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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from all four installments of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.]
Just when it looked like it was time to count Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry) out once and for all, the final four words of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life seemed to pull him back in. Or did they? At the end of the Netflix revival, Rory (Alexis Bledel) told Lorelai (Lauren Graham) that she was pregnant. Although viewers knew she had slept with her college beau in the same episode, it was left unconfirmed whether Rory was definitely carrying his child.
“The intention is to keep that open,” Czuchry tells The Hollywood Reporter when asked about creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and executive producer Dan Palladino’s ending for the four-part event. “Their intention was to leave that open and put that out in the universe for fans to talk about and debate.”
It was a huge leap from where Rory and Logan left things at the end of the original series’ seven-season run. In the penultimate episode, Logan proposed to Rory at her graduation party. Stunned, she took a day to think things over before turning him down. Although she made it clear she wanted to stay together, it was all or nothing for Logan, who said a quick “Goodbye, Rory” and walked away, not even appearing in the final episode of the original series.
However, when beloved family drama returned nine years later, viewers were surprised – to say the least – to see Rory and Logan back in each other’s lives despite both being in committed relationships with other people, most notably Logan being engaged to a French heiress named Odette. However, the two lovebirds say goodbye, again, in the “Fall” chapter after one last over-the-top reunion of the Life and Death Brigade. And It’s left unclear whether Logan will even come back into the picture if the child is his, given Rory’s eye-opening discussion with her once-absentee father (David Sutcliffe) about Lorelai raising Rory on her own.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Czuchry about Rory and Logan’s “closure,” that season five callback, and why he was “protective” of those final four words.
First off, what kind of reaction have you been getting to the revival episodes?
A really passionate fan base, as you know. It’s pretty amazing to see after all these years that you have new fans and old fans coming together over Thanksgiving to watch these new four chapters.
Had you seen all four before they were released, or how did you watch them?
Well, at the premiere of Gilmore Girls last Friday, they showed “Winter,” so I saw that in front of an audience there, and then the other three chapters I watched on Friday morning just like everyone else, on Netflix.
So what was your reaction when you saw that ending?
I was aware of those four words before, so of course I knew it was coming, so I certainly probably have a different perspective on that. For me, what I loved about the Logan and Rory journey was that Life and Death Brigade that starts there in “Fall.” Just that whole montage and then going into where Logan is trying to help Rory achieve her dreams, to write this book, offering a key to his house and then of course, their goodbye, that whole sequence there is something I really loved reading in the script and loved watching in terms of the overall chapters.
That was such an elaborate sequence of events with the costumes and the lighting and the dancing and the music. What was it like to film?
On the page, it felt like this is the best of Logan, this is the best of Rory, this is the best of them together. For me, one of my favorite episodes in the original series was “You Jump, I Jump, Jack,” which was very early on for Logan where Rory goes to her first Life and Death Brigade event. I loved that episode, and to me, this was just that episode elevated to the nth degree. Like you said, with the costumes and with the music and just everything that went into it and also the emotion behind it between Rory and Logan, and such a bittersweet way of knowing that this is them at their best and they’re getting to say goodbye. So, for me, I loved that whole piece on the page, I loved filming all of those scenes, and then watching it come to fruition in the final product was very rewarding.
When they say goodbye, do you think that really is goodbye for them?
It certainly felt that way. I think the way I approached it was they had had their journey together, and from my perspective, Logan, no matter what happens moving forward, will always love Rory, and in this particular moment, they know it’s time to move on. Just like their relationship throughout these four chapters was mutual, this ending for them and saying goodbye was mutual. They could feel that it was the time to say goodbye.
Why do you think that is? Even Rory says at one point during the revival, every time I get upset, I call Logan. Why is it they believe they can’t be together, as opposed to trying to formally get back together?
Logan has always loved Rory and I look at the circumstances of Odette as one foot in his family obligations and Rory is really his love and his heart and his soul. So I feel like, in terms of that process, what’s brought them together, at least from Logan’s perspective, is that love. I’d like to think from Rory’s perspective, it’s that Logan has always been there for her in terms of helping her get to that next place in her life. So I think that in this particular case, Logan had done what he needed to do to push her forward, and he was kind of passing the baton to Rory and saying, “OK, you know where you’re going to write the book? I will provide you with any opportunity you need. This is what you need to go do.” For Logan, in the scene where he’s giving her the key, I feel like he’s saying to her, “It’s time. You need to do this.” So he’s pushing her out into the world, so Rory takes that baton and knows that, “Yeah, it’s time and I have to do this on my own. I have to write this book.” So it was the right time for both of them.
In the original series, it was an abrupt ending for their relationship. He proposes to her, she says no, and he walks away. As an actor, how important was it for you to get proper closure for this character and these characters’ relationship?
For me, that was something that was representative of the original series but was a step forward in the growth of those characters, and now it was something that they were saying goodbye mutually. Whereas before, in the original series, Logan proposed, she said no, he walked away. This was a mutual goodbye. They both knew it needed to be done, and they were on the exact same page as to what needed to be done moving forward. So that mutual goodbye is what gave me the closure for Rory and Logan.
You mentioned that you knew about the final four words already, so what were those discussions like?
Those four words were never written in any of the scripts and I found out later in the process of filming. I think it may have been my last day of filming, so I had filmed a bunch of scenes before I found out about those four words, and they just pulled me over and let me know what those four words were, and I was immediately very protective of those four words. (Laughs) And I’m thankful they never got out before fans had a chance to enjoy them.
So that was Amy and Dan that told you?
Right, just the two of them and myself in a private conversation on set.
It’s not made clear in that final moment that Logan is the father, but the assumption is that it’s his child. Is that the assumption you take away as well? What’s your take on that?
I think the intention is to keep that open. I think that’s Amy and Dan’s intention, otherwise they would have done something differently or made it more specific. Their intention was to leave that open and put that out in the universe for fans to talk about and debate, and so I’ll kind of leave that to Amy and Dan to say if they want to put any more clarity to that. That’s not for me to say.
Because of the way that the show ends, on one hand, there’s a sense of closure, but on the other hand, it leaves things open for more new installments. How open would you be to reprising Logan again?
At this particular point, I haven’t heard about anything more or not. And at this particular point, it’s really just finished, so I’m not sure that anybody’s in that mind frame. Certainly, coming into this, this was the last four chapters. I think there was an amazing energy on set and an amazing camaraderie between everyone – the crew, because it was old crew members and the cast and Amy and Dan – of having a chance to do this again. Certainly these four chapters felt like the right time. It felt like a great story to tell. If there’s a reason why fans want more, I think it’s just not because of those four words, it’s because everything felt organic and right throughout all four chapters. If those four chapters and those four stories didn’t feel fresh and nostalgic at the same time, if people don’t love seeing those characters again and that world again, then there’s no discussion about it.
This was really a perfect storm and it felt that way. So we’d have to see what the timing was and the story was to see if it felt like it was the perfect storm again.
You’re coming off of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life as well as your seven-season run on The Good Wife. What are your thoughts on what you’d like to do next? Or maybe what you wouldn’t want to do? How have these two shows and experiences impacted what you’re looking for in a role going forward?
I’ve gotten some interesting offers that just haven’t quite lined up. I’ve been grateful for those offers, but I’m just being specific about what I want to do. In terms of that, great material with great people in great places.… For me, that’s kind of what I’m looking for. It always comes down to when I read that script, if I’m going to be heartbroken if I don’t get that role, I know I’m headed in the right direction. So it’s really that gut feeling of reading the character and the material and then looking at who are the people associated with this, and if it is a TV show, what are the themes moving forward, how many episodes is it, where is it shot – a lot of things come into play. First and foremost, it’s about reading that story and looking at that character and if it’s something I feel in my gut that I have to do this.
It just takes that one that you’re going after, whether that’s a TV series or whether it’s a guest-star arc or a movie. It’s not something in terms of the medium where I’m specific or how large the role is or anything like that; those things at this particular point aren’t important to me. It’s more about, again, that material, that character.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is available now on Netflix.
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