With Melissa McCarthy now officially on board, the much-anticipated Gilmore Girls revival (courtesy of Netflix) promises to take audiences back to the Stars Hollow that they first fell in love with more than 15 years ago. Nearly a decade after the series finale, Yanic Truesdale, who starred in the series as Michel Gerard, the concierge at both of Lorelai Gilmore’s inns, opens up about what it feels like to return to the fictional town, the mystery surrounding the revival, and some of his latest endeavors.
How did the idea for a revival come about, and what was your reaction?
YANIC TRUESDALE: First of all, the rumor of a movie or a sequel or something has been up in the air since the show ended. We all went to the ATX Festival last summer in Austin for a Gilmore Girls reunion and it was the first time we all saw each other [since the show’s ending] and it happened to be the first time I was seeing Amy [Sherman-Palladino, the show’s creator] and Dan [Palladino, the show’s writer and director] in a long time and it was just so insane. The excitement, the craziness—they had to change venues three times. We had to check into the hotel in the back because people were camping. It was just really a weekend of surreal reconnection with the success of the show and we were just like, ‘Wow, this show is not dying, we’re not going anywhere.’
So, it kind of solidified my intuition that Amy and Dan would definitely be doing something to follow up and to end properly.
What happened after the festival?
YT: I kind of got excited but no one had called me so I was kind of waiting to see if it was going to result into a phone call. It took a while for the phone call but the phone call did arrive.
So you were expecting it, in a way.
YT: Yeah, I was kind of expecting it. I was intrigued by the format.
Tell us about that. There will be four different episodes, each based on a different season, is that correct?
YT: Yeah, but an episode normally is an hour and these are an hour and a half so, in my head, it’s more like four movies. I’m curious to see how it’s put together and all that.
There’s already a script, right?
YT: Yeah, yeah, of course. We’re in the middle of it. We’ve been shooting for two months now.
Any word on the release date?
YT: I don’t know. They didn’t tell us. I guess it’s a surprise.
What can you tell us about the storyline?
YT: The only thing that I can say about my story line, Michel’s story line, is […] we’ve always seen Michel at work, right? We haven’t seen much of his personal life, aside from his dog. That will change. We will get to know much about him and there’s stuff happening to him and there’s an arc. I have to say [that], because I’m older and everyone is older, I have changed, like any human being. So, by definition, because I have changed, I think Michel has changed.
You can’t talk about the plot but tell us this: Will these four episodes bring the show to a satisfying and fulfilling conclusion?
YT: Completely. It’s a concentrate of the Gilmore Girls juice. It’s crammed and filled with everything that made the show special.
In the show, you have a French accent. You’re originally from Montreal so French is part of your life but you don’t have an accent when speaking. Did you bring that detail to the character yourself or was the accent already a part of the role?
YT: It was written for a French person but I think [that], originally, that person was supposed to be in his 50s, if I remember correctly. The breakdown was for someone older and then they didn’t find [him]. [When] I went in, I was 29, I think. I was much younger than the character. But I think my read of him gave him some sort of maturity.
Speaking of Montreal: You opened a gym there, right?
YT: A spinning studio, [SpinEnergie].
That’s a pretty interesting choice for an actor. How did it come about?
YT: I know! The logic behind me opening that studio is that I have always, always been someone who is incredibly active. I ride my bike, I play tennis, I go to the gym—to be physically active for me is really my lifestyle. But I’ve injured myself over the years because I pushed too much and I used to jog every morning when I woke up but my knees can no longer do that so I had to find an alternative that would give me as much fun and as much of a high as running and jogging. A friend made me try SoulCycle years ago and, the first class I took, I was in the back of the class and I teared up because I knew I had found something new.
YT: Yeah! My knees were fine, it didn’t hurt, so I was like, ‘Okay, this is something I can [do].’ I was going back to Montreal to shoot a Canadian show but I knew Montreal didn’t have spinning studios, which frustrated me. So, my thought process was: ‘Clearly someone is going to open one soon.’ And then it went to: ‘I should open it.’
And now you’re open. Is it going well?
YT: It was a success—it was a crazy success. I still don’t understand how it went so quick and how I got embraced, but there was a need. I guess I wasn’t the only one who was craving that.
Last question: Going back to Gilmore Girls, are you team Jess or team Dean?
YT: I feel like I’m the wrong person to take sides because I knew [Jared Padalecki, who plays Dean] more and I’m friends with [him]. In my head, he was nice so I’ve always answered: ‘Jared!’ They’d say, ‘Oh but he cheated!’ And I was like, […] I forgot about that. I guess he cheated once but I still think he was the nicest, good hearted, simple guy. Even though I think everyone thinks Jess is cool and all of that. But I don’t know, I’m too old.