The actor talked to us about working with Emilio Estevez on the Disney+ series, how she's dealt with rejection in the past, and what her future aspirations are.

When you hear the words 'Gilmore Girls', your mind can't help but automatically jump to images of Lorelai and Rory and their tumultuous mother-daughter relationship. Fast-forward over a decade later since the series wrapped, and Lauren Graham is back in the motherly role she was, as she says herself, born to play.

Lauren stars in the reboot/sequel series based on the popular sports movies, called 'The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers'. The Disney+ series is both a throwback to the '90s movies and a new, fresh interpretation of the franchise - catering for both adult fans of the originals and teenage newcomers.

We had the opportunity to chat with the star about her previous acting roles, and what it meant for her to work on this new Disney+ series.

What was it like to work with Emilio Estevez - were you starstruck?

Emilio was really cool! I have now worked with two members of 'The Breakfast Club', I did a series a long time ago with Molly Ringwald - and I could never have imagined that. That movie meant so much to me.

Emilio is a very still film actor and I thought that was really cool and a really good contrast - because I'm more of a goofball! He's also very smart, very political, and really interesting to talk to. He's had a bunch of different career pursuits over the years and he's just a really interesting guy. As an acting partner he was really fun.

All of the child actors are such stars too.

The kids were just fantastic! Given the COVID of it all, we didn't get to bond as much as we would normally but I've had such good luck with TV children and Brady [Noon, who plays her on-screen son Evan] was no exception. He was really wise beyond his years and just a smart kid.

It was fun to just watch them at times - they are all in padding for scenes, and they would just throw themselves across the ice! I was amazed nobody had injuries - they were fearless. In this dark year, it was nice to see them have a good time and we could just forget everything that was going on outside. That was a relief.

Do you see any similarities between Alex and Lorelai from 'The Gilmore Girls'?

I don't know if it's that I play a lot of moms or that there are just a lot of moms on TV. I have kinda just, you know, stopped fighting it. These are the characters that come to me and I really love, and there's something sweet, and I try to find characters that are different enough. Last year I was doing this show called 'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist' where I finally got to do something that was a little bit different - I was the stern boss and that was really fun.

When I read this, I said 'Yeah it's a little bit similar'. But I don't think anything could ever top Lorelai, frankly. Alex felt familiar to me, and I wanted to do something that was more me. I felt familiar and comfortable and I think sometimes that's okay too. Sometimes as actors we can get wrapped up in 'I'm trying to do something different - be something else', and this was like 'No, I'm going to do me'. And sometimes that's really fun too.

Lauren Graham as Alex

How do you play the "mom role" so well?

[Laughs] I dunno maybe it's because I don't have kids of my own that I don't bring any baggage to it! I have helped raise my boyfriend's son in our house for 10 years so I just give these characters as much love as I can. I just think about all of the people in my life that I feel protective and loving towards and I feel honoured to have been given these characters to express whatever that is.

I don't understand it, but this is what I've been given to play and I'm just thankful to have these characters. I think Alex is different though, because she is looking for her confidence here, while Lorelai was already very confident. So I try to find the subtleties that make them different.

Has anyone ever told you "don't bother" in life? (Referring to the team she coaches of the same name in 'Game Changers')

Yes, especially starting out - you get a version of "don't bother" all the time in this career. There's so much rejection and then even with all of the successes I've had, when the phone doesn't ring, that's it's own "don't bother". So you have to continue to reinvent yourself endlessly, and there's so much effort in that.

I'm ambitious and creative naturally but part of the reason I've started to become more interesting in producing and writing - I'm hoping to direct - is that some of being an actor is less interesting to me now. I would like to just sit in my office and create things on my own that don't have to deal with waiting for the phone to ring. And even that is sort of a version of creating opportunities for ourselves. We all relate to that rejection and people not welcoming you. But starting your own Mighty Ducks, or your own Don't Bothers, that's a little bit what I've tried to do in my own career - do my own thing.

Will there be a second season of 'The Mighty Ducks: Gamechangers'?

We don't know yet. When we sat down to talk about this show, one thing I liked is that the creators of the show envisioned each season as it's own sports movie, broken into episodes. You can take it in a completely different direction. It doesn't have to be the same sort of format. It's a different creative license you can do on streaming compare to TV.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I would like to see myself sitting on a beach, drinking out of a pineapple! I'm really interested in being a writer/director. I have a script that I am set to write for HBO Max, we're adapting a YA novel from a writer, and I have a book of essays that's coming out next year. It's really taken over creatively - that's what I wake up thinking about. Hopefully all those projects will continue to do well.

'The final episode of 'The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers' arrives on Disney+ Friday, May 28.