malek commented that he’s “destroyed him, by this point.”
14. Padelecki grew taller in between Seasons 1 and 2, which offered a challenge to the crew.
“We had to match [the shot] at the beginning of the second season. And we do that on the first day of the second season, and go, ‘Jared…You grew like a FOOT,’” Casey recalled. “It was just interesting to see everyone grow up.”
15. The dresses seen in the iconic “You Jump, I Jump Jack” episode are used two other times on the show.
They’re in the cotillion episode – dyed and re-vamped — and then they were cut up and can be seen in the background of the bat mitzvah that Hep Alien plays at in the sixth season.
16. According to the writers, the reason we never meet Lane’s (Keiko Agena) father in the original series is that it just never came up in the writers room.
“We’re not supposed to talk about the spin-off all about Lane’s dad,” former Gilmore Girls writer/producer Sheila Lawrence said jokingly at the festival. “The Netflix reboot is all about Mr. Kim.”
Former Gilmore writer/producer Stan Zimmerman said, in all honesty, “It literally just never came up.”
17. When you see characters talking on the phone in the revival, there’s a very good chance they’re talking to Bell behind-the-scenes.
“In the Gilmore Girl land, there are a lot of phone calls. So for the first seven seasons, they were talking to the stand-ins [who] would pretty much do the voice,” Bell said. But in the reboot, “98% of the phone calls you see … I’m playing the other role,” he noted. “So when Lauren’s talking to Emily, I’m Emily.”