Lauren Graham's Life After Gilmore Girls And Her Painful Split

Actor Lauren Graham has been a household name ever since she easily wormed her way into the hearts of TV fans by portraying Lorelai Gilmore, single mom to Rory (Alexis Bledel) on "Gilmore Girls." With support from the likes of Melissa McCarthy, Yanic Truesdale, Scott Patterson, Kelly Bishop, and Edward Herrmann, the mother-daughter duo ruled the small screen from 2000 to 2007, when it was time for the show to end. However, Graham has since admitted that she never expected the show to last as long as it did, especially in its early days. "We were on opposite 'Friends,' no one even really knew we were on ... it was a miracle every year we got picked up," she recalled on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" But, the small cult following "Gilmore Girls" garnered during its seven season run has kept growing thanks to its permanent home on Netflix. "New generations keep watching it and I'm thrilled," Graham added.

Like many other Stars Hollow alums, Graham successfully continued her career beyond "Gilmore Girls," appearing in a string of popular TV shows from "Parenthood" to "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers." However, through everything she does, Lorelai remains a part of her. And just like her coffee-obsessed character, Graham has some weird quirks and big dreams, and she's also experienced her fair share of heartbreak. So, let's dive into Graham's life after "Gilmore Girls," fun facts about her life and career you didn't know, and how she moved on after her painful split from her longtime beau, Peter Krause.

Lauren Graham made her dream of a theater career a reality

No one knows how life is going to turn out, and that's certainly the case for Lauren Graham, who could never have predicted starring in a cult hit like "Gilmore Girls." In fact, when she started acting, her focus wasn't even on TV. She always thought she'd be a theater star. The aspiring thespian even appeared in a few professional off-Broadway productions during her early career. But then TV came calling. A few guest appearances on shows like "Law and Order" and "Seinfeld," and main roles in "Townies" and "Conrad Bloom" firmly set her on the path to "Gilmore Girls."

When the series ended, Graham still had theater on her mind, though, and she eventually made her childhood dream a reality. She made her Broadway debut in the 2009 Broadway revival tour of "Guys and Dolls" playing the iconic Miss Adelaide. However, Graham told that when it came to it, it was very nerve-wracking moving from the small screen to the stage. It ended up being an incredible experience for her, though. "To do it 150 times, was like — a huge big gift as an actor. And I think I'm a better actor, having done it," she admitted.

Graham was able to get over her fear when she realized she could tap into the same skills she'd use for any other film or TV role. "You try to get in touch with the reality of the time and the place and the people," she explained to Playbill.

She took on another iconic mom role

Lauren Graham made an effort to diversify her acting repertoire by taking parts in the musical "Guys and Dolls" and films like "Birds of America" and "Flash of Genius." However, her roles in "Gilmore Girls" and "Evan Almighty" firmly solidified her status as an actor who plays moms. So, in 2009, when "Guys and Dolls" was done, she took on another iconic TV mom role. And, playing Sarah Braverman in "Parenthood" turned out to be one of the most popular roles of her career.

This time around she played the single mom or not one but two kids; Amber and Drew Holt, played by Mae Whitman and Miles Heizer, respectively. And, of course, her on-screen brother Adam Braverman was played by her future real-life partner, Peter Krause, with the TV show becoming the birthplace of their relationship. Of course, that almost wasn't the case as Graham came in at the last minute to replace "ER" star Maura Tierney, who dropped the role to undertake cancer treatments.

"Parenthood" has often been compared to "Gilmore Girls," but Graham has said they felt like very different projects. Not only did they have completely distinct tones, "Parenthood" also gave Graham the freedom to improvise — something she obviously never did on "Gilmore Girls" with Amy Sherman-Palladino writing the script. "The world of Parenthood is more ... it's about a family, and they want it [to] sound messy and overlap, and they shoot it in a way that we can do that," she explained to HuffPost.

Lauren Graham is a much better cook that Lorelai Gilmore

Lorelai Gilmore famously couldn't cook. She could make coffee and toast a pop tart, but she and her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) relied on Luke (Scott Patterson), Sookie (Melissa McCarthy), and Al's Pancake World to provide them with food of substance. In fact, the only reason Lorelai viewers know she even knows how to turn her oven on was because she used it to warm up her socks in the Season 4 episode "The Incredible Sinking Lorelais."

Happily, Lauren Graham is nothing like her on-screen counterpart when it comes to cooking. LG fans might be shocked to learn that the actor talked about her cooking prowess on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" back in November 2022. She makes killer nachos for the Super Bowl (if she does say so herself) and hinted that she has a secret cheese sauce to make even better. It gets better than just nachos, too. Graham frequently hosts her family for Thanksgiving, preparing a traditional meal with all the trimmings. Speaking to New Beauty about the same topic, Graham added: "I just find it is a really lovely time to be near friends and family. I love to cook, and I love to make mashed potatoes."

She became a best-selling author

In 2013, Lauren Graham became a best-selling novelist, after publishing her debut book "Someday, Someday, Maybe," which is a fictionalized version of her life and journey to becoming an actor. In an interview with her "Parenthood" co-star Mae Whitman, Graham explained that the idea came to her while filming their series when she found herself reflecting on the grind and hustle of being an actor and realizing she'd come so far in her career.

Graham never grew up expecting to put pen to paper in a professional way like this, but she credits her dad for encouraging her to read from such a young age, which is how she got her love of storytelling. Since penning her debut novel, Graham has continued to write about her life in a nonfiction format. She then published her first memoir, "Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls," in 2016, concurrently with the "Gilmore Girls" revival series.

"I had been approached about a memoir before but just didn't feel I had a reason yet," Graham explained in an interview with Goodreads. But, when the opportunity presented itself this time, Graham was excited to take the opportunity to compare her experience of the "Gilmore Girls" revival to her time on the original series and admitted the contents of the book came to her easily after that. And, by 2018, Graham had realized that she had quite a bit more to say, publishing her second memoir, "In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It."

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was bittersweet for her

No role fit Lauren Graham more perfectly than the role of Lorelai Gilmore. Although she's taken on plenty of impressive roles since the series ended in 2007, she never let go of the fast-talking Gilmore Girl, so she was thrilled when the stars aligned and she got to return to Stars Hollow in 2016. Alongside reuniting with her cast mates, like Kelly Bishop who she remains close with, Graham was thrilled to be working with series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino again, noting to People that her scripts are some of the best she's ever read. But returning to her much loved role was bittersweet. "I relished it, and I'm ruined for life because there's no more perfect fit I feel like for me than that writing and that show. I'm so glad I got to do it again. I just can't even explain it. It was everything I wanted it to be and more," Graham admitted.

Graham has been vocal about her struggles to separate herself from Lorelai and move on from the character. But latterly, she's learned to let that be an asset to her in other roles and it now shaped how she approaches comedic characters. She told that she has to pour a bit of herself into her characters — like Alex Morrow on "Mighty Ducks: Game Changers" — because it helps her create a baseline for her goofy style of comedy.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and scheduling conflicts

After "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life," Lauren Graham starred alongside James Van Der Beek, another noughties TV star, in the animated children's show "Vampirina." As well as voicing the titular character's mom Oxana Hauntley, Graham scored another impressive TV role, playing Zoey's (Jane Levy) boss Joan on the musical comedy-drama "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist." Typical of most of Graham's roles, Joan is a character who's all about female empowerment. However, the role is pretty distinct from anything she's done before — and it gave her the opportunity to sing hits like "Satisfaction," "Wrecking Ball," and "TikTok."

However, the role presented a new challenge for Graham, who was initially hesitant to play the boss. But then she realized it was a good idea to get outside of her comfort zone. "I want to be limitless in how I take on challenges. I can do this ... I just got to channel something that I hadn't gotten to use," she told The Hollywood Reporter. Plus, she was excited to take on a role where she wasn't playing a single mom for once.

Unfortunately, she had to leave the show after falling victim to Covid-related delays and a scheduling conflict with "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers" meant she was double booked. However, although executive producer Austin Winsberg confirmed to TVInsider that while she's largely absent from Season 2, they haven't ruled out a return for Graham's character at a later date.

Lauren Graham is 'fascinated' by TV shows about cults

For actors like Lauren Graham, work pretty much shut down for the first half of 2020 when the pandemic hit. So, this meant plenty of time at home, giving Graham the opportunity to watch TV shows rather than appear in them for a change. However, there was one very niche branch of true crime that piqued her interest. On "The Kelly Clarkson Show" the actor revealed that she'd become obsessed with anything depicting cults. "I'm really fascinated by any show or any information about cults, because as the people who try to leave the cults always say, 'You don't start out trying to join a cult.' You start out being like, 'Oh, here's a fun group of people, I want to be part of that,' ... and then you wake up one day and you're in a cult," she said enthusiastically.

Graham's enthusiasm may have overshadowed the fact that she was sharing her passion for TV shows about cults, not actual cults. So after the show aired, she sent out a tweet to let her fans know they don't need to be too worried about her.

Covid was tough on her relationship with Peter Krause

Lauren Graham fell in love on the set of "Parenthood" with her co-star Peter Krause, years after they first met. It actually was "Gilmore Girls" alum Kelly Bishop who suggested that the pair date. They were nine years into their romance when the pandemic hit, and unfortunately, it became a very tough time for the couple.

In September 2020, Graham had to leave her and Krause's L.A. home to film "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers" in Vancouver, which led to the couple spending an unprecedented five months apart. When Graham returned, she found it difficult to navigate the new dynamic between Krause and his son Roman, who'd been living in their Covid bubble. She told People that the father and son had really bonded. "It was more like they were the married couple ... they were like, 'We don't do it that way anymore' in the kitchen or whatever. They were like, 'No, no, no, this is how things happen,'" Graham recalled.

The actress also explained Krause's latest addition to their home: the "COVID Corner." "Peter started a thing, I guess to make COVID life fun, where he'd go to the store and stock up on ridiculous amounts of whatever and leave it in the corner of the living room," she explained. He'd even show it off to guests. Graham was less impressed, but tried to be understanding, acknowledging that everyone dealt with the pandemic in different ways — but it certainly started to highlight the differences between them.

Lauren Graham used writing as a distraction

Lauren Graham and Peter Krause's Covid-separation might have been the catalyst that led to their other relationship issues bubbling to the surface. In June 2021, the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star announced that she and Krause had split up, telling People that their fundamental differences ultimately got in the way. She elaborated, telling the outlet that at the time they got together, they didn't ask each other all the questions they should have asked about their life goals and values. While she's been vague about the exact reason for their breakup, she alluded that their different values ultimately became too big to overcome.

After so many years together, Graham understandably struggled with the split and turned to writing to help her move on. In 2022 she published "Have I Told You This Already? Stories I Don't Want to Forget to Remember." She was determined not to let her breakup completely tear her down, though. "I was like, 'Okay, well, look at all the good stuff I have, and look at all the good times,' and 'I'm going to write this book,'" she said in People. "Thank goodness I have these outlets and these stories to tell." Graham still refers to her time with Krause fondly and noted in the book that she hopes his son Roman will always be a part of her life.

She has the sweetest relationship with Mae Whitman

Although her relationship with Peter Krause ultimately didn't go the distance, Lauren Graham maintains a strong bond with another "Parenthood" alum, Mae Whitman. The "Good Girls" star takes every opportunity to gush about their relationship, telling Glamour in 2014 that Graham takes on many roles in her life, from best friend and sister to role model and mother figure. Their continued bond led to Whitman's memorable cameo in the "Spring" episode of "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life." In the episode she plays a young woman waiting in line for a "crodocake" who Rory interviews.

It's Graham's relationship with Whitman which led to her landing the role on "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist," too. Whitman is incredibly close with Jane Levy who plays the titular character and, after making an introduction for Graham, the rest was history. "Mae now is actually bitter and upset because her two best friends are gone and together," Graham joked to InStyle. Of course, like any good friends, they would regularly send her pictures from set — although this may have just made her feel even more jealous, Graham teased.

Lauren Graham has some totally bizarre hobbies

Lauren Graham has her own version of Lorelai Gilmore's "kitch lit" (reading instruction manuals for kitchen appliances). The actor admitted to The New York Times that in real life she actually adores reading cookbooks not for any practical reason like making the recipes, but just as general reading material.

Is this a somewhat unorthodox interest? Yes, but it's certainly not the most bizarre hobby the "Gilmore Girls" cast member has admitted to having. Speaking on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" she eased into telling the singer about the extra-curricular activities, explaining that she accidentally got into kayaking during her 2022 summer vacation because of how competitive she is. She entered a lottery for a space to store a kayak and when she won, she committed to it, buying herself one and getting out on the water.

However, Clarkson was quick to ask Graham about some of her other hobbies and the actor admitted she's also spent time learning the art of tortilla making and studying hostage negotiation. Graham explained to Clarkson that her Masterclass membership is the reason she's tried so many unusual hobbies. "I try to take something I wouldn't normally use in daily life." Let's hope those hostage negotiation skills are something she never has to break out for real.

She made her directorial debut on The Mighty Ducks spinoff

In March 2021, Lauren Graham debuted as Alex Morrow in the Disney+ sports comedy-drama "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers," which is a spinoff of the 1992 film starring Emilio Estevez. Graham's character is a single mom (surprise!) who coaches her son Evan (Brady Noon) in a new hockey team, the Don't Bothers.

Alongside playing another impressive mom role, Graham made her directorial debut in the now-canceled series. Her career has led to this through the natural progression of acting, writing, and now directing. "It's another aspect of storytelling, but then you just get to be telling the bigger piece," she explained to Salon.

Graham also told Collider that she thinks she's at a place in her career now where she accepts a role based not just on the acting side of things, but on what else might come out of it. Like taking on bigger creative roles as a producer or director. "You just naturally grow into a desire and an ability to think about the whole and not just the part that you're playing. I want to be able to have a say or have a voice in the entire package," she admitted. So, it's safe to say this isn't the last time we're going to see Graham behind the camera as well as in front of it.

No, there isn't a Lauren Graham-Scott Patterson feud

Rumors of feuds between lead actors on sets of films and TV shows are pretty commonplace — just look at all the drama "Don't Worry Darling" stirred up. Unfortunately, "Gilmore Girls" and Lauren Graham were not immune to such gossip. The actor was rumored to be feuding with her on-screen love interest Scott Patterson after an off-handed comment from Graham about the pair not being best friends was taken the wrong way, she told TV Guide. However, not being BFFs is a far cry from all-out enemies. "I really loved my scenes with him and the chemistry we had. Our banter was among the most fun stuff to do."

And, despite Graham clarifying that she and Patterson had a great co-working relationship, the feud still brewed. Some fans are convinced this feud is the reason Graham hasn't made an appearance on his podcast yet, when other former Stars Hollow residents like Yanic Truesdale have. According to Patterson, this is all just a matter of scheduling and he very much wants her on the podcast. "We're waiting for that big moment ... we want to make that a truly special moment and like all of them, they're very, very busy and it's kind of hard to schedule, but we'll have her on. She'll be on," he said on "The Morning Show." He also put the feud rumors to bed on his end, singing her praises as an actor and person, adding they've always gotten along really well together.

Lauren Graham has a Gilmore Girls clause

If you need more proof that Lauren Graham hasn't left "Gilmore Girls" in her rearview, get a load of this legal stipulation she puts in all her contracts. Speaking to Jessica Shaw on SiriusXM, Graham revealed that she really does have "Gilmore Girls Clause," which she puts into all her acting contracts in case Amy Sherman-Palladino ever comes knocking. "It's not for any concrete reason, except that I have a loyalty and an openness to working with her, first of all, and because we could never have predicted that in the past," she explained.

As Graham knows all too well with her conflict between "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" and "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers," TV shows are on tight timelines and have restrictive filming schedules. Without a clause like this, it's not typical for networks or streaming services to make allowances for their actors to go off and film another project. "So we're trying to just carve out some pockets just in case," she noted.

Although nothing is set in stone, "Gilmore Girls" fans should have hope because "A Year in the Life 2" could be on the way. Graham revealed that she met with Sherman-Palladino at the end of 2022 to talk about the future of the series. "It's always a fun prospect to think about and talk about. It used to be more of just talk, but having done it now, we know it's possible," she admitted to New Beauty. So, never say never.