Last week we took a look at the Dragonfly Inn and some of the other sets used on the popular TV show “Gilmore Girls.” Today we’re checking out Lorelai’s blue house with the wraparound front porch and the Gilmore mansion that she grew up in. Oh, and Richard and Emily’s pool house behind the mansion–we’ve got to take a peek inside it, too, while we’re at it!
I’m such a big “Gilmore Girls” geek that I own all 7 seasons on DVD, a book of essays about the show called Coffee at Luke’s, and the soundtrack on CD. I would move to Stars Hollow if I could! After last week’s GG post, I was happy to hear from so many of you that I’m not the only one.
The sets changed throughout the 7 seasons. The yellow wallpaper in the entry hall (above) was a new addition in the 6th season. Until then, it looked like this (below):
On the DVD Special Features we learn that the sets are connected in ways you wouldn’t expect. For example, you can step directly from Lorelai’s foyer into Sookie’s house through the “coat closet” door. Sookie’s set is right on the other side of that wall. (You can see photos of her house here.)
Melissa McCarthy (Sookie) gives us a look at the living room set in a behind-the-scenes tour:
She says the sofa in Lorelai’s living room was so uncomfortable, it was like sitting on a pile of bricks.
They spent a long time searching for the perfect actress to play Lorelai. Right before they started filming the pilot, Lauren Graham came in and they knew they had found her.
Unfortunately, Graham was on another show called “M.Y.O.B.” at the time (anyone remember that one?). If it was renewed for another season, they’d lose her. They took a chance and cast her anyway. It only lasted 5 episodes.
“This was definitely the most challenging job I’ve ever had,” Graham says, “just in terms of how much language I deal with.”
Creator and writer Amy Sherman-Palladino says that the fast pace of their show came with a price: “Whereas like a normal, hour-long script might be 55 pages, ours is 80, and we have to shoot 80 pages in the same amount of time.”
The Sets Behind the Scenes:
Rory’s bedroom is off the kitchen, which I always found odd. The second story of the house looks plenty big enough for more than one bedroom.
Lorelai’s Bedroom after the renovation (with Luke’s family furniture in it, which she wasn’t crazy about):
Graham now plays Sarah on “Parenthood” (you can see my post about those sets here).
The front porch set, seen in the special features on the DVD, where close-ups were filmed:
The house in winter (taken from the episode when Luke created an ice-skating rink for Lorelai in her front yard–loved that one!):
Lorelai’s house after Luke’s renovation:
Richard & Emily Gilmore’s House:
This is where Lorelai grew up, and where she and her daughter Rory now go every week for Friday Night Dinners. I think the only time they showed this exterior shot was in the pilot (it was the only one I could find, anyway). From then on we only see the front door close up and it appears to be on a soundstage.
The dinners are actually terms of a deal that Richard and Emily made with them. They paid for Rory’s private school tuition at Chilton, and then for Yale. All they asked was that Lorelai and Rory–who had been practically estranged from them for years–come to dinner once a week.
The pilot episode was shot in a real house in the suburbs outside Toronto. The interiors were recreated on a soundstage after the show was picked up.
You can see some great photos of Unionville, Ontario, the “real Stars Hollow,” here, which shows the church from the opening credits and the hardware store they used for Luke’s Diner early on.
Sherman-Palladino calls Emily Gilmore “The only voice of reality on the show.” I found that interesting considering how abrasive and difficult her character is. Not sure I want that to be the voice of my reality. Ha.
Kelly Bishop, who played Emily so brilliantly, is a Tony-award winning actress and dancer who is reportedly nothing like her character on this show. She herself has said, “I wouldn’t be friends with Emily in real life. She’s so opinionated and status quo–definitely not my kind of woman.”
Emily decorated a room in the house just for Rory:
Richard Gilmore was played by Edward Herrman. In his study (below) hangs a painting that Emily commissioned of Rory reading a book:
The producers made a decision to show how static and stiff life inside the Gilmore mansion was by keeping the camera in place for most of the scenes inside it. When the characters are in Stars Hollow, however, the camera moves around a lot to reflect the energy of the town and the lack of formality that goes along with Lorelai and Rory’s lives there.
The back patio, where Emily hosted her DAR meetings:
The Pool House Behind the Gilmore Mansion:
We first saw Richard and Emily’s pool house when they were having marital problems and Richard moved into it. It was fairly dark and masculine-looking then.
In Season 6, when Rory lost her mind (she was arrested for joyriding in a yacht, dropped out of Yale, and stopped speaking to her mother), she moved into the pool house for awhile. Emily went all out in redecorating it for her.
Matt Czuchry played Rory’s handsome, charming, and filthy rich boyfriend Logan Huntzberger. He now plays Cary Agos on the popular new drama “The Good Wife” (you can see my post about those sets here).
Are you a fan of the show, too? You can see my other post about “Gilmore Girls,” which includes photos of the Dragonfly Inn, Independence Inn, Luke’s Diner and other buildings in Stars Hollow, here.