STAGE TO SCREENS: Former "Gilmore Girl" Alexis Bledel Arrives Off-Broadway in Regrets
By Melissa Rose Bernardo
If you notice more than the usual number of teen-to-twentysomething girls milling around Manhattan Theatre Club's Off-Broadway home at City Center Stage I these days, they're probably there to see Alexis Bledel.
Apologies to Tony winner Adriane Lenox, who heads the cast of Regrets, and to young British playwright Matt Charman. But Bledel has built up quite the female fan base thanks to her seven-season run as the fast-talking, quick-witted Rory on TV's "Gilmore Girls" (2000-07), not to mention her turn as aspiring art student Lena in the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" movies — the films that prove the perfect pair of jeans are out there somewhere.
Now, after testing New York's theatrical waters with a 2011 stint in Off-Broadway's Love, Loss, and What I Wore, Bledel is part of MTC's world-premiere production of Charman's Regrets, a 1950s-set ensemble drama set on a Nevada divorce ranch; along with the aforementioned Lenox, the ensemble cast also includes Curt Bouril, Ansel Elgort, Brian Hutchison, Lucas Caleb Rooney and Richard Topol. ("Gilmore Girls" trivia! Tsopol appeared in not one but two "GG" episodes: In season 1's "The Deer Hunter," he was the waiter who served Sookie's magic risotto to a famous food critic; and in season 2's "Teach Me Tonight," he was the ER doc who tended to Rory's fractured wrist.)
Bledel's Regrets character, Chrissie, isn't there to end her marriage. She's just a local girl providing comfort — or "haircuts" — to the men during their six-week residencies. "I think Chrissie always sort of made sense to me," says Bledel. "I had a take on her that felt right." We chatted with the soft-spoken Houston-born actress — "I don't like to publicize myself," she admits — just a few days before her March 27 opening night.
I don't think we're spoiling anything if we say Chrissie's not really a hairdresser. She's pretty much the hooker-with-the-heart-of-gold.
I knew about quickie Reno divorces, but I had no idea all these ranches existed, or what a big business it was back then.
Arthur Miller did that before he married Marilyn Monroe.
Can you imagine Arthur Miller living in one of those tiny cabins?
Supposedly it's where he got the material for "The Misfits."
How is working with Adriane Lenox? You two are the only women hanging around the ranch.
Then Richard Topol — you had one scene with him on "Gilmore Girls."
What was it like having the playwright in rehearsals? Was he doing a lot of rewriting along the way?
How did you find Regrets? Had you been looking to do another play after Love, Loss, and What I Wore?
Love, Loss must have been a great show to be a part of. The audiences were so into it.
You were with Nikki Blonsky, Anita Gillette, Judy Gold and Pauletta Washington. Did Judy Gold just crack you guys up the whole time?
So what's next for you?
Off screen, you've managed to keep a pretty low profile, celebrity-wise. I don't think I've ever seen you in the tabloids or the gossip pages. The most controversial headline I could find about you was "Alexis Bledel's Mortal Enemy Is the Lat Machine at the Gym."
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