Emily's D.A.R. Nemesis In The 'Gilmore Girls' Revival, Carolyn Hennesy, Admires Her In Real Life
One of my favorite things about the Gilmore Girls revival was the sheer number of cameos that dotted the four-episode series. From Jason Mantzoukas and Roy Choi to Mae Whitman and Sutton Foster, there was a different famous person I loved in every scene. Another of those Gilmore Girls guest stars was Carolyn Hennesy, who I love for her work on shows like General Hospital, Revenge, Cougar Town, and now, the revival. In an interview with Bustle, Hennesy makes it clear that despite her wealth of experience, she knew joining Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was a big deal.
There were a lot of people waiting for the revival, and so much anticipation to see what would happen next. That was one of two big reasons why Hennesy was so excited to have a part in the Gilmore Girls revival (the first? “I have a mortgage!”). “People were so… they weren’t satisfied that [the show] ended in the first place! People were just very bereft,” she says. “[Gilmore Girls] has a broad stroke appeal to both men and women, and I know men now that their girlfriends and wives have forced them initially to watch the original series and now they can’t wait. It goes goes across all demographics, all lines, and it’s kind of a cultural phenomenon, so of course I’m going to want to be a part of something like that!”
Viewers of Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life will find Hennesy in the “Summer” and “Fall” chapters of the revival — she plays Toni, the regional head of Emily’s D.A.R. If you thought Emily had her hoity-toity moments during Gilmore Girls, Toni gives her a real run for her money. “It’s all very, very important to her. Manners, rules, who gets in, the cliquishness of this particular organization,” Hennesy says of her character. “Kelly Bishop’s character begins to waiver. She falters, in my opinion, and so… she incites my wrath! Toni is just a real … oh, what’s the word? Tight *ss. She’s no nonsense. There’s no humor. She takes no foolishness.”
It turns out that Hennesy playing a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution isn’t too far from the truth. “What’s interesting about me personally is that my ancestor, Benjamin Rush — my great-great-great-I can’t even tell you how many times great grandfather — actually signed the Declaration of Independence,” she says. “I personally could be a member of the D.A.R, so I tapped into that a little bit!”
Hennesy, who has played Diane Miller on General Hospital for a decade, also had a little soap connection on Gilmore Girls. “I got to work a couple of days on [Gilmore], and one of the days was with Julie Marie Berman, who was my coworkers on General Hospital,” said Hennesy. (Berman played Lulu Spencer on the soap opera from 2005 to 2013, and appears in the Gilmore revival as a hopeful D.A.R. applicant.)
Now that all of the filming is done and the stories are finished, Hennesy doesn't hesitate when asked which Gilmore girl she'd want to be in real life. "Emily. Emily," she says. "Just because — first of all, her arc, leaving this wonderful husband, played by Edward Herrmann, who is now gone. Her changes, what she goes through — she’s delicious. She’s just delicious! She’s wonderful to watch. So I’ll be Emily. Plus she gets to wear great clothes, so I’ll take Emily.”
As for Hennesy’s plans post-Gilmore, she’ll head back to General Hospital (Diane must go on!), and continue her advocacy efforts in wildlife conservations. Hennesy has a busy schedule, but I for one am so glad she cleared some of it for a turn on Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life.
Images: Netflix (3)