After the ratings success of last fall’s reboot miniseries Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, the stars of the original WB series have all moved on to their own projects. For some of the original Gilmore Girls actors like Melissa McCarthy, A Year in the Life was just a quick pit stop among much larger projects. For others, A Year in the Life marked a return to acting after years.
After Gilmore Girls, Lauren Graham (Lorelai Gilmore, one of the three titular Gilmore women) dabbled in quite a few areas of the entertainment industry. Graham made appearances in several comedic feature films (It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life), returned to her sitcom roots as a star on the network comedy Parenthood, and made her Broadway debut in Guys and Dolls in 2009. Most notably, Graham has also become a writer post-Gilmore: the star released her first novel Someday, Someday, Maybe in 2013 and published the aptly-titled Talking as Fast as I Can: from Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) right after the premiere of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life in November of 2016. The future holds even more writing for the former Gilmore: according to the Los Angeles Times, Graham is working with Parenthood co-star Mae Whitman on “a movie adaptation of The Royal We, a book from GoFugYourself.com creators Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks about an American girl-next-door who falls in love with a guy who happens to be the future king of England.”
While Alexis Bledel played journalist Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, she has not followed in her character’s footsteps and pursued publishing. Instead, Bledel continued acting in a series of film roles and made appearances on Mad Men and Us & Them. In 2009’s Post Grad, Bledel starred as a recent college graduate struggling to find professional and romantic fulfillment – in other words, she played an early version of Rory Gilmore in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Bledel’s next role would definitely make feminist Rory Gilmore proud: she will star as the rebellious Ofglen in the upcoming Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian drama set in a near-future world where women are systematically oppressed and silenced by a fascist misogynistic government.
The third Gilmore girl Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore, Lorelai’s mother and Rory’s grandmother) was one of many cast members who also worked on Bunheads, Amy Sherman-Palladino’s next project. The Tony Award-winning performer also returned to Broadway in the 2011 adaptation of Anything Goes. Bishop currently does not have any post-Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life plans.
Sean Gunn (village weirdo Kirk Gleason) has some upcoming credits as eclectic as his Gilmore Girls role. Sean often works with his brother, writer-director James Gunn, and the two are teaming up for 2017’s The Belko Experiment, a horror film about office employees forced to murder each other. Sean Gunn will also appear in the James Gunn-directed Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 this summer, reprising his role as one of the Ravagers, an interstellar group of thieves. Whether or not Gunn will also reprise his role as the on-set representation of CGI character Rocket Raccoon remains to be seen.
Keigo Agena seemed eternally youthful as Rory’s best friend Lane Kim on Gilmore Girls, but her post-A Year in the Life roles are a little more adult. Agena appeared in the TV thriller The Wrong House and currently appears in Sweet/Vicious as a college counselor who dissuades a student from reporting her sexual assault. What would her conservative mother Mrs. Kim think?
After her role as the bubbly Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls, Melissa McCarthy’s career exploded. McCarthy starred in a long list of raunchy comedies (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Tammy, The Boss) and played Molly on long-running sitcom Mike and Molly. This busy career meant that McCarthy only had the time to make a small cameo in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. McCarthy next stars in 2018’s Life of the Party, a comedy co-written by McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone and directed by Falcone.
While none of Rory’s boyfriends on Gilmore Girls had much in common, their actors have all found work on popular television series. Milo Ventimiglia (Stars Hollow bad boy Jess Mariano) stars in currently-airing This Is Us and Matt Czuchry (rich playboy Logan Huntzberger) worked on The Good Wife for seven years, but Jared Padalecki (boy-next-door Dean Forrester) has been with a series the longest: this year marks Padalecki’s twelfth straight year starring in the CW’s Supernatural.
Liza Weil (Paris Gellar), Alex Borstein (Miss Celine and Drella), and Danny Strong (Paris’ husband Doyle) have also found success on network television. Borstein voices Lois Griffin and countless others on Family Guy. Weil plays Bonnie Winterbottom, an even more ruthless version of her Gilmore Girls character, on Shonda Rhimes’ hit How to Get Away with Murder. Strong has chosen to work behind the camera, and currently writes and produces the FOX soap opera Empire.
Almost all of the stars of Gilmore Girls and its revival miniseries A Year in the Life can be found on upcoming projects. One interesting exception is Michael Winters, who played Stars Hollow’s bossy market owner Taylor Doose. Winters’ last role before A Year in the Life was on Gilmore Girls 10 years ago, and the actor has no other projects lined up, meaning he potentially came out of acting retirement to appear on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]