Twenty-one years after the premiere of Gilmore Girls, I caught up with Stars Hollow’s favourite local diner owner Luke Danes, played by Scott Patterson, to talk about everything ranging from Gilmore Girls to coffee and even his new podcast about the show.
Despite the TV series being off air for many years now, Scott is nowhere near finished telling the stories from Stars Hollow. Reflecting back on the show, he says the reason it was so powerful was its ability to stir up nostalgia for what American suburbs used to be. “Everybody knew each other and everybody was accountable which is why you don’t see any crime and [anybody] getting hurt. It’s a safe place for people,” he comments. Scott also suggests that another huge reason fans may be continuously rewatching the series is to pick up on all the cultural references made between the speedy dialogue. Scott compares Gilmore Girls’ influence to that of Star Trek’s. “Star Trek impacted people back in the ‘60s and continues to do so over the generations. Gilmore Girls is having the same effect in their arena that Star Trek [has] in theirs,” he says.
Before this year, Scott had admittedly never seen an episode of Gilmore Girls (aside from the pilot and one episode from the reboot series). After being on set for 12-14 hours a day and dedicating his weekends to running lines, he confesses that watching himself on TV was the last thing he wanted to do. “You [never] really want to watch the show after that. I have no interest in watching myself and I have no interest in reliving what I’ve already done,” he shares. Regardless of Scott’s aversion towards watching himself play Luke Danes for seven seasons, the last thing he wants to do is to put the past behind him. In fact, for the first time in 21 years, Scott is taking a trip down memory lane.
In an effort to curb the “lingering frustration among fans globally” that no new episodes of Gilmore Girls are being produced, Scott decided to take matters into his own hands by providing eager fans with the inside scoop and a behind-the-scenes look into every episode from the show, watching it for the first time and chatting with old castmates and crew in his “I am All In” podcast with iHeartRADIO. “It just seemed logical. Like, of course, this is what needs to be done. There isn’t any new content, so I decided to stop whining about it and do something,” he says. Since the first episode’s release on April 21, Scott has interviewed fellow actors who played Jess, Kirk, Lane, Max Medina and more on his podcast. And according to Patterson, he has more exciting guests on his roster.
In season five, episode three of Gilmore Girls, Luke experiences one of his most sentimental on-screen moments in the show when he says, “I just want you to know I’m in. I am all in,” to Lorelai over dinner on their first date. When asked why this line resonated with him the most and why he decided to make it the title of his podcast, he responded saying that it was the moment fans finally got to see the character spill his heart out in his restrained way and that it was “so powerful for [him] to perform.” He explains that it was five years coming and that it represents everything about him––especially his relationship with Lorelai and Rory––because he was always all in, even if it was not explicitly said or perceived. “I might not be the most interesting guy in the world; I might not be the most cosmopolitan, witty or well-read person. I haven’t been to Asia, I haven’t been to Europe, and I only speak one language. I’m a small town guy, but hey, we have value too, and my value is that I’m never going to leave you. I’m never going to stab you in the back and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that your dreams come true,” Scott says, opening up about what Luke was feeling at that moment. The line, “I am all in,” is the epitome of Luke’s character, and Scott admits that if he was “dippy, emotional and all over the place, the show would have floated away.”
Nine months after Scott secured a deal with iHeartRADIO to start the podcast, “I Am All In” made it to #1 across practically every station in the world, according to Patterson. “It’s a testament to Gilmore Girls fans and how wonderful and dedicated they are so I’m going to give [the podcast] to them for as long as I possibly can.”
Scott assures fans that his podcast is just the beginning of something and that once he gets through the seven seasons and the Netflix episodes, that it will be the “end of the beginning and what that could morph into is anybody’s guess.” Fans are beginning to get a sneak peek of what this could look like with Scott’s announcement about the podcast’s first ever live virtual event.
On Nov. 11 at 5 pm PST and 8pm EST, Scott is hosting a live virtual event to kick off season two of his podcast with characters like Jackson, Mrs. Kim, Babette and more making special appearances. The event benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals and Baby2Baby (an organization to help children in poverty), which are two charities that are near and dear to Scott’s heart. Fans can buy general admission tickets for $15 and VIP tickets for $25 (which includes a Q&A with Scott and the guest stars) here.
If that is not enough to get fans excited about, Scott recently announced the launch of his podcast merch. Fans can now choose between a blue cap with the words “I Am All In” written in big white letters or a yellow mug with the podcast’s logo on it. Patterson says that he is planning to expand his line of merch into possibly comfy flannel pyjamas and flannel shirts. What’s the fun in listening to the podcast if you can’t dress like Luke, too?
When fans listen more closely to the podcast, they may recognize that Scott is also the voice of the podcast’s theme song, “I WANT TO KISS YOU MORE,” which is really about “uplifting people, setting a mood and just getting people dancing.” Scott admits that during the pandemic, he wrote about 30 – 35 songs, of which, “I WANT TO KISS YOU MORE” happened to fit the mood of Gilmore Girls and the podcast best. Patterson excitedly announced that “there’s one song in particular that [he’s] just dying, dying to get out, and it’ll happen hopefully before the end of the year.”
Scott loves how fans are getting to know the real side of him outside of Gilmore Girls and relishes the fact that his podcast is a platform for him to give his unfiltered opinion about different characters and episodes––including his honest thoughts about the inappropriateness of Max Medina’s character which stirred controversy among the fan base. “I will give my honest opinion at the moment. And that’s what I think is refreshing; [the podcast] is not canned. It’s not scripted,” adding that he’s “experiencing [the show] as a fan for the first time and [is] just taking a position.” He says that it is an adjustment for some fans because, while they know him as Luke, he is not that guy. “I wouldn’t call myself bubbly by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m certainly not as tight as Luke. I don’t know that you could be as tight as Luke and not spontaneously combust at some point in your day, being that tight. And that was the challenge playing him,” Patterson admits. He even reminisces back to season one when Lorelai and Sookie were sitting in the diner talking about Max, when Luke may or may not have overheard the conversation and became irate, ripping into Sookie when she went behind the diner counter without his permission.
Despite irreconcilable personality traits, Scott Patterson and Luke Danes are actually more alike than you may think when it comes to their business ventures. While Luke owned the diner throughout the seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, Scott Patterson launched his own coffee business––which he is currently exploring the possibility of opening up a destination diner for––10 years after the show ended, called Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee. “I realized Warner Brothers had already done the marketing side for me [with Luke’s diner]. They spent a huge amount of money promoting [Gilmore Girls], so I’m not trying to dissociate the relationship between [Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee and Luke’s].” He reveals that he actually tried to partner up with WB to make coffee and open up some real-life Luke’s diners, but realized that the logistics would have been difficult since it’s not their area of expertise. “I understood that, but I just thought this was a no-brainer. Had we launched Luke’s diners back in 2002 or 2003, we would have taken over the coffee business by this point,” Scott admits.
Fans are well aware of Luke’s opinions on excessive coffee consumption and how it’s morbidly unhealthy, scolding Lorelai regularly saying, “You have an unhealthy addiction; you have a problem and you need therapy.” as Scott remembers. He goes on to explain that what he did to solve this in real life with his own coffee blends––and why he drinks 10 cups a day––is using cascara, the fruit skin that covers the coffee bean on the tree, and grinding it into fine powder, releasing a chock full of fibre, vitamins and iron. “I have so much coffee in my house, you wouldn’t believe it. I have crates and crates of this stuff,” he admits. Patterson says his favourite blends to sip throughout the day are “Mom’s Favourite” because it’s double caffeinated and “Caramel Swirl and Dutch Chocolate.” “Once I get off of this interview, I’m going to go make a pot,” he jokes. Unfortunately, Scott’s coffee line is not yet available in Canada, however, he gives us his word that he’s working on it and reassures us that “we’re going to get it to you, so hang in there, Canada.”
Scott reflects on his work over the past few years and says that he is truly in the “happiness business” and “really wants people to feel good just like how [Gilmore Girls] made them feel good.” He tells me about the moment he announced both his coffee business and his podcast and how it immediately went viral, and wants to sincerely thank Gilmore Girls fans around the world for this. “It was crazy. Gilmore fans, man. They don’t mess around. They crave content; they’ll watch the show 24/7 as long as they’re alive because that’s how dedicated they are. That’s how good Gilmore Girls is.”