“Gilmore Girls” is returning to TV via Netflix on Nov. 25, with four new 90-minute episodes titled “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” Variety spoke with the cast about their favorite “Gilmore” memories and what we can expect from the new episodes.
When Sean Gunn first stepped onto the “Gilmore Girls” set more than 15 years ago, he was just happy to have a role as a DSL installer on a show he had only read, not seen — though the pilot had been shot, the show hadn’t aired yet.
“The agent I had at the time had recommended I pass on the audition,” Gunn told Variety. “But my manager said it was cool. I understood the tone of the show just from reading it.” The scripts for regular 45-minute episodes of “Gilmore Girls” were 80 pages long, full of long stretches of rapid-fire dialogue.
But that didn’t scare Gunn, and thus was born the character of Kirk Gleason — of all the Stars Hollow townies, perhaps the quirkiest. He held every sort of odd job, popped up in every scene that needed a jolt of weird humor. For Gunn, the return of “Gilmore Girls” means the return of all those strange little side stories Kirk would get wrapped up in. “It was a joy to read the new scripts and get excited about all the new little Kirk adventures,” Gunn said.
Those new adventures remain under wraps until Nov. 25, but Gunn is able to rattle off an impressive list of older ones from memory. “I think my favorite one of all is when Kirk plays Tevye in ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’” he said. “In addition to being super fun for me to do and just really funny, it’s a moving episode where Luke and Lorelai start to really understand they love each other. And they’re waiting in the wings as Kirk’s singing this song.”
And though he was always more of a side player in the original series, trailers for the new episodes have shown a healthy dose of Kirk, indicating a bigger role. “I had a lot of good stuff to do,” is all Gunn will say.
Don’t expect Kirk to have undergone a total transformation in the eight years since we last saw him: “Kirk is emphatically still Kirk,” Gunn said.
The world is a little different, though. Social media, somewhat nascent even when “Gilmore” was ending its initial run, has now been woven into the fabric of everyday life. A character like Kirk would seem to be ripe for some sort of commentary on the subject. “I can’t tell you for sure if Kirk tweets,” Gunn says with a laugh. “I can tell you if Kirk had a Twitter account he would be obsessed with how many followers he has and who is or isn’t following him.”