Sassy, sharp and an essential part of the world of Stars Hollow, Michel Gerard, played by Montreal-native Yanic Truesdale, is far more than just the concierge at the Dragonfly Inn. He's a friend to Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Sookie (Melissa McCarthy), a surprising equal to Emily (Kelly Bishop) and a Gilmore Girls fan favourite thanks to his witty one-liners and often-inflexible attitudes.
We'll never forget how Michel religiously counted the blueberries in his pancakes – 12 are acceptable, 13 are not – but also the times he went completely against his own rules, babysitting Sookie's son Davey despite his distaste of children and indulging in "crazy days" that include a bite at Luke's! As fans prepare to dive back into the heartwarming small-town life with Netflix's Gilmore Girls revival, we caught up with the Canadian actor to chat about which co-stars he loves sharing Mexican food with, his thoughts on Melissa McCarthy's fame and how he really feels about Celine Dion.
What was it like returning to set for the Gilmore Girls revival? I’m friends with Lauren [Graham] and Melissa [McCarthy] and Kelly [Bishop] so I see them all the time, but it was so much fun at the first table read. It really felt like a high school reunion type of vibe.
What do you, Lauren, Melissa and Kelly get up to? We’re all busy, but we grab dinner and drinks. Lauren and I, and Melissa, love margaritas and Mexican food. [Laughs] So we tend to go and grab chips and margaritas and hang out.
Did Melissa McCarthy’s film career come as a surprise to you? Not at all, no. I had gone and seen all of her shows at The Groundlings [in L.A.] and everything that you see on screen now, she’s done it on stage and I’ve seen it. I saw early on how funny she was and how special she is. For me, it’s kind of like a very natural turn of events and I’m really happy for that turn of events... Because her talent is very special. I’ve always thought that. Her comedic chops are… there’s no one like her.
Michel loves Celine Dion, are you also a fan? It’s more a part of the character. I’m a fan in the sense that I have a lot of respect for the career that she’s created and her ambition and her voice.
Is there anyone you wished that you had more scenes with? Kelly, and Ed [Herrmann] when he was around. I had one scene with Ed [in the original series] – a dining room scene where he was sitting next to me. I don’t know that we really talked [on screen], but between takes we chatted and he made me laugh a lot and he was just a lot of fun to be around. So I wish I had more time with him.
But Emily and Michel kind of get each other and I think it would be fun to spend more time with [Kelly] on screen. Otherwise, in the other characters… I mean Paris could have been fun for Michel. [My character] never met her on the show.
Do you think the chemistry Michel has on screen with Emily is a result of your friendship with Kelly? When you care for someone in real life it translates on screen. You just can’t hide it. But also I think she’s a theatre actress, I’m a theatre actor, both of our characters have a subjugation to them and I think that’s where they recognize each other and feel at ease. So I think it’s a combination of who the characters are and our friendship in real life.
Which co-star has changed the most since Gilmore Girls began? Alexis! She went from being a teenager when she first started the show and now she has a kid, so I think that’s the biggest change.
Your character had some great one-liners in the original show. Did you have a favourite? So many. "To me, you are the teacher in a Charlie Brown cartoon" I thought was funny. [Also] a line with an elderly woman character that asked me where were the best antiques in town and I told her "at her house, I guess." There are so, so, so, so, so many!