If there's any justice in the world, come September, Gilmore Girls leading lady Lauren Graham will be standing on stage at the Shrine Auditorium clutching a certain gold statue with sharp, pointy wings. Of course, when it comes to the annual Emmy derby, justice can be an elusive thing — and that's particularly true for WB stars. "Lauren should have been nominated 110 years ago," asserts Gilmore's creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino. For her part, the 38-year-old actress prefers not to dwell on such matters, insisting, "Most of the positive stuff that's happened to me has just dropped out of nowhere." Well, there's certainly been a lot of positive stuff going on in Stars Hollowland this season, thanks in large part to the long-awaited romance between Graham's Lorelai and Scott Patterson's Luke. During a shooting break on the show's Burbank, Calif., set, Graham opened up about Girls' current creative and ratings resurgence, life after Lorelai and her controversial comments about would-be spoiler Christopher.
TVGuide.com: The show is on fire this year. Are you happy with the new, romance-driven stories?
Lauren Graham: To me, the juiciest stuff, the scenes I love the most, are the ones within the family. I love the relationship between Kelly Bishop (Emily) and Lorelai. That relationship is as essential as the Lorelai-Rory relationship. We have two mother-daughter stories and those are, to me, the core of the show.
TVG: And what about Luke and Lorelai?
Graham: It's been fun to have Lorelai in a relationship. I always thought that [Lorelai] is someone whose development was arrested as a teenager, having been faced with raising this child and going off on her own. It made sense to me that she was sort of immature in terms of being able to handle men. But you want to see growth and development, so this relationship makes sense. I'm not sure where it ends up. Is this a three-year story, a four-year story...? Is it Luke and Lorelai together? Is it Rory's father, Christopher? Is it Rory and Lorelai holding hands and jumping off a cliff? Is it a wacky double wedding in Paris? I don't know.
TVG: Why haven't Luke and Lorelai said the L-word to one another?
Graham: It's not that it hasn't happened, we just haven't seen it. I assume that they are saying "I love you" to each other, but we just haven't seen it. I remember Amy saying, "We want Luke to be the same, but now you're together." This is how Luke would do it. That's what's appealing about him.
TVG: In January, you raised a bit of a stink when you told me you thought Lorelai belonged with Christopher, not Luke (Ask Ausiello 1/26). Fans see it very differently.
Graham: I was speaking in terms of the show's idyllic point of view. I think the wish-fulfillment element would dictate that the family gets back together. But I also think Luke-Lorelai is very appealing.
TVG: Some have speculated that you chose Christopher because you and Scott don't get along.
Graham: No, that's just what I used to feel. [Luke-Lorelai] could be interesting and gratifying. I was more thinking about where the story started. Is the answer her even ending up with a man? I don't really know.
TVG: So, how is your relationship with Scott?
Graham: It's fine. I think these characters have a great chemistry and that does mirror our chemistry as people. We're not intimates. We talk kind of how we talk [on the show]. We work well together.
TVG: But you're not best friends.
Graham: No. [Pause] It's a very happy set. It's a very functioning, working set, and I think some of that is helped by us having a little bit of a life outside. But I'm here an average of 50 hours a week, so there isn't a lot of socializing for any of us.
TVG: How has your relationship with Alexis Bledel [Rory] changed?
Graham: It's mainly from her. She's really grown up. She was a different person when she got here. She got here when she was 19. I hate to sound like her TV mom, but she's really blossomed. She bought a house, she's embraced that [acting] is something that she's good at. When she got here, she didn't know anything; she just had no experience. It's a tough adjustment for anybody. But we have always, always had a really positive time together. And that's something that I really value and really feel proud of. We are a team.
TVG: How long do you see the show lasting?
Graham: I see it going seven [seasons], partially because there are very few TV stories that need to be told beyond that — especially in a drama that's not procedural. In terms of my life, I'd like to be working different hours. I would like to start a family. I would like to shift the balance. It used to be that all I could do was watch Oprah and go to the gym. And now I work these long days and... it has taken a toll.
TVG: How would you feel about going on next season without Amy and Dan Palladino?
Graham: I think, at this point, it would be a terrible idea. We are in a successful time. We've had our ups and downs, but it's not a show that has ever had anyone else with the vision that [they] have — especially if we have two more years. You can feel when someone else is trying to write Gilmore Girlish dialogue... I just think it's a bad idea.
TVG: Amy says she already knows what the last two words on the show's final episode will be. Any guesses?
Graham: We've all been asking her about this. She won't tell me. I'm like, "Is it 'I do?' Is it 'Stop talking'?" Maybe it's "Cats rock!"
TVG: In your opinion, who has been the best extra ever to grace Gilmore Girls?
Graham: [Laughs] Oh, there was this guy from TV Guide once, he had this whole backstory about a hooker and I was like, 'Dude, whatever...' Oh, wait — that was you!
TVG: Good answer!
For more from Graham, and exclusive scoop about Gilmore Girls' final five episodes of the season, pick up the current issue of TV Guide magazine, on sale now.