Ask any Gilmore Girls fan to name the three best characters on the show, and chances are Lorelai and Rory won’t make the cut. Gilmore Girls is a delightful national treasure and a triumph for neurotic fast-talkers and caffeine addicts everywhere — but it’s no secret that the show’s quirky ancillary characters are the true scene-stealers. (Except, of course, for Emily Gilmore, the true H.B.I.C.)
Of the Stars Hollow townies, none shine as brightly as Kirk Gleason, perhaps the town’s most lovable weirdo. His skills are (somewhat) endless; he’s held every sort of odd job in Stars Hollow, from mailbox salesman to t-shirt designer (Babette did eat oatmeal!), and in Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (out November 25), Kirk is back and more ambitious than ever. He’s got a new app idea — he’s come a long way since his days of installing DSL — and a new friend to keep him company: Petal the pig.
“Petal is actually played by a little team of three or four pigs,” Sean Gunn, who plays Kirk, told MTV News. “She was very cute. I don’t eat pigs anymore — I haven’t for many years — and I was happy about that during those scenes with Petal. It was much easier for me to hang out with the pigs on set, knowing that I wasn’t going to be eating a hot dog later.”
“I love them, but they are a mile a minute,” he added. “Any time you see Petal and she’s just chilling out or sitting down and being mellow, that took a lot of work because those pigs are running and jumping all over the place. And they’re hungry all of the time.”
So they’re a mile a minute and love to eat ... are we sure they’re not related to the Gilmores? As for Kirk’s latest get-rich-quick scheme, when we meet up with the eccentric entrepreneur, he’s just launched Ooober, a non-app version of Uber. According to Gunn, it’s a logical business move for Kirk.
“Kirk always has to have some kind of scheme to make money, and ride-sharing services are popular, so of course Kirk starts a ride-sharing service in the hopes that it will make him a lot of money,” he said. “That’s the way Kirk’s mind works. He doesn’t stop and think that he has no idea how to actually do that; he just knows he has to do it. So he does it in his Kirk way.”
Though he was more of a side player in the original series, Kirk was always the guy that creator and writer Amy Sherman-Palladino relied on to inject a jolt of oddball humor into a scene. In Gilmore Girls, no character is left behind or underwritten. In fact, it’s the secondary characters who make up an integral part of the show’s electrifying dynamic.
“Amy doesn’t treat any characters as though they’re peripheral,” Gunn said. “Some are smaller, but they’re all exquisitely drawn. I’ve always loved the way that Amy has written for me, and I’ve been grateful that she writes to my strengths as an actor. She does that for pretty much everybody that she writes for — that’s an incredible talent.”
And when it came to Kirk’s overstuffed résumé, Gunn revealed that he never suggested any of Kirk’s 60-plus jobs. That was all Sherman-Palladino.
“I have so much trust in her,” he said. “I like having Amy take the reins. Getting that envelope with a script in it and opening that up to see what I’m doing inside, that’s perfect for me. I don’t need to make suggestions. I was always pretty happy with what I got.”
Kirk’s appeal is obvious. He’s undoubtedly the most endearing character on the show. He’s misguided, sure, but he’s unapologetically true to himself — and that’s what makes him so lovable. He’s also Team Logan, so there’s that. (To be clear, Gunn is Team Logan because “he treated her like an equal,” and Kirk, well, he probably didn’t care much.)
“I’m sure someone out there hates him,” Gunn said. “I tend to resist stuff like this because life’s too short, but every now and then, I think that there must be some subreddit out there where people are just going on and on about how much they hate Kirk, a place where people despise Kirk.”
That’s a dark corner of the internet we don’t care to visit.