Her mouth runs a mile a minute on TV’s Gilmore Girls, but Lauren Graham – best known as the witty mom Lorelai on the hit WB show – lets her feet do the sprinting in the action-comedy The Pacifier. Graham, 37, who plays a school principal who catches the eye of Vin Diesel’s Navy SEAL, recently chatted about getting tough onscreen and keeping up the pace in Hollywood.
Was it fun getting into action with Vin Diesel?
Yes! I don’t understand why I’m not an action hero. I really think this will definitely get me some phone calls.
So you think it’ll be easy to get yourself in the running for the next XXX?
Not really. You can’t tell your agent to say, “You know that girl who talks a lot? Yeah, she really wants to like hit somebody back.” That’s why (Alias star) Jennifer Garner ends up in those kinds of movies. People usually picture you for something pretty close to what you’ve done.
So you get offered a lot of roles for fast-talking single moms?
Since (playing a randy bartender in ) Bad Santa, actually, I get a lot of people in various states of undress who have a checkered past or something, which I’m actually really happy about because it’s such a different energy. You don’t see a lot of characters like Lorelai, actually. People don’t really write like that in film.
You play a school principal in The Pacifier. Did you have any bad high school flashbacks?
No! Strangely, I never really got in trouble. I was on student council my senior year, and I had this bizarre thing where, because I was the county representative, I could sign myself out (of school) at any time.
Where’d you go to high school?
I went to college in New York, but I grew up in the suburbs of D.C.
How do you find living out West?
I’m such an East Coast person. I have a place still in New York because I hope I go back. (In L.A.) it is weird to live in a place where everyone’s in show business. It’s not healthy, you can’t get away from it. I’ve literally gone downtown just because I wanted to lay my eyes on some lawyers and bankers.
But you’ve made a pretty good life for yourself in Hollywood, with a hit TV show.
But it’s tiring. You know, my regular day is 14 hours, and if we get out in 13, it’s amazing, and then you go home and go to bed. It really is a strange thing, you know, I have a wonderful show that has brought me all these things, but other people have moved on (in their lives), while my life is kind of sit-still in some weird way.
Like not having kids yet?
I have a very happy dog, and you know, my dog has a nanny, so, like, how could I have kids? If I had kids right now, I’d feel terrible.
Are you close with your TV daughter, Alexis Bledel?
I’m so lucky to have Alexis. She’s a perfect partner. We really help each other get through those long days. Our birthdays are six months apart exactly, so astrologically speaking, we’re opposites. And I think we complement each other, in a way that I’m really thankful for.