Hi all. As promised, I’m sharing the complete text of the conversation I had with Edward Herrmann back in 2009 for The Gilmore Girls Companion. When I went back through my notes I discovered that it ran to 40 typed pages in all, so it seemed best to make it available as a PDF rather than online.
I apologize for the design quality of the document itself; Pamela is up to her eyeballs in deadlines right now so I had a go at putting it together myself. She’s the designer, I’m the writer, and unfortunately I’m afraid that shows.
That said, I wanted to get this text out there sooner rather than later, especially after the thoughtful emails and blog comments I’ve received since Mr. Herrmann’s passing.
A word here on the process: I sent him a few sample questions before we actually spoke by phone for the first time. I recorded the conversation, transcribed it, and sent the transcript to him to make any corrections or clarifications he deemed fit. That corrected text is what you’ll find in this PDF.
More than anything else, I really wanted people who never had the opportunity to meet him to see how he spoke and his thought process. I think the part towards the end where he relates his experience with his own daughters to the way he approached Lorelai and Rory is probably my favorite.
He was a rare individual, and greatly missed.
PS – As a fellow old-time radio fan, I wanted to include a few quick links to the shows and personalities Mr. Herrmann references in the interview. For those interested in hearing the programs first hand, there are many free podcasts available – just search for “old time radio” or “otr” in your favorite podcatcher or in iTunes.
I’m at an utter loss to express my sadness over the passing of Edward Herrmann. I’d taken then week off, and the first time I came back online this morning I see this…
I only spoke to him a few times by phone and email during the writing of the book, but it was enough for me to say that he was probably the most intelligent, best-educated person I’ve ever spoken with. Yet these attributes were clothed in a humor and humility that utterly charmed.
When he agreed to write the forward to The Gilmore Girls Companion, I was less excited by the prospect of having one of the fine actors involved in that program introducing the book than by being able to read the man’s recollections of Gilmore Girls in his own words. As it turned out he wrote as he spoke – really like Richard Gilmore spoke – eloquently.
I will be publishing one of my longer interviews with him in full here next week (once I locate it) so that you all can get a better idea of what I mean.
You were a man among men, Mr. Herrmann. And you were loved.
GilmoreNews.com’s discussion of the series’ major themes and components continues with a look at what makes Lorelai and Rory the good friends that they are, using Lorelai’s “birthday speech” to Rory as a jumping-off point.
This bond between mother and daughter is an example of just how complex a show Gilmore Girls is. While casual viewers can simply enjoy the humor between the cast, those who wish to delve deeper are likely to find something more. One of those things is the amount of thought Amy & Dan put into the character relationships.
Those who’ve seen the entire series quickly realize that there’s a quiet desperation in Lorelai’s need to keep Rory her best friend, and much of that is down to Lorelai’s relationship with her own parents. We need only look at any interaction between her and Richard or Emily to see what fuels that desperation to keep the channels of communication open at all costs.
Edward Herrmann was particularly eloquent on the subject of that relationship between father and daughter during our discussion for the book, and admitted that he adjusted his own performance slightly to strike a balance between Richard’s harsh handling of Lorelai, and his depiction of the hurt feelings that inspired it.
“[Lorelai’s] hurt him, and he absolutely adores her, which is very easy to do with Graham because she’s so adorable. She has this quality of intelligence and humor and standoffishness. She’s very warm, but she’s not going to be taken advantage of as a person, Lauren isn’t. That was a quality that I loved about her.
“And it was easy to play on the one hand, I mean an edgy, quarrelsome father, but it was tough on the other because you just want to hug her, just wanted to say, ‘Calm down now, let’s have fun instead of always just fighting.’ It may be that it was a quality that came naturally to her. But she is such a good actress that it may be a quality that she emphasized strictly for the part. I still don’t know.”
The 15th in a weekly look at the progress of The Gilmore Girls Companion as we round the bend on this 2+ year adventure.
Before getting into the nitty gritty of where we’re at with the book, we’re very proud to announce that Edward Herrmann has graciously written the foreword to The Gilmore Girls Companion. For that, and for sharing his observations about the show throughout the book, we are extremely grateful.
And where exactly are we with the book, you might ask. (If you don’t, the rest of this post is going to appear a bit silly, so do please ask.)
Pamela has just about completed the layout of the book; I believe she only has the final chapter and the index to go. Meanwhile, all but three chapters have received their first edit, with the rest probably being edited by Sunday night. After that, it will all get a second read, and finally the index will have to be written up (a bear of a job, but what’s a book without an index?). After that, it’s off to the printer! Really.
Good heavens, I’m suddenly wondering what it will be like to NOT write about Gilmore Girls on a daily basis after nearly three years. Severe withdrawal symptoms ahead, I fear.
Guess I’d best be getting back to it. Thanks for indulging me 🙂
(photo courtesy TheWB.com)
The word “gravitas” is thrown around a great deal these days. However, when you see Edward Herrmann perform, you realize just what the word means. When he completely latches on to the essence of a role like that of Richard Gilmore, it’s like watching someone crystallize a thought or emotion in mid air.
It was an enlightening experience speaking with him this morning. My thanks go to him for his unique perspective on the making of Gilmore Girls, colored as it is by years spent perfecting his craft, his own passion for what he does so well, and a no-nonsense sensibility that helped me better understand the creative process behind Gilmore Girls.