Marty's Back! Wayne Wilcox Talks about Being the Gilmore Girls Nice Guy
Gilmore Girls' Wayne Wilcox
is living his dream: acting on stage and
on camera, and for all those Gilmore Girls
fans, he's as surprised as you are about his return to the popular CW series (Tuesdays at 8 pm/ET). Introduced years ago as Rory's shy Yale classmate Marty, Wilcox is back to "heat" things up and make young Ms. Gilmore think twice. TVGuide.com caught the busy actor during some downtime to talk about Marty's return and the new play that he "had to do." Plus, you won't believe how he landed on Gilmore Girls
in the first place! Read on for the goods.
TVGuide.com: Are you ready for Thanksgiving?
Wayne Wilcox: Yeah, I just cleaned my stove today, actually.
TVGuide.com: Are you celebrating at your place?
Wilcox: No, but I am making the turkey and a couple pies.
Wilcox: I just figured you need a clean stove to do that. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: I know a lot of Gilmore fans, including myself, that have been waiting for Marty's return! Did you know you'd be back eventually, or was it a surprise to you?
Wilcox: Thank you to all of you. It was totally a surprise to me. I actually had dinner with Lauren [Graham] [Sunday] night. She was in town to the see the play [Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer] — she's a friend of Carla Gugino's — and we know each other in passing, we worked together once the first year I was on the show. So she came backstage and gave me a big, big hug, and she said, "There was one woman, a writer on the show, who's responsible for bringing you back, and she was so excited because she thought you were such a cool character."
TVGuide.com: Last week, Marty pretended he didn't even know Rory, which was so uncomfortable. Do they have a friendship or possibly something more in upcoming episodes?
Wilcox: Well, I can't say for sure — and just so you know, they run a tight ship over there, they're pretty secretive about their episodes, even with us. I can honestly say that I don't know — but what I've done so far… that awkwardness between them? It continues, it gets a little heated, which hopefully makes for good drama.
TVGuide.com: Do Rory's friends find out about her past friendship with Marty and the fact that he liked her?
Wilcox: Well, I don't know about that, but some things go down, I'll put it that way. There are a couple of heated discussions.
TVGuide.com: Does Logan come into the mix?
Wilcox: Yeah, absolutely, because he's her boyfriend.
TVGuide.com: So you can't tell me more than that, huh?
Wilcox: No, I can't! I wish I could, but they'd kill me.
TVGuide.com: Will anything surprise us about Marty's return?
Wilcox: Marty's kind of grown up. The thing I like about playing the character — especially what I've done with this season — is that he's a little cooler, a little hipper, he's got a girlfriend, he's relaxed. And he's not afraid to admit that he likes Rory, I guess.
TVGuide.com: So the feelings still linger after all these years?
Wilcox: I think so, yeah. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Marty reminds me of Dean a little bit. He's the nice guy. And Logan, as sweet as he can be, can be disconnected at times. I think fans who liked Dean also latched onto the idea of Rory and Marty getting together one day.
Wilcox: It's interesting how I actually got the part…. I read some scenes that were Dean and Rory scenes. I was waiting tables at the Mercer Kitchen in Soho and [then Gilmore Girls producers/writers] Amy [Sherman-Palladino] and Dan [Palladino] were staying at the Mercer Hotel. I served them breakfast, and they asked me if I was an actor. I gave them my agent's information and they ended up calling and put me on tape just to see what I could do, and they said, "We're writing this part for you, Marty." And I was like, "Wow, that's weird and great and fast and something completely unexpected." But the scenes that I read were Dean scenes, so they were thinking along that vein as well.
TVGuide.com: That's a great story!
Wilcox: I know, right? I'm so lucky!
TVGuide.com: Do you know for how long you're going to be back on the show?
Wilcox: No idea. I like it like that, to be honest, because it's surprising and it's more of a challenge.
TVGuide.com: And how is it balancing Suddenly Last Summer and getting called in for Gilmore Girls?
Wilcox: They'll give me a week's notice. But everybody's been super-supportive of me doing both. When I found out I got cast in a play, I knew right away that I had to do it, because it's Tennessee Williams and because there are incredible people working together — incredible cast [Becky Ann Baker, Blythe Danner], the director [Mark Brokaw]. And then Gilmore Girls called and said, "We want you to come back," and between my agents and both the Roundabout [Theatre] and the CW, everybody was super-supportive, totally wanted to work around schedules, so I go on my day off.
TVGuide.com: So the play is going well. Do you prefer the stage over TV, or do you like the combination of both?
Wilcox: I love the combination of both. Besides making me feel like a rock star, it makes me feel like a good actor. They're completely different mediums, they call for different skills.
TVGuide.com: You're live one minute and doing retakes the next.
Wilcox: Exactly. The shots — especially the way they shoot a television show like Gilmore Girls — they go so fast and each different shot requires a different level of energy. When they're doing your close-up, you have to be really, really small, but then when they're doing a master shot, which is really wide and the camera's far away, it's almost like you're on stage anyway. But then to go back to New York and do it on an intimate stage, I get really aware of how different being on camera is.
TVGuide.com: So you have a movie coming out next year?
Wilcox: Oh, Interivew, yeah. Steve Buscemi directed that, it was nice, I felt lucky to meet him.
TVGuide.com: What's the basis of the movie and your character?
Wilcox: Steve plays a journalist for a newspaper and they send him on what he considers to be a bogus interview. Sienna Miller plays the soap-opera star that he gets sent to interview — he sees it as a little bit beneath him — so he goes and, to coin a phrase from The Real World, "It's what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real." [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: So he sees a different side than he expected.
Wilcox: Exactly. I play an actor in one of the soaps, in a couple of her scenes.
TVGuide.com: Are you a Real World fan?
Wilcox: No. I mean, I was a big fan of the original Real World, it was 1995 I think. I was in Tennessee, watching it late at night, because my parents thought that MTV was going to rot my brain. I think I was 15.
TVGuide.com: Do you have anything else coming up?
Wilcox: Right now, the play is the most important thing, and Gilmore Girls, when that comes along, takes a lot of concentration. Pilot season is starting, it's really early this year, too. I just did an audition today and I have another one later in the afternoon.
TVGuide.com: So you're auditioning for a couple of sitcoms?
Wilcox: Oh, it's everything. So far there are a lot of cop dramas trying to be made, and a lot of young lawyers.
TVGuide.com: Well, hopefully something new and refreshing will come out of it.
Wilcox: Yeah, I hope so. I try to contribute what I can to the whole new-and-refreshing thing.