Finished binge-watching Gilmore Girls and hungry for more?
Lauren Graham, who plays Lorelai Gilmore, has a memoir-ish new book, Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (Ballantine), that recounts her experiences on the original series and the Netflix revival, along with observations on acting, writing and keeping one’s equilibrium in Hollywood.
“Returning to the show justified putting together these thoughts and essays,” with the Gilmore endeavors serving as “bookends,” Graham tells USA TODAY. “I thought, ‘I feel so grateful to get to do this again that I’m going to write about what it was like.’ ”
Graham, 49, exhibits a breezy, conversational writing style, appropriate for someone who plays fast-talking, pop-culture-riffing Lorelai, as she discusses being raised by her father, studying at Barnard and her acting pursuits. She takes on the serious topics of sexism and ageism, but leavens them with self-deprecating anecdotes, including a mortifying “butt audition” for a play.
“I wanted to write about these things, but in a comedic way,” says Graham, also the author of the 2013 novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe. She offers a refreshingly de-glamorized look at her profession, recalling embarrassing auditions and low-paying jobs. "I haven’t forgotten any of the struggles. It feels like it was yesterday."
Graham makes a big sacrifice for Gilmore fans by doing something she dislikes: watching herself on television. In one chapter, she "scrolls through" the 150-plus episodes of the original series, offering a season-by-season review, along with observations on hair and fashion choices.
In the book, she recalls "an adrenaline-fueled dialogue high" during Season 1; the series hitting its stride with an episode about daughter Rory's (Alexis Bledel) birthday parties; and struggling with the Lorelai/Rory separation in Season 6. She compares filming the seventh season without creator Amy Sherman-Palladino to "when David Lee Roth was replaced as the lead singer of Van Halen."
The Netflix reboot, she says, has been "incredibly satisfying."
Graham also writes about dating in Hollywood and being in a relationship with her Parenthood co-star Peter Krause, sharing some details but keeping others private as she "found a balance that was comfortable for me."
Hollywood shades her writing pursuits, as she perceived skepticism — "Who helped you?" — as an actress authoring a novel. That didn't stop her and neither did an infamous writing killer, procrastination. She offers a tip, the Kitchen Timer, picked up from veteran screenwriter Don Roos, that helps one battle writer's block.
Graham likely needed her timer on the day of the interview. In addition to Gilmore publicity events, she was facing immediate deadlines for a new novel she's writing, the story of a friendship between two girls, and the screenplay adaptation of The Royal We, a novel by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan about an American girl who falls for an English prince. She's writing that with Parenthood co-star Mae Whitman, who makes a cameo in Gilmore.
Graham closes the interview with a candid reality of the actor's life. "And then, come January, I'll be back on the streets looking for work."