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'Friday Night Lights' Cast Talks Emmy Reunion, Movie Update

Emmy winner Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford, Matt Lauria and more tell THR about the cast's Emmy party at Dillon's in Hollywood.

"Friday Night Lights"
Bill Records/NBC

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, two Emmys.

The cast of Friday Night Lights had one eye on the past and another on the future over Emmy weekend as they gathered for a cast reunion at the aptly named Dillon’s in Hollywood.

Best actress in a drama nominee Connie Britton told The Hollywood Reporter on the Emmy red carpet Sunday that the idea to put together a cast reunion came from the top.

“[Producers] Sarah Aubrey, Pete Berg and I were talking about doing a party and getting everybody together,” Britton said. “Then Kyle Chandler called me one day from Austin and says, ‘We gotta get all these people who aren’t going to be able to come to the Emmys together and stay out drinking all night and celebrate it.’

“Then it just so happened that Sarah found Dillon’s pub, which couldn’t have been more perfect,” she said.

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As for who was there: Co-star Matt Lauria says it was a full house with cast and crew: Kyle Chandler, Britton, Berg, Aubrey, Lamarcus Tinker (Tinker), Michael B. Jordan (Vince), Brad Leland (Buddy), Jeff Rosick (Buddy Jr.), Aimee Teegarden (Julie), Stacey Oristano (Mindy), Derek Phillips (Billy), Jurnee Smollett (Jess) and more, with some cast members pitching ideas for the talked-about Friday Night Lights movie.

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“Luke goes to war and comes back not the same brave soul he was when he left Dillon and he’s ready to settle down with Becky,” Lauria pitched. “He goes to Coach because he’s gone AWOL and his dad will never accept him. Or we flash forward five years and we’ve already got a little baby.”

Zach Gilford, meanwhile, missed Saturday’s party and has his own idea for what’s next for Matt and Julie. “Matt and Julie are married at this point, so I’m the son-in-law and I have to pop up somehow,” he told THR, adding that he hopes to be included if the project does come to pass. “Maybe they have a kid, who knows. I’m going to start pitching story lines!”

For other cast members, Saturday’s reunion was a way to see cast members in a different light.

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“This is the first time I’ve gotten to see everybody all dressed up and not in jeans and cowboy boots,” Oristano told THR, noting that the drama series nomination “put everything into perspective.” “It was a family sort of reunion to celebrate this accomplishment and the last five seasons.”

For Emmy winner Chandler, the Dillon’s event definitely was a family reunion.

“When you do one of these shows you really do become a pseudo family,” he told THR. “It’s really like seeing your brothers and sisters again.”

“The show started great and ended great,” Chandler said. “People ask me if I’m upset it went off the air and I say no, we had five really strong seasons. If you’re able to know the people I was able to work with from the top to the bottom, it’s one of the greatest experiences ever. For that show to get these accolades, it’s a representation of how talented and how great these people were.”

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As for the fate of the film, Chandler noted he hasn’t “thought much” about it and was coy when asked if he’d be up for it. “I haven’t been offered the job,” he joked.

Britton, meanwhile, was gracious in defeat and said she “never expected to win,” but thought that once Jason Katims took home the Emmy drama writing statuette, she thought she might have a chance.

“The fact that our little Friday Night Lights got two wins where we never get any acknowledgement? It was pretty great,” she said afterward.

Katims, meanwhile, told THR earlier this month that he was “very serious” about making the film happen and that the project is very much at the beginning stages.

“Right now we’re trying to figure out the story that we want to tell,” he said. “That’s something we hope will happen. What’s important for [the TV series’ cast] to know is what story we’re telling. They have such pride in the show and care so much about those characters. Before any serious conversations go on, we want to make sure that we have a great story.”

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit