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Showbiz Today Star of Tomorrow
'Gilmore Girl' Lauren Graham
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Lauren Graham plays Lorelei Gilmore in "Gilmore Girls," the new hit WB show. She plays the mother of a teen-age daughter, though she is only 32 herself.
The show has thrust Graham into the spotlight, thanks to stellar reviews and impressive ratings, but Graham is no newcomer to the small screen. She starred in many short-lived shows and was a regular guest on many of the top 10 prime-time comedies.
This is her first role where sizeable numbers of viewers are actually tuning in, and that's a good thing. Graham's show soon will be up against not only "Friends," that bulldozer sitcom that's pushed all competitors aside, but also will be pitted against the "Survivor" sequel.
Will she survive? Graham recently shared some insights with CNN.
CNN: How is "Gilmore Girls" different from other shows on the WB?
Lauren Graham: It is a show that really has a multigenerational element to it. ...It's about a woman who comes from a very wealthy family who had a socially unacceptable thing happen to her, which was to get pregnant as a teen-ager, and then decide to have the child. ...The language is very dense and very witty and very fast-paced; it just has a different feel than some other (WB) shows.
CNN: Did you know, when you saw the "Gilmore" script, that it was a show that people would react positively to?
Graham: I had no idea. I think I just reacted to it on a gut level. I really liked the character, I really identified with it. And I had done shows or different jobs for all kinds of reasons, and I realized that it had been a long time since I had really identified with something.
CNN: What is your favorite part of Lorelei?
Graham: I think it is (her) irreverence and wit. I really like that she is a woman who has really made her own rules about what her family is, and what is important to her, and (has) communicated that through her child.
CNN: You play single mom who has a little flirtation with one of her teachers, played by Scott Cohen. What's going to happen to Lorelei?
Graham: I think it's going to be trouble, because otherwise the show would be over next week. ...I was a child raised by a single parent -- by my father -- whom my teachers always found very attractive. To my knowledge, my father had several parent-teacher conferences that really were not necessary. ...I do identify with this in some way.
CNN: You were an equestrienne and majored in English at Barnard College. How'd you get the acting bug?
Graham: I've always had it. I come from an academic family so I think it took a while to really feel like this was something I was going to be able to do. I thought I was going to something with horses up until the middle of high school. I started with commercials. ...I've been able to really focus on what is important to me, and what is interesting to me about the work that I do, even if it is TV, even if it is "Saved By the Bell" (or) whatever.
CNN: You've had a lot of great roles - appearances on "Seinfeld," "Newsradio," "Caroline in The City" and more.
Graham: Well, not all things were necessarily must-see, but one of my first roles was a recurring on "Caroline In The City" on its first year. ...There aren't that many people working, so yes, I did fall into a nice community of people who would keep hiring me. But hopefully this will be my last hire for a while.
CNN: But it's not your last hire. You have "Sweet November," a movie coming out in February, opposite Keanu Reeves.
Graham: Opposite and right up against (Reeves), right up against his naked butt. Yes, I did my first sex scene, and it was with Keanu. It was a small part in the movie, but I play his girlfriend who dumps him -- What was I thinking? - and he ends up with Charlize Theron.
The WB, which airs "Gilmore Girls," is owned by Time Warner, which is the parent company of CNN.
The WB: Gilmore Girls
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