Matt Czuchry knows a cult hit when he sees one. He rose to fame as Logan Huntzberger, Rory Gilmore’s college love interest on Gilmore Girls, before playing hotshot young lawyer Cary Agos on The Good Wife. Now, the Benjamin Button-esque actor (he’s 39!) is returning to his Gilmore roots when all four 90-minute chapters of the “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” reboot premiere on Netflix at midnight PST on Nov. 25. We sat down with Czuchry, our latest Haute Living “Man of Style” (watch out for his shoot in the coming weeks), to discuss his career choices, his fashion favorites and why going back to Stars Hollow ten years later was one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
How did it feel to film Gilmore Girls again?
The energy surrounding the project was something so incredibly powerful, unique, and pure. I say “pure” because ever since we wrapped the original series in 2007, fans of the show have wanted more from this world they loved so deeply. And although their voices were very passionate for a very long time, it looked like new stories were never going to come together. And then… it happened. Something once thought impossible, became possible. How many times can you truly say that in life? And on top of that, it came together in such a perfect and special way. The original creators returned to write all four scripts and direct all four movies. All the cast members came back. A lot of original crew members worked on the project. So, it is new stories born from this very pure place of love from the fans; and in turn, everyone who worked on creating these stories was fueled by this unique energy of something that was once thought to be improbable, coming to life.
The show has die-hard fans; a cult following. How have the fans reaction been so far?
I went to a “Gilmore Girls” reunion at the Austin Television Festival in June of 2015. At that point there was nothing in the works in terms of any potential new “Gilmore Girls” project. When I attended the packed event, I was most surprised by how many NEW fans were in the audience at our panel. The vast majority of fans in the crowd saw “Gilmore Girls” for the first time around October of 2014 when Netflix released all seven seasons of the original series. So as I sat on the panel in Austin, I was absolutely gobsmacked regarding the deep connection this series has had over several generations. This fan base is incredibly rare and speaks to the impact the original series has had/continues to have on countless fans of all ages. Now, imagine telling that multi generational rabid fan base that there is going to be new material released very soon for them to sink their teeth into… the excitement when the new movies were announced was just mind blowing. And that enthusiasm has only increased exponentially as the release of the series gets closer and closer. The fan’s outer worldly passion speaks to the timeless nature of these stories and characters.
Are you happy with the ending?
I am not going to talk about the details of the ending right now. That is for Amy and Dan to talk about because it is their ending, not mine. I am very protective of Amy and Dan since they trusted me by sharing the last scene and last four words with me before the release of the series. I know fans are really excited about the ending. As they should be, and they will certainly have a LOT of passionate discussions about the ending. I guarantee that. But this special and unique series is about the four movies in their entirety. It is about the journey. It is about all of the stories and all of the characters. Every single character, and there are a LOT of characters in these movies, has at least one great moment if not great moments on top of great moments on top of great moments. And that is just remarkable when you think about something on this scale. These four movies when looked at in their entirety beautifully capture where the characters have been, were they are now, and were they are going. What Amy and Dan have done after so much time has passed since the original series aired and under this kind of microscope of pressure is really inspiring to me. And that blueprint, the four scripts, really deeply inspired everyone on set. There was this feeling like, “okay, Amy and Dan have hit this one out of the park. Now it is time to do our part to make this shine. We have to step up and get this right for Amy and Dan, for Warner Brothers, for Netflix, and for the fans.”
Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop seem to think that Edward Hermann had a ghostly appearance on set. Did you experience that too?
I worked with Ed on “The Good Wife” as well as on “Gilmore Girls.” So, his loss was felt very specifically for me as I had a connection with him that spanned many years across two very different and very important projects in my life. At the “Gilmore Girls” reunion in 2015 there was a seat left empty on the stage for Ed. And in these new stories, Richard Gilmore’s passing is a driving force throughout. So in many ways the reunion was a tribute to Ed and the new series is a tribute to Ed as well. Further, it speaks to how life can change so rapidly in such a short period of time. Here we are doing a new series of “Gilmore Girls” and a vital member of the troupe is no longer with us to add in his brilliance. Yet, his absence from this new series is so deep and profound that not only did his passing affect what we were doing on set, but I believe that Ed’s passing will make fans who watch this series realize just how precious life itself is. And that is Ed’s gift to this new series… that is what he has done for us… how life must be enjoyed in the moment because that is all we have, just this moment. And I think that thread in the series will be one of the most powerful aspects of the new material and has potential to ring in fans hearts for years to come.
Netflix is bringing back many shows. Do you like working with the network?
From my experience Warner Brothers and Netflix could not have been better in terms of shepherding this particular project. Most importantly it starts with their passion for these stories. They believe in these stories, they believe in the people who create them, and they are in tune with how much fans love these stories. And then, the studio and Netflix made people feel great about the individual contributions made by everyone on the project. And lastly, in my experience, they know how to steer from the edges and guide the project in a way that enhances the creative chemistry of the project. Chemistry is a mysterious thing, it is tough to put your finger on it. And most people, I feel, undervalue chemistry on a project. I will just say that when you have that right chemistry, on a sports team, a set, at any workplace, etc… that is when the next level magic happens. And it is so hard to have all the pieces fit together in a way that provides for the right chemistry. And I feel in every sense this project had that next level chemistry, that magic. And that is why I am very confident that fans are going to be grateful for this new series of stories… because of that ever so hard to define chemistry. And that begins with Warner Brothers and Netflix understanding how to push the right buttons at the right time
You finished a very successful run with The Good Wife and went straight to Gilmore Girls. Any other exciting projects that you could share with us coming up?
Since finishing “The Good Wife” and “Gilmore Girls” I have had some very interesting offers that I am grateful for. But, for a variety of reasons they did not quite line up in just the right way. I am being very patient and very thoughtful about the next project that I want to undertake. And at the moment, there is not anything that I can talk about that has come to fruition that aligns exactly with what I want to do next.
Do you prefer TV or movies? Where did you have a better experience? And why?
I think now more than ever it is about the stories and not about the medium in which they are told. Even since finishing my seven year run on “The Good Wife” the business and how fans consume stories is vastly different. If there is a great story being told, and talked about, the audience will find it. So, I am in search of being a part of those great stories and characters. No matter where they are told.
During your photo shoot, you wore some great outfits. Do you consider yourself a fashion savvy guy? Can you please describe your style?
For me the most important thing that I am meticulous about when it comes to fashion is fit. I want something that fits perfectly for my body type and fits perfectly for who I am as a person from the inside out. This idea of fit when it comes to fashion also transcends money, brands, etc. It is about understanding who you are and what you are about first, and then picking the clothes that match up to reflect that. I love people. And what I love about people is that everyone is unique. Everyone has something unique to bring to this world. And if you understand that, if you cherish that, if you embrace who you are, and then capture that with your clothes… then that is when fashion can make a powerful statement about who you are and what you are about.
Who is your style icon?
Idris Elba, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Micheal Jordan, Brad Pitt
Describe yourself in a phrase or three words. Can you explain what these worlds mean to you?
“Carpe Diem” is a phrase that I try to embrace. It means seize the day, to make the most of the present and to give little thought to the past or future. In the time that I have here I want to love and live life to the fullest while being a positive influence on others. And I want a full life for everyone. I believe we are all connected in this world. So, I want everyone to have an equal shot at living life to the fullest.
Check out Matt as our “Man of Style” in the upcoming issue of Haute Living Los Angeles