So, when the show's creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, launched a new series, Bunheads, earlier this summer, we were on board by default (although, if Newsroom has taught us anything, it's that maybe that kind of blind loyalty isn't a great idea). But fortunately, in this case, we were pleasantly surprised...because it was pretty good. After being thoroughly charmed by Sutton Foster and an endless string of Gilmore Girls cameos — and ahead of tonight's finale (and Friday's announcement that the show is coming back for a second season this winter) — we tracked down Sherman-Palladino and picked her brain on all things TV and dance, the reality of being a woman in Hollywood, and why movies, well, blow. Read on for some of the best working-woman advice we've ever received.
You grew up doing ballet and then were a dancer at the start of your career. Do you have a love-hate relationship with dance? And does that factor into the show?
"Honestly, there's no better feeling than dancing. It's physical, it's freeing, it's musical, it's emotional. It's a wonderful thing. But as a life, it's so hard. You have to close yourself off to so many other things to focus, focus, focus. And your career could be over by the time you're 25 years old. And also, there aren't that many jobs. And in the States, the arts aren't supported, so there's nothing poorer than a ballet company. So, you've got these people who are devoting themselves, morning, noon, and night, to this wonderful art form, who are getting paid nothing. It's just a hard, hard life. Plus, on the show, we touch on this, but if you have a girl like Boo, who doesn't have a 'ballet body,' that could knock her out of contention before anyone's ever seen her dance. So, the reality of it, it's just very hard."
The way the show addressed the idea of body type and the pressure to be thin and look a certain way, as a ballerina, felt both jarring and honest. Is that something you want to bring to the forefront as things progress?
"I never wanted to write a show that was an issue show, because I don't believe that people should learn their lessons on TV. Because, TV is entertainment, and God forbid you're walking around thinking, 'Dawson's Creek taught me everything...' because then you're f-ed. But you have to be true to the world you're creating, and this is a part of that. Life is not fair; it's not all equal, and you have to be true to that. I'm not trying to tell anybody anything, but if it's honest to the story line, we're going to pursue it."
As huge Gilmore Girls fans, we're loving all the cast cameos. And we have to ask: Is Chris Eigeman coming back?
"We love Chris Eigeman so much that we would build a monument to him and carry him around and feed him grapes, if that's what he wants. But he's writing and directing his own movies now, so he's a very fancy, fancy guy. So, we were so deliciously lucky to have him come home with us for a while. I think he's so great. He actually lives right down the street from us in Brooklyn."
Speaking of that place in Brooklyn Heights, what do you love about being out there? Particularly since you're filming in L.A. on a pretty hectic schedule.
"I have the unfortunate karmic disastrous joke of being born in L.A. And L.A. and I, we don't understand each other. We've called a truce, and have coexisted for a number of years now, but my husband and I, we run back here every chance we get. People always have somewhere they need to be, here. In L.A., they just sorta get in their cars, and then they're just in their cars. We're stuck out in L.A., but we fly out here every chance we get — it's the only way to get your brain working!"
Click through to see the career advice that gave us a serious moment's pause (in a good way).
Photo: Courtesy of ABCFamily
- 1 of 2