Lauren Graham The former Gilmore Girls star is currently taking the lead in the family drama, Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. Donal O’donoghue catches up with her
Ever since Gilmore Girls, Lauren Graham has been ‘The Mom’ in a clutch of US TV shows, including her latest. Donal O’donoghue talks to her
Ireally don’t know,” says Lauren Graham to a question that surely has been pitched her way umpteen times. “I suppose I just have to accept it that this is my lot in life to play these single moms looking for love, unful lled in some ways. I was thinking about this as I watched Mare of Easttown and thought, I will never play that character. ere’s something in these characters that speaks to me. It’s not who I am in real life but if you’re to play somebody, it’s better to portray someone who doesn’t have it all together. And for some reason, I t with that mom.” Lauren Graham, who is not a mother herself, has made a career of playing iconic TV mothers. Most notably there’s Lorelai Gilmore in Gilmore Girls, but there’s also Sarah Braverman in Parenthood as well as Joan in Evan Almighty; Phyllis in Flash of Genius, Jules in Middle School and now Alex in e Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. In her 2017 memoir, Talking As Fast As I Can, the actress and author wrote: “Almost every Mom I’ve played has a scene where she folds laundry.” at tableau has yet to surface in
e Mighty Ducks, but yet again Graham plays the somewhat frazzled single mother with conviction, charm and accomplished comic timing.
She owes it all to Gilmore Girls. “Everything I have got to do since then is because of that show,” she says of the series that ran from 2000 to 2007 (there was a 2016 revival). “ere will always be a huge part of me that will be [Lorelai] and if I was trying to get away from Lorelai entirely, I could never do anything comedic again, just drama like Law & Order,” she laughs. “at is not who I am.
ere is so much of me in Lorelai and I have to accept it. So when I read Mighty Ducks I knew I wanted to do it: a comedy where I could be kind of goofy. at’s where I’m comfortable, what I like. Recently, in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist I got to play a scary boss. It was fun to do but it was not my natural place.”
Her o -beat single mother is a natural t for e Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, the latest rewiring of the Disney franchise about ice hockey kids triumphing against all odds. If you’re a sucker for underdogs stories, this should charm the skates o you. e comic interplay between Graham (as the coach with more pluck than puck savvy) and Emilio Estevez (playing a grizzled version of the star player he once was) is nicely choreographed. “I loved the original movies but if Emilio wasn’t part of it, I wouldn’t have gone near it,” says Graham.” “And I think the pilot in particular did a nice job in honouring the spirit of the original.”
In Talking As Fast As I Can, Graham pitches her screen life as a story of two acts, ‘Gal About Town’ and ‘ e Mom’ (when she’s working on a ‘mom’ production, the crew regularly refer to her on set as simply,
‘ e Mom’).
Acting was always her passion, ever since she moved from competitive horse-riding as a teen. “I was quite competitive for a while and then I got to be in a play and it all changed,” she says. “I just fell in love with theatre and all my summers – which had been devoted to horseback riding and show-jumping – just switched to theatre and acting. One obsession became another.”
Graham, who now lives in LA with her long-term partner, actor Peter Krause, and is completing her fourth book (another anthology of essays with the working title, Have I Told You is Already?), still gets a kick from those Gilmore Girls’ fans who get in touch. “rough the pandemic I heard from people who said that they watched Gilmore Girls and it gave them peace and happiness. at is something I’ve begun to appreciate even more in recent years with shows like Mighty Ducks. at audience reaction and feedback is all I care about in the work I do. I wonder what the positive value is and that is something I think about when I’m writing or acting or whatever else I’m participating in.”
Almost every Mom I’ve played has a scene where she folds laundry