In the future when we're looking back on the history of trailblazing TV characters who changed the course of television forever, the face of Rory Gilmore will be found at the top of the list! Half of the legendary duo who changed the course of mother and daughter relationships forever, Rory showed the world you could have it all: best friends, an adequate amount of coffee consumption, stellar grades, and nightly gab sessions with your mother featuring a bountiful supply of Pop-Tarts!
What about Alexis Bledel, without whom Rory Gilmore wouldn't exist? Alexis is best known for her portrayal of Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls from 2000 until 2007, but she is so much more than a Gilmore girl. If it seems easy to have trouble separating Alexis from Rory, it's no surprise; Alexis is the ultimate definition of a boss, conquering multiple avenues in the entertainment industry.
Since Alexis took time off from the small town and quaint vibes of Stars Hollow, she's worn many hats (and one specific pant) during her road to superstardom! She's brought many lady boss roles to the big screen and embraced a variety of different roles which have all contributed to her status as a legendary entertainer of the last twenty years.
Here are 20 ways in which she's evolved over the years.
20 Alexis, The Marvelous Model
One of the coolest parts of being a teen girl in the mid-90s was having the countless magazine options to flip through! There were so many stylish and colourful ads we could use for style inspiration. Alexis Bledel was once a magazine-flipping teen girl who was inspired to grace the covers of magazines.
Alexis'f flawless face began to appear in magazine spreads when the actress started modelling at the age of 14, as IMDb reports. You could find Alexis featured in multiple advertisements for lip gloss in the glossy magazine pages, as Huffington Post reports.
19 Gracing Our Screens As A Gilmore Girl
For many of us who flipped on the TV in 2000, we were introduced to a fresh-faced teen actress who was instantly charming as a bookish sixteen-year-old girl who loved boys and books, and really, really, loved her mom! Rory ruled the small town of Stars Hollow in Connecticut with her endless stacks of books, and her extremely witty and rapid-fire response rate to everyone she encountered.
Rory and Lorelai Gilmore broke new ground concerning mother and daughter relationships on TV, showing mothers and daughters could also be really close friends as well as family.
18 She Becomes A Leading Lady
By 2002, the world was familiar with Alexis Bledel's acting skills with two seasons of Gilmore Girls under her belt, but we also knew we wanted to see more! The wishes of Alexis' super-fans were granted with the release of Tuck Everlasting, the film adaptation of Natalie Babbitt's book of the same name.
Alexis played the main character Winnie, who was a girl in love with a boy who had an unusual "curse" bestowed upon him; he never aged, and Winnie had to make a choice to stay eternally youthful. Alexis definitely met the expectations needed for the role, eh?
17 She's A Music Video Muse
If you were used to seeing Alexis as Rory Gilmore, the conventionally sweet teen, the idea of seeing her appear in a role more on the rebellious side could only happen outside of Stars Hollow!
In 2005, the buzz for pop/punk music was alive and well on the airwaves and on the MTV staple TRL. Rebellious guys and gals applied their thick eye makeup and black nail polish to the sounds of prominent guitars and heavy drums, and Alexis was also into rock and roll.
She appeared in the music video for "She's Gonna Break Soon" by Less Than Jake!
16 Magazine Cover Girl
Before the days of surfing the web to get your daily fill of the latest and greatest photos of your favourite celebs, you actually had to scope out a physical copy of a magazine and do some hardcore page flipping in order to soak up the glamour. Gilmore Girls premiered during the first year of the new millennium, which meant there was no shortage of magazine coverage about your favourite mother and daughter.
Bustle reports that Alexis and her TV mom, Lauren Graham, appeared on many magazine covers, including Seventeen and TV Guide.
15 Working It As An Indie Princess
Many TV actresses make the leap to the big screen to take on roles which may be a little more mature in character choices or content, and these "big moves" can either flip the actress's career into superstardom, or the choice could be a flop. For Alexis, her choice to accept a starring role in Sin City, directed by Quentin Tarantino, made her a fixture on the big screen!
Alexis' appearance in the film was striking for many reasons, but especially because we got to see our favourite actress beautifully captured in black and white!
14 Broadway Babe
There are some hilarious scenes of Gilmore Girls featuring Alexis singing a few bars of various tunes, but it turns out our favourite Gilmore girl has some experience belting out a song or two!
Alexis is no stranger to singing in front of audiences. In 2012, the actress had the opportunity to flex her dramatic acting skills on the stage when she took part in a play called Regrets, which allowed her the chance to play a different type of character than she was typically known for portraying on television, as Vulture reports.
13 Charitable Chica
For many actresses, their passions outside of their profession can have the power to guide them to opportunities which enhance their careers. Alexis absolutely fits this description; she has been involved with a number of charities over the years, one opportunity having ties to her famous films.
One of Alexis' co-stars in the Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, America Ferrera, is a noted activist, having done many examples of service work, and taking part in charities. In 2012, America enlisted one of her 'Pants' ladies to help; Alexis was on board with ONE's Women and Girls component. It's aimed to ensure that girls and women are at the center of development policy, as Look To The Stars reports.
12 Hallmark Hottie
You know those movies. They're the films that make you feel warm and fuzzy - they're Hallmark movies! Their plots may be on the predictable side, but you can always rely on a feel-good feeling after the film is over.
Alexis Bledel knew the power of a Hallmark film when she starred in the 2013 flick with a very Hallmark-esque title, Remember Sunday. Alexis had long since been delivering her fans with a steady helping of moving scenes and movie plots, so the boxes of tissues belonging to her fans were never really out of arm's reach. Pass the tissues!
11 Signing Up As An ER Doctor
Back in the early '90s, a medical drama premiered which blessed viewers with two culturally-shifting aspects: ER changed the narrative around hospitals, and also blessed us with the likes of George Clooney!
Nearly two decades later, ER gave us a role for one of our favourite actresses. Alexis Bledel joined the cast in the role of Dr. Julia Wise. We're aware of Alexis' superior acting skills, and our love for her acting ability was only fuelled by the fact she was on the show for one episode: the series finale!
It was especially exciting because around this time, Gilmore Girls was already off the air and we hadn't seen Alexis in a TV series for two years, as TV.com reports.
10 Pretty Producer
What can't Alexis do? She's an actress, Broadway darling, and also a producer!
If you've been a longtime follower of Alexis' career, you're likely to be familiar with her role as Lena, the introverted member of the 'Sisterhood' foursome. The film series has produced two films, and, amazing news for fans of the 'pants', there is a third film on the way. What's different for Alexis in this one, you might ask? She has a producer credit on the film, as Bustle reports.
9 Charming Co-Star
In a press interview for Mad Men's fifth season, Vincent Kartheiser, who played Pete Campbell on the show, described Alexis' character who she played for three episodes, as being a "very complex" addition to Pete's stormy love life. Fans of Mad Men know the characters all hold a glimmer of poise, and we know Alexis Bledel is the right choice for a role requiring those qualities!
In an interview with AMC, Alexis revealed she "instantly wanted to know more about [her character]." So did we!
8 Marvelous Mother
Alexis' time on Mad Men didn't just have a positive impact on her acting career. In 2015, Alexis added another title to her resume: Mom. The father of her child is Vincent Kartheiser, who she married two years after her appearances on Mad Men! Somehow, the couple kept news of parenthood and relationship extremely under wraps! As Elite Daily reports, the couple was secretly married in 2014. Of course, motherhood has slightly shifted Alexis' perspective on her career, as she explained to Entertainment Tonight.
"More than anything, I just think about what roles I take on, and make sure that it's really something that I feel passionate about if I'm going to leave home and go work,"
she said. "I just want to love what I'm doing."
7 Emmy Winner
Winning an Emmy is one of the biggest milestones in an actor's career. Surprisingly, Alexis never won an award for her role as Rory Gilmore between 2000 and 2007, but her Emmy nod would eventually come a decade later for her role on Hulu's groundbreaking and highly discussed series, The Handmaid's Tale, which, interestingly enough, reunites her with Elisabeth Moss from her Mad Men days!
In her acceptance speech, Alexis calls her role on the series "beyond rewarding," as Women's Voices For Change reports, and surely fans are in agreement, too!
6 Sisterhood Supporter
In a wave of teen films which were inspiring, fun and celebrated all that was important and special about being a teenage girl in the early 2000s, there exists a film series which taught us the importance of the close bond the female friendship can bring, especially one memorable for including a lot of love, laughter and... pants?
The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants book series was adapted for the big screen twice, with a third movie on its way, and its cast of actresses were so close off-set, making us all believe in the real power of female friendship!
Alexis has become a celebrity who's known for her friendliness, and Bustle reports that she's someone everyone wants to hang with. We're a tad envious of her Sisterhood co-stars.
5 Gilmore - All Grown Up
Since our beloved Gilmore Girls ended production, we've been holding thumbs for more.
After rumours surrounding an eighth season, and even a feature film, the wishes of coffee-drinking Gilmore devotees came true in 2016 when Netflix announced a revival of the series, where we would travel back to Stars Hollow to see what our favourite townsfolk were up to over a course of one calendar year.
Alexis explained that she'd hoped Rory would've done more with her life, though. "I hoped Rory would end on a high note. After all her hard work, I wanted to see her succeed and be thriving," she said, as Bustle reports. "So it was a hard thing for me to digest."
4 Streaming Star
If you are looking at the photo above and you're thinking, "Hey, I know him from somewhere," you're right! The man standing next to Alexis is Jason Ritter, who you may remember as a love interest from Lauren Graham's "other" series, Parenthood!
Alexis and Jason know each other from their time as co-stars on Us And Them. If you haven't heard of Us And Them, there's a specific reason - it never got aired - but don't worry, you will soon be familiar with it! According to TV Line, you're now able to see previously unaired episodes of the comedy where it's available on Crackle.
The show is about long-distance relationships, and it's intriguing to see more of Bledel in such a role.
3 The Beautiful Handmaiden
Every once in a while, a TV show comes along and drastically influences the course of television for seasons to come. In 2017, a show premiered which sparked a lot of cultural commentary around the globe - a television adaptation of the legendary novel, The Handmaid's Tale, written by Margaret Atwood.
One of the biggest whispers about the show in Hollywood? Alexis Bledel's stellar and award-winning performance. Alexis plays the role of Emily, a character whose portrayal has taken Alexis on a complex acting journey. Creator of the show, Bruce Miller, revealed to E! News,
"The stunning aspect of her performance is her patience — she has an extraordinary feel for suspenseful and comic timing in scenes. Amazing."
That she does.
2 Awesome Activist
There's something so cool and relatable when we see our favourite stars fighting for important causes. Alexis has lent her voice to a few causes over the years, dating back to her Gilmore Girls days, where she was pictured with her co-star Milo "Jess" Ventimiglia, encouraging fans to make their voices heard by casting their votes in the elections. She even attended the Democratic National Convention in which she advocated on behalf of Obama, Pop Sugar reports.
1 Thriller Actress
For those of us who enjoy occasionally hiding behind a pillow when a gripping scene comes on in a film, and maybe we've wanted to see the actress formerly known as Rory Gilmore in something edgier, our extremely specific wishes will be granted!
We know Alexis Bledel has experimented with different types of genres throughout her career, but she hasn't starred in a gripping film with a lot of action - until now. Alexis will have her chance to star in a thriller featuring the legendary Kurt Russell, as Hollywood Reporter states. We can't wait!
References: IMDB, Huffington Post, Vulture, Bustle, Elite Daily, Hollywood Reporter