Richard Gilmore was a proud, brilliant, and complicated man.
It's almost unimaginable to think of Gilmore Girls without the family's dynamic patriarch. From the very beginning, Edward Herrmann portrayed his character beautifully and wasn't afraid to show the unlikable side of Richard. Sadly, Herrmann passed away on December 31st, 2014 and both his and Richard's absence have been greatly felt on the set of the Gilmore Girls revival.
As expected, the forthcoming Netflix revival will most certainly play homage to Richard's legacy. In fact, a massive portrait of him now hangs in his and Emily's house. Last March, the lights suddenly went out on the set of the revival while the cast was filming a scene in Emily and Richard's home. Both Kelly Bishop, who portrays Emily Gilmore, and Lauren Graham, who portrays Lorelai Gilmore, felt the unexpected event meant something.
“I said, ‘Ed was that you?’” recalled Bishop in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “Lauren said, ‘It was Ed.’ I just feel like he’s here. Besides the script and the way we all feel about him, the giant portrait is all calling him to come to the set.”
Clearly, the loss of her on-screen husband and close friend has been very difficult to grapple with for Bishop. "It’s sad without my darling Edward Herrmann," she said in the same interview with Entertainment Weekly. "We used to do our crossword puzzle together in the makeup trailer. If we had a short day and were feeling festive or belligerent, we’d go across the street and have a martini together."
For Graham, coming back without her TV father was incredibly challenging. "This is an emotional experience. It has the loss of a person I love around it. I went to dinner with Ed frequently. It was a real loss of a friend," revealed Graham tearfully. "I didn’t used to be [emotional]! I blame Parenthood!" she stated.
Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino felt it was essential to honor Herrmann through the revival's storytelling. "It’s safe to say that the death of Richard Gilmore, the death of Ed Herrmann, looms large over everything," she disclosed. "Dealing with the death of Richard is going to impact all of them, because when somebody close to you dies your whole life comes into a weird focus for a minute. Like, what direction am I walking?"
Scott Patterson, who portrays Luke Danes, was particularly touched by how Sherman-Palladino dealt with Richard's death in the Gilmore Girls revival. "[Herrmann’s death] left a big void, but Amy honored it beautifully. He’s throughout...these stories. It’s a wonderful homage to him as a person and to his character as well. It’s nice to have him around," he said.