Last November, Gilmore Girls diehards saw their favorite Stars Hollow residents reunite for the Netflix revival, A Year in the Life — but even those four episodes weren’t enough to satisfy fans who still have lingering questions about the lives of the beloved characters.
“It was fun. It was absolutely fun, but it was a different experience for us on the inside,” Ventimiglia, who played Rory Gilmore’s second boyfriend Jess Mariano, tells PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Editorial Director Jess Cagle for the latest episode of The Jess Cagle Interview.
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“To the fan, they see the group of actors, the stories and the characters. But to us, 13 years later, it’s a different crew,” Ventimiglia, 39, explains about what he felt when he returned to film the four-part revival. “So the producers are there, Scott Patterson and Alexis Bledel are there, but, you know, the guys that are operating the camera from that experience, they’re not there. … I love my crew. They’re my family when I’m on set. I look out for them, they look out for me. And when you don’t have that same crew, the experience is just different.”
“It was fun, I enjoyed it, I’m happy I got to step back into Jess’ leather jacket for a moment, but at the same time, it was a different experience,” says Ventimiglia, who now stars on NBC’s This Is Us.
At the end of the revival, viewers learned that Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) was pregnant, but the father of her baby was unknown, spurring countless fan theories that it could be Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry), Jess (Ventimiglia) or the one night stand Wookie.
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But what does Ventimiglia believe about Rory and Jess’ relationship — and the possibility that the baby belongs to his character?
“I think that he’s never going to not love her. Now that doesn’t mean it’s a romantic love — it just means, I think, the two of them found something deep, a connection so deep when they were so young that even though their lives went on different paths, different directions, they had that,” says Ventimiglia of Jess and Rory’s relationship. “They had that together and you never lose it.”
“Jess absolutely loved Rory still — absolutely did. But it was also like the moment was passed. Or was it not? I don’t know. … I didn’t write the show, so I don’t really know,’ ” he explains. “I just know that [creator Amy Sherman-Palladino] wanted me to look lovingly in the direction of Rory, played by the great Alexis Bledel, and I did.”
“And fans are like, ‘Oh my God, is it your baby?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know,’ ” says Ventimiglia, who adds, ” ‘It could be — I don’t think it is — but it could be.’ ”
—With NATALIE STONE