She still looks as young and sweet as the teenager she played for seven years on Gilmore Girls, but Alexis Bledel is 28 now and looking for roles that reflect her maturity. The role of Beth, a bright and ambitious twenty-something at the center of The Good Guy, fit the bill for her in that and other ways.
"I thought it was a modern love story and it felt more realistic than a lot of romantic storylines," begins Bledel, who stars opposite Scott Porter and Bryan Greenberg in the Manhattan-set movie, opening in limited release Feb. 19. "Beth felt very real to me because the things that she wants in her life are not hard to imagine. She wants someone to spend time with. She wants to meet a great guy. She wants to enjoy her work, things that everybody wants. So I found her to be relatable in that way. But the thing that’s kind of special about her is that she’s a romantic. She starts out with the ideal guy in her mind, but as the film goes on she has to shift a bit and be a little more open to different things."
Ultimately, Beth finds out that the man she's dating isn't who she thought he was. "To me, this story is a bit of a cautionary tale," says Bledel, reflecting on the state of modern love. "I think it’s definitely possible to meet someone these days that you really connect with, but in big cities, it’s all the more difficult to find when you’re not really sure what you’re looking for half the time. I don’t know if it’s any easier in a small town, though!”
Bledel claims she has never had an ideal man with a laundry list of must-have criteria. "I always thought it would be more romantic to be open to the thought that you could meet anyone, from any walk of life and find a connection there. That idea to me is romantic, rather than thinking that 'I have to have this.' It’s so limiting.”
She enjoyed shooting The Good Guy on location in New York’s Central Park, Soho and at The Cloisters, "probably my favorite because I didn’t know it was there, and I'd lived in New York. It’s a special place. You feel like you’re in Italy," says the actress, who is partly of Mexican and Argentinean heritage.
Having most recently appeared in the movie Post Grad and the ER series finale, Bledel also completed work on The Conspirator, directed by Robert Redford and starring Robin Wright as the mother of one of the men involved in the Abraham Lincoln assassination. "I'm the girlfriend of the attorney who defends her, played by James McAvoy. It’s so interesting because it’s a true story that not a not of people know. Her trial was so completely unconstitutional that it’s shocking."
What’s next? "I would love to do a psychological thriller," declares Bledel, noting that she’s helping to develop one. "And I love period pieces, to go back in time." She doesn't rule out a return to the small screen. "I’m not looking for it right now, but there are a lot of great roles on TV right now, on cable.”" She’s still in touch with her Gilmore Girls mom Lauren Graham, whose new series Parenthood premieres on NBC next month, but Bledel won’t be turning up there. “I don’t want to cramp her style. We did seven years together,” she reminds.
She may not have a dating wish, but she does know what she wants in her roles: variety, challenge and out-of-the ordinary appeal. "I just try to find work that’s interesting," she says, "and hopefully entertaining to others."