Kelly Bishop’s return to Gilmore Girls promises to be an emotional one. See what she has to say about the series’ legacy and returning to work without her partner, Ed Herrmann.
Where would Gilmore Girls be without the founder of Friday Night Dinners, Emily Gilmore? Kelly Bishop understands the show could not go on without her, nor did she want it to. “I would dry up and blow away like a leaf. This show is so deeply important to me, on so many levels,” said Bishop to Michael Ausiello following her first table read. Bishop is working remotely for the moment to tend to her husband, who is not well, but she will begin her cross-country commute when the series begins filming in the coming week. “To hear all of those voices again was pretty amazing. I was 20 pages in and I was like, ‘Ahh… I’m back in Gilmore Land. I’m here. It never went away,” Bishop recalled.
Just as the Warner Brothers lot prepares to welcome back its former residents, the cast is getting ready to welcome back old friends. Bishop said, “I work with such delightful people. I’m madly in love with Lauren [Graham] — I was from practically the first day we said hi. It was just one of those situations where I was doing a really wonderful character with amazing writing with really good people.”
Moving on without her partner in crime
When Edward Herrmann passed away in December of 2014 the Gilmore Girls lost their patriarch. “It’s going to be very difficult. We so miss him. We’ve missed him since we found out he had died. It’s going to be very hard doing it without him, because he and I were buds on the show,” said Bishop.
If you thought the two fit together on screen, it’s probably because they got along so well off camera as well. Bishop said, “We, obviously, were older [than the rest of the cast]. But we were also New York actors, and we connected very well. We always did our crossword puzzles together in the hair-and-makeup room. That was one of our little routines. There was a comfort level.”
Where does this leave Emily?
Where will we find Emily when the show picks up then? Will she still live in her mansion all alone? Did she relocate closer to Lorelai and Stars Hollow? Does she still play bridge with the ladies of the D.A.R? In order to channel how Emily copes with her grief, Bishop plans to draw from her own experiences. She said, “In a desperate attempt to push through [her grief], she blows between right on the edge of losing it to almost being a little manic. I recall doing something very similar when I lost my mother; I was quite devastated. I suddenly got into this mode of getting things done and getting things done right. I was manic and aggressive and pushing, pushing, pushing — because, if you stop, you’re going to cry. So you don’t stop. And I see that in Emily.”
Richard is not far from Emily’s or the entire casts’ minds. Bishop commented, “Ed’s probably going to be hovering around the set a bit and watching over us. I really do believe that. Because he really loved the show.”
No spoilers, please!
Bishop was tight-lipped when the subject of the scripts hit the table. Even though she has her hands on the final script that contains the last four words of the series, Bishop refused to open it. “It wasn’t because I wanted to be honorable or anything. It would’ve been a spoiler, although we didn’t use that word 500 years ago when I was a child. I want to see it when it happens.” We have to agree with her on this point. After eight years, what’s another year or so?
Bishop has the utmost confidence in Amy Sherman-Palladino. You know, in all those years of doing Gilmore Girls, I never probed. I never asked. I never wanted to know any secrets… Most of the time, amazingly, I would go, ‘Yep, that’s it. Spot on. That’s exactly what she’d say!’ So I’ll just follow the lead and see where it goes.”
So what is Kelly Bishop looking forward to the most?
“These scripts are good. They’re really good. And bringing back all of those characters is so delicious. Like Gypsy [Rose Abdoo]; I always loved Gypsy. And Paris is a hoot. It’s unbelievable what Amy has written for Paris [Liza Weil]. People are going to have so much fun with it.”
Isn’t it refreshing to see a star excited for the material of the other characters in their world? Gilmore Girls was a special experience for fans and participants alike. Though the actors and actresses are admittedly attached to the characters they embodied for eight years, the care and attention to the world as a whole is what makes this particular cast incredibly unique.
Is there still some unfinished business to attend to?
After spending her days defending Emily Gilmore’s sometimes unforgivable choices, Bishop admitted, “I finally decided that she is weirdly insecure.” So what is next for the matriarch of the Gilmore ladies? Bishop has a few ideas. She said, “I think I would like to see her, since she has been thrust into this [widow] situation, grow a bit. However, let’s face it, good comedy and good drama always comes from conflict. And there always has to be conflict between me and Lorelai.”
Don’t expect Emily to let sleeping dogs lie. What fun would that be? “If we got along we’d all be falling asleep in front of our televisions. She’s a very confused woman in a lot of ways. She’s secretly very proud of Lorelai, and yet she’s really mad at her, ever since she was 16 and got pregnant. She’s still holding on to that,” said Bishop.
The series return can not arrive soon enough. But for now its time for the actors and actresses to jump back into the world and play a little. Bishop described her fondness of the work saying, “I love, love, love, love doing comedy. But I hate cheap, broad comedy. I like sophisticated, smart comedy. Plus, this whole world is skewed. This is how I explain it to people: “You look at a room. And then you just tip it sideways a little bit.” That’s Gilmore Girls. It’s a little tip.”
Gilmore Girls begins shooting this week in Los Angeles. Check back here as more news breaks!