Janet, Very Much of This Planet
Yes, yes, I know, acting is the art of convincingly portraying personality types different from your own. But I was still bowled over by just how warm and upbeat actress Katie Walder was when I spoke with her yesterday for the book.
Sure, as Yale roommate Janet Billings she was always nice to Rory, but more often than not she was crossing swords with the volatile Paris Gellar. And let’s face it, that takes a bit of saber rattling.
Of course Gilmore Girls wasn’t the first time she played a strong character. She started in the business as Shannon, one of Pine Valley’s more complicated residents in the ABC soap All My Children.
However, like Mike Winters and other members of the Gilmore Girls cast, she has always reserved a special place in her heart for the stage. In one of those coincidences that crop up from time to time in the acting world, she found herself performing in a production of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s Once in a Lifetime at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2002, opposite Lauren Graham and Emily Bergl (Francie, Rory’s nemesis and leader of “The Puffs”). You can check out a few photos from that production here.
A year later, she joined the series. Don’t you love happy endings?