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Gilmore Girls Crush David Sutcliffe Spills on the Hyped Netflix Reboot (Exclusive)

Gilmore Girls Crush David Sutcliffe Spills on the Hyped Netflix Reboot (Exclusive)

In Conversation With Our Biggest Canadian Crush, Actor David Sutcliffe

"Sometimes you love someone, and they love you, but you’re not meant to be together. I kind of felt that way with Christopher and Lorelai."

Born and raised in Canada, David Sutcliffe is best known for playing Christopher, the father of Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) on the hit show Gilmore Girls, which, after a nine-year hiatus, returns this month for a final installment of episodes (Netflix will premiere four new 90-minute "chapters" on November 25). We caught up with the actor, who shed some light on the return of the series and offered his perspective on the differences between Canada and the United States.

Out: Luke and Lorelai's will-they-won't-they arc bookended the show. What were your hopes for Christopher during the original series?

David Sutcliffe: Amy Sherman-Palladino, the showrunner, made it very clear to me when I started that Christopher always wanted to get back together with Lorelai [Lauren Graham]. That was the super-objective throughout the series, but from a fan's perspective, I was, to be honest, always sort of "team Luke." A lot of people hated Christopher, but for kids from broken homes -- like Rory -- there's always a fantasy of their parents getting back together. I always felt, however, that it was doomed -- and it was never Amy's intention anyway.

But you and Lorelai had such undeniable chemistry!

Oh, definitely. Lauren and I had great chemistry. We liked each other a lot. Christopher was always set up as this unreliable guy, but he was certainly charming and lovable in his own way. On some level I always felt like he was trying to right a wrong from the past, but while noble, it actually wasn't a good motivation. Sometimes you love someone, and they love you, but you're not meant to be together. I kind of felt that way with Christopher and Lorelai.

How do you feel about Christopher in these new episodes?

Everything that happens with him feels right. He's a guy with a lot of regrets and sadness, and he has a shadow that always seems to get the best of him. When we meet him in these new episodes, I think he's happy and settled in his life, which happens as we get older, right? Life doesn't always go the way you wanted, but you decide it's OK. That's the place he's in, but there's always longing and what-ifs.

How did Rory's Ivy League upbringing inform your perspective of America?

At this point I know enough about Ivy League universities to understand that they have a very different feeling than Canada's top schools. Elitism in America seems generally accepted as part of the culture, and in the current political climate there's a lot of pushback against it. I find Americans are more inclined to celebrate those who are extremely wealthy and extremely successful. Canadians are uncomfortable with that concept. America was founded on individual liberty, whereas Canada is more about community -- more about "being in this together."

Ultimately it's multiculturalism versus the melting pot. Canada's multiculturalism means: "Come into our country, bring your culture and religion, and do your thing." America's melting pot is a historical attitude: "Come to our country, this is what we're like, so join on in." It's a different value system that, like any value system and political system, has its pluses and minuses.

Do you think Americans assume that Canadians are the same as them?

Oh, definitely. But there's no question that America and Canada are very, very different -- obviously there are similarities, but Americans' relationship to their mythology is very different from ours. Canadians make fun of American nationalism, but I find Canadians just as nationalistic -- and in some ways even more so than Americans -- and part of that is feeling more bound together as a smaller nation and being a bit of an underdog on the international stage.

Americans are the richest, loudest country in the world, and they're proud of it. And loud. Did I mention loud? These are, of course, all stereotypes, but there's a truth to it. Canadians are a little more reserved and more conservative -- and I don't mean that in the political sense. Being under the Queen, we're connected to Great Britain and have a certain amount of humility that Americans don't possess.

What are Americans' reactions when you tell them you're from Canada?

People are like, "I love Canadians -- you guys are so nice!" You should go to a hockey game sometime and see how nice we really are.

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