On last season's Gilmore Girls finale, Lorelai (Lauren Graham) finally heated up her long-simmering romance with short-order cook Luke (Scott Patterson). Of course, we at TV Guide Online are too impatient to wait until Sept. 21 (when Season 5 begins) to find out what happens next. So here we catch up with Graham, who dishes her TV love life, fires back at GG's critics and tells how she spent her summer vacation (with Vin Diesel and Jeff Bridges!).

TV Guide Online: Are Luke and Lorelai now officially a couple?
Lauren Graham:
We're going down that road. It's time to do that, but the story has to stay complicated and not easily resolvable because that's good storytelling. I do know that this year we have David Sutcliffe back [as Christopher, Lorelai's ex], which is a relief. Last year, it was decided that Lorelai couldn't say to Rory, "Your dad can't drive you to Yale because he's on another network." [Sutcliffe co-starred in ABC's now-canceled I'm with Her.] The fact that Christopher's back will ensure that it's not smooth sailing for Luke and Lorelai.

TVGO: How will Lorelai react to the marital split of her parents, Emily and Richard?
That's a big deal, no matter what age it occurs. It gives us a new place to go because rather than the two of them acting as a force to torture Lorelai about her clothing choices, I'm in a new position of possibly mediating a conflict between them.

TVGO: What's your reaction to those who say GG hit a slump last season?
Honestly, I thought it was a really strong year. I had a more difficult time with the year before, actually. When Rory was embroiled in the conflict with Jess, there were things I had more problems with. That story got us stuck. Some of the complaints last season were that Rory's in a different world, and it doesn't make sense for her to keep coming back home. I thought in terms of story, it was pretty good. It's more that people got distracted by Fantasia Barrino — which I understand, because she's really excellent.

TVGO: How did you spend your summer hiatus?
Well, I have a new title for my autobiography: Jeff Bridges Changed My Life. I did this little independent film called The Moguls that Jeff is starring in. I have a really small part, but as an actor, I have a mental checklist of people I'd like to work with, and he was one of the highest on the list. Then I did this movie with Vin Diesel, The Pacifier. That was a whole different experience. It's like Kindergarten Cop. It's a Disney family movie with toddlers and ducks. I got working with kids and animals out of my system all in one shot.