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Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson Had to Quit Smoking to Survive Gilmore Girls Dialogue

Photo: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Gilmore Girls is exhausting to watch, but in the best possible way. Emily could exasperate you with her pearls at any given moment. Kirk had a new job (or four) every week. Rory, famously, dropped out of an Ivy for an entire semester after receiving mild criticism. But the show was quite anatomically exhausting for Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson, so much so, as Patterson revealed in a new New York Times feature, that the duo had to “quickly” quit smoking at the beginning of the show to keep up with the demands of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s rapid-fire dialogue. “She needed her wind,” Patterson said about Graham, “and I needed my wind.” Sherman-Palladino’s infamously packed scripts, the Times notes, were so robust for television that scenes filled “five or 10 pages of script, instead of the customary page and a quarter.” Some of these, Patterson added, were often rewritten on the morning of filming days, with one instance still haunting him to this day. “A 10-page scene came out of the writers’ room at 6:30 a.m.,” he recalled. “Lauren and I were sitting in the makeup chair. We looked at each other with this abject terror, and then we got to work.” But not before putting on his backward cap first, of course.

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