Lauren Graham Interviewed – ‘Because I Said So’

     January 31, 2007

Lauren Graham is best known as Lorelei on the hit show Gilmore Girls. In fact when I told a few friends who are obsessed with the show that I was going to a press conference where Lauren Graham would be, they came pretty close to freaking out. While I don’t follow Gilmore Girls, I do realize what the show means to a lot of people. So for all of you wondering about the future, the vibe I got from Lauren as she spoke was that she was tired and that she would probably welcome the end if it was this season. Mind you she never said that, but that was the vibe I got.

But let’s get back to why we are here.

Lauren is starring in the new film Because I Said So which opens this Friday. In the film she plays one of the daughters of Diane Keaton and she is also the sister of Mandy Moore and Piper Perabo.

The film is about the relationship between a mother and her three daughters. Of course nothing is simple in this family as Diane Keaton is an OCD mom. She constantly obsesses over everything little thing and is especially out of control with her youngest daughter – who is played by Mandy Moore. Unlike her older sisters, Mandy’s character is still single and searching for love.

Enter the OCD mom.

She takes out a newspaper add to meet perspective suitors and then interviews them like it’s for a job. That’s one example of how she acts and what she is willing to do for her family.

The film follows the typical chick flick movie rules so you know what you’re going to get prior to walking into the theatre. But to help me judge the film, I took a girl and she enjoyed it, so I think it’s a pretty safe film for date night.

While Lauren doesn’t have a huge part, I’m sure all of her fans will enjoywatching herin this film. And with that, here is Lauren.

If you want to listen to the press conference you can do so by clicking here. She is pretty funny so I recommend listening to this one over reading…

Question: How important is it for you Lauren to find a character that is a somewhat the antithesis of Lorelei and can you confirm or deny that this is going to be the last season of Gilmore?

Lauren Graham: Wow, It’s not…I don’t pick any project on anything except do I think I can do a good job and do I like the people involved and will work let me out to do it which in this case they did so I just try to honestly choose things that I like. Because if I was trying to do something that was like I’m never doing anything that like resembles that then I’d only be in like horror movies and you know movies like Déjà vu, right. You know what I mean. You wouldn’t… those aren’t the things that kind of come to me anyway you know I like romantic comedy, I like stories about relationships so that’s what I like and I don’t know if this is going to be the last year. It’s such a funny time because it to some degree would be up to the actors and that makes all the people in charge very squirrelly because they don’t want to…it’s like a strange game of chicken where they have expressed that they would like another year but then nothing exactly happens you know. I don’t know how this works like…do they…I don’t know how it works.

What’s your gut feeling?

My gut feeling right now is that we could finish it this year in a really classy nice way and you wouldn’t feel like that I need to know another year’s worth of what happened to those people you know I feel like it could be nicely finished this year. Next I’ll be running for office.

How was the dynamic between the four of you with Diane did she kind of become maternal… or did you guys…

Diane is one of the girls and she doesn’t like when you know any kind of like “oh but Miss Keeton you must have” and she’s like “oh God” no look she doesn’t want to be your you know she wants to be one of us and doesn’t like the I think I don’t know…the feeling that there is some kind of preciousness you know regarding her or something and she’d be like “oh moron”. No that’s her way of endearment and so once you get that and can get over you know if you’re me how much her work has meant to you and you have to get over that then we just had a really really good time and a lot of opportunities to just kind of sit around and you know talk.

Were you guys doing any bonding beforehand to kind of get that experience of being a family?

No, we just were lucky. You know you can have a really wonderful scene with someone you don’t really in life have that much of a connection to and so it’s just a bonus when some part of it is easy because you’re bringing a little bit of the down time you know real life experience into it. Sometimes that’s helpful sometimes it doesn’t even really make a difference but definitely among my fake sisters we you know instantly took to each other and you know would go out and do things and the same with Diane and I think it was really was naturally a group of people who really enjoyed each other so you know that was you know just a bonus.

A lot of your scenes are with Piper so I was just wondering in all the scenes where you guys are just kind of going off on your third sister if a lot of that was just improvised or just kind of came up or just you…

I remember, you know I’m not sure, I remember…it’s always tricky when you say “it’s all improvised” and then the writers like “ah, what, I didn’t have anything to do with it?” So it wasn’t like that but it’s like I…everywhere outside my TV show where you’re not allowed to do that I’m improvising. You know I like to have that kind of loose thing and be able to throw in a line here and there and this movie kind of leant itself to that its like everybody talking all over each other it must have been an editing nightmare because we were just like yapping its like the view and like you know and so I think it had a kind of loose you know…which I love by the way…but it had a loose feeling so yeah some of it was a little bit added or you know wanted to feel like how it is I would imagine if you have three girls in a family it’s like you know you have a lot to say.

It’s nice you feel that way.

Oh, right (laughing).

There is a lot of fast and greasy dialogue in the scenes is that any comparison to your show and did Mandy keep up with you the way…

Oh my God. What. Of course. It’s something…it’s not my movie you know it’s really her story and it’s not…I would never even think about anything like that. No. I don’t know, we just tried to be like a real family. You have to understand I don’t…when I’m other places I don’t think “What would Lorelei Gilmore do in this situation” like I’m not thinking about that. I don’t think about like you know it’s just I don’t think about it like that you know I’ve done that job for a long time but almost that has it’s own…I know that so well I just know what the sort of parameters are of that job, I can kind of click into that character and I’m not like finding it so to me you know it requires a lot more focus just to you know just to be believable in a whole new set of circumstances and usually its much quicker. You know in a TV show you keep getting new pieces of information to add to the story you keep…it keeps getting richer and in a movie you have this kind of finite amount of material and time to kind of you know tell the story which is usually it’s smaller it’s a smaller story and a smaller character arc and all that stuff so I wasn’t thinking about the show.

How is it being a psychiatrist to Tony Hill?

I love him. He’s so funny. He’s great. I…you know…I just thought…there’s a lot of psychologists in my family strangely and so but you know that’s one of those like tricky committed things like where you have a guy whose like a nut job but you know but I love being straight man to his character. He’s very specific and I thought those scenes were a lot of fun.

You were talking earlier about the fact that everything is so structured and rigid…it seems like that. Do you wish in some ways that it wasn’t the case?

Yeah. And that’s mostly great and I mean I’ve said that you know I had when Amy was there I would say like “let me go a little bit let me…you know…I understand the rhythm of the language the way you write it and I respect it but I do think certain actors are better you know with a little bit of freedom.” But you know there are Aaron Sorkin is like that you know. I did a little thing on Studio 60 and it was just so much fun and that language is really musical and so and if you add one thing it changes but I know that world so well now like in one rehearsal I said you know my line was “whatever whatever” and I said “blub blah blah” and I could see the scripts…the dialogue coach coming to me and before she even got to me I was don’t say “Ah” and she was “right”. So I mean there’s the part of that that I love because the language demands it and so when that’s the sort of structure you’re in there is a real…I don’t know there’s satisfaction in serving that language in that way you know you wouldn’t add or change things in a play and I think some of these writers work more like play writes. They’re very very specific and they want you to be too. On a show like ,ours where we talk so much just the human nature is that you’re going to make a mistake so that’s when it gets different, so I’d be like just allow some of these mistakes it’s OK because Aaron’s dialogue is much shorter so you’re less likely to screw something up. You know in our stuff it’s like a long speech and so if you say one wrong word like the rest of the take you’re just like “Oh God we’re going to have to come back and do that again.” So yes I would say please let it be easier. But I’m also proud of how specific it is and how it isn’t like a lot of other television. Without her there it is a freeer set but the language is totally different it’s been written by a whole new group of people. It’s not…it’s not better or worse…it’s just…it’s not the same. In the lifestyle capacity that makes the day easier you know they’re not as picky and you know but it doesn’t sound like Amy you know, it sounds like something else which I think has still been good so it’s different.

What were your impressions of working with Mandy?

I just love Mandy. She’s an incredibly kind person. I can’t believe how young she is for all the things she’s done both in music and as an actress and she’s very natural, she’s totally beautiful, she’s really a nice friend. You know she’s very positive and fun person to be around.

Were you able to do any girl activities hanging out?

What are girl activities exactly? (laughter) You know, like pillow fights and talking about boys? Yeah, we all hung and you know we went out and we went to dinner and we did girl activities like that. We did really have a good time.

I would have imagined you had some kind of preconceived idea of what Diane might be like and I just wondered did she surprise you in any way and if so how different was she than you expected?

That’s interesting. I don’t know…I can’t remember now what I might have thought because I just know her a little bit she’s just…she was very warm and she took a very kind interest in me that was like better than I could have hoped for and just was open I think if I had any expectation it’s that someone who has lived their life so much in the public eye would be very secretive or you know that it’s…I always feel very respectful of someone who has been so successful for such a long time. You know I never ever ask anybody questions about like…even like what was it like…I just get shy about that like I don’t want to do that you know but she would kind of talk you know she talked about her life like you would want any person you’re working with too so it wasn’t and we got to go to her birthday party it was just really fun to get to know her a little bit.

I was wondering if you could talk about some of your future projects and also if this is the last season of Gilmore… do you look forward to having a lot more free time?

Oh my God, I am so tired from these seven years I can’t even tell you. Okay, so there was this, this was one of my upcoming projects, now its here, then I did Evan Almighty which is the hugest movie ever but no pressure and that was really really fun and that to me is like I’ve never been in like a big fancy movie like that like where like my trailer and Morgan Freeman’s trailer were about the same like it was crazy you know the incredible technical ability of every single person there I mean we had the best camera people, the best animal trainers, the best…you know its all people who are at the top of their craft and it’s truly humbling and so that is exciting. And if it’s the end of the show I don’t even know what I’ll do with my self I mean now I’m so used to like a 12 hour day is like nothing to me so that’s good in some ways but I’m sure there’ll be a strange transition of what happens next. I have learned so much about every aspect of television, I feel like what I would like to do next is have a stronger creative hand in what I would like to do, I would like to be a producer of the next thing I do, I have a little more knowledge about people I would like to work with. You know it’s kind of an exciting thought to imagine what the next thing would be. Probably it won’t last a year because it’s an accident when a show stays on the air certainly as long as we’ve been on and you see all these wonderful people I mean Julia Louis Dreyfuss had a couple of shows before this one kind of —- its just a strange chemistry when all of that can come together but I would hope to not run away but eventually do another show and do more movies and just keep doing stuff?

You’d go back to television?

Yeah. I would love…I love television. I don’t like working this hard exactly but then I think its important you build the great ensemble you know but I just like what’s happening in comedy like I love the show 30 Rock I think its just such a smart show, it would probably be a half hour would be the next thing I would like to do. It’s just fun to think about.

Where would you go when you can travel?

There’s like ten places, there’s so many. I really wanted to go to Ireland you know I have family history in Ireland and although everybody keeps losing all the birth certificates and nobody knows exactly where we’re from. (laughter) That’s very my family. But yeah, I really wanted to go to Ireland…there’s so many trips…name like any place in the world and I’ve wanted to go there and but I also really like to work so it hasn’t been I get like squirley after three days in Hawaii like now what do we do I don’t understand what do you mean like we just sit here more? There’s more sitting? (Laughter) But there’s like you know I used to read all the time, now I just like I fall asleep so there’s a lot of things (Laughter) well I’m tired, I’m really tired so you know it’ll be a change, it’ll be good.

Was Steve Carell fun to work with?

He’s the best and just a very nice person so you don’t get any like…I don’t know…I’ve never worked with like kookie comedian where you’re like “oh shhh” but he’s not like that, he’s not you know, what he likes is the smaller kind of you know subtler way and I don’t think he feels compelled to be on.

How was Daine Keaton’s birthday party?

Um, Okay, it was totally beautiful. It was at the Mondrian I…apparently Jack Nicholson was there, I didn’t see him. I was there. We had a great time it was like indoor outdoor, she looked beautiful, you know I mean what can I tell you without really telling you anything. There was all sorts of scandal but I can’t talk about it. I mean there wasn’t any scandal really.

And what present did you get her?

Yes, oh God. Now I’m embarrassing…I thought about this today because apparently I think it’s her birthday – Diane’s birthday am I supposed to know that – anyway it’s her birthday today but so we had only known each other a week and so because we shot this this time last year and she happened to mention…we didn’t know what to get her and its impossible to get her anything and she dresses so beautifully even at six o’clock in the morning coming out of the trailer it’s like she is so you know what to get her, what do you get her you know. So she had mentioned that she liked salt and I was like have you tried…this was my idea and now it’s embarrassing…I was like “Oh have you tried…” because I really like salt but I really like fancy salt like I like you know just different sea salts and whatever and I was like “have you tried this kind of salt?” and she’s like just regular salt. And I was like “oh my God” you guys we should get Diane like a huge gift thing of salt and they’re like “um, alright” so we got her like a huge box of like all different salts like you know salt that you eat but then bath salt and then like book salt, that guy wrote about salt, that was really bad. And she was so nice about it because you know the next day she was like that’s just the kind of present I like you know so creative and fun and I’ll really enjoy that and we’re like “we got you salt”. But seriously what do you get her. And then when you walk in and there’s like a gift table and there’s like freaking gifts and like the box is so beautiful like why open it it’s like that kind of thing.

And yours was salt.

Well ours was salt, it was very heavy too.

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