Capitol File has Lauren Graham on their cover for this month’s edition – "Why We’ll Always Love the Girl Next Door." They have her as "girl most likely to succeed", referring to the end of Gilmore Girls. Here are some pieces from the interview:
CAPITOL FILE: You recently celebrated a birthday. Did you have a cake with candles?
LAUREN GRAHAM: I didn’t have a cake, because to me the cake always signals the end of the party. So many friends from high school came—I had 10 Langley High people here, and my high school boyfriend, too. It was a blast. Here you had people on East Coast time—with kids at home—staying up until three in the morning. We just talked and hung out, and we did it again the next night.
CF: You’re best known as a Gilmore girl—playing the single mother of a teenager. But in real life, the roles were reversed—it was your father, Larry Graham, who raised you from the age of five. How special was your relationship? I mean, was your dad flipping pancakes in the morning and French-braiding your hair?
LG: [Laughs] I had to have knots regularly cut out of my hair, because I think he thought you only had to brush the top part! Haircare wasn’t his thing. I had a lot of slumber parties, and we only had one frying pan, because it was usually just the two of us. So whenever I had all these girls over, he would do one pancake at a time—breakfast would take like an hour to make. It just never occurred to me. And our silverware didn’t match. My father made a fine living, but he didn’t notice certain things. He married my stepmother when I was in high school, and between her, my mother’s sisters, and my grandmother, who lived in DC—my grandfather was the preacher at the First Baptist Church of Washington, DC; I was raised Catholic, but that side of the family is Baptist—we had family nearby and a fair amount of help. I had great babysitters…
CF: Did your father plant the artistic seeds that would eventually sprout in his daughter—introduce you to all of the arts and museums that the nation’s capital has to offer?
LG: I think he didn’t really mean to formally introduce me to things artistic—he just didn’t know what to do with me on weekends. We went to every Smithsonian museum. We’d go to puppet shows in the woods, in Rock Creek Park or somewhere like that. We went to see The Member of the Wedding at the Kennedy Center, I saw Annie; we’d always go to the ballet. I just think, honestly, he didn’t know what to do. The only other thing I was interested in was riding. He’s allergic to horses, so he’d drop me off. We’d go to restaurants in DC—if anything, my father’s given me my ridiculous love of going out to dinner, because half of the week, although he’s a good cook, we would go out. Also, he just really loves to read, so we would read every night—he would read to me.
CF: You went to high school in the shadow of the Central Intelligence Agency. What was a typical day like in the life of Lauren Graham? I know you took some acting classes at the Catholic University and Arena Stage.
LG: Yes, in the summertime—I would use any local resource. Arena Stage had a program called Living Stage that reaches out to the community and reflects what the community is going through in DC. It was so out there, compared to what I had done at school. At the time I was one of the youngest people in that class, and I learned a lot. Now that I look back, I was really ambitious. After school I was usually rehearsing for a play or a musical, and I was on the student council. You mentioned the CIA—we would try to drive down there and see how far we could get before the guards came out. [Laughs] It was pre 9/11, of course—and it just seemed hilarious…
CF: Last question: Speaking as a gentleman, I have to ask how a beautiful Irish-Catholic lass like you has stayed single so long?
LG: [Laughs] I don’t know! I don’t know! I’m not even trying that hard to stay single! I was in a real serious relationship as Gilmore Girls was starting, and then I went to work in a really intense way. I don’t blame my job, I’m really thankful to have had it, but it has limited things. So I hope to have more balance soon. I would love to be part of a family. It’s something that’s important to me. But I also have a lot of the things that I wanted in my career, and I never thought I would get this far. So I feel like things come in good time. I’ve had some great boyfriends, I’ve learned a lot, and now I’m ready for my last boyfriend.