The ‘Gilmore Girls’ Character Lane Kim Is Based on a Real Person: Who Is She?

by Jeremy Spirogis
Gilmore Girls cast member Keiko Agena

On Gilmore Girls, actor Keiko Agena performed the quirky, sort, music-obsessed character of Lane Kim. Lane, Rory’s finest friend and confidante on the present, was born and raised within the legendary Stars Hollow to strict Korean Christian mother and father. Agena is Japanese-American herself, however the real-life Korean girl who impressed the Gilmore Girls has a lot in widespread with Lane.

‘Gilmore Girls’ solid member Keiko Agena based mostly her character Lane on an actual particular person

Gilmore Girls cast member Keiko Agena
Keiko Agena at a behind the scenes dialogue of Gilmore Girls on the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2003 | Vince Bucci/Getty Images

On an episode of the Gilmore Guys podcast, tv author, director, and producer Helen Pai admitted she was the inspiration for the character, Lane. Lane’s character was modeled after Pai as a result of she has been Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s finest friend for a number of years. The pair met whereas making a tv pilot in 1996.

For Gilmore Girls, Pai was initially employed as a script coordinator, and ultimately labored as a co-producer on the TV collection for all 7 seasons.

On the podcast, Pai revealed a number of of the similarities of the Gilmore Girls storylines to her actual life.

“I was raised a Seventh-day Adventist,” she confirmed. Mrs. Kim’s obsession with wholesome consuming was additionally taken from her life expertise.

“My parents were very healthy, so the crazy food thing —  there were elements of my life that she pulled, that she exaggerated,” Pai stated.

That season 2 plot through which Lane will get shipped off to Korea with an enormous suitcase, and he or she worries she’ll be caught there eternally? Some model of that additionally occurred to Pai.

“I went to Korea [and] I didn’t know when I was coming back. I didn’t have a return ticket,” she defined on the Gilmore Guys podcast. Pai apparently went on a tour with different Korean-American youngsters and visited her uncle — and really didn’t know whether or not she’d return. However, she assured the podcast hosts she had a “good-time” in Korea.

The real-life Lane Kim cherished music — and impressed the band title ‘Hep Alien’

In a BuzzFeed article all about Lane, Pai additionally shared that, just like the Kims on Gilmore Girls, she had “strict parents who forbade her from indulging in anything secular.” But, very like Lane, Pai cherished music and “things that didn’t revolve around God,” as she put it.

“I liked rock ‘n’ roll, and that was very sinful,” she continued. “If I wanted to go somewhere, I would tell my mom I was going to church group … [My parents] put their religion on me, so there was a little bit of resentment on my side.”

On Gilmore Guys, Pai expanded on Lane’s music style.

“I feel like musically Lane Kim was a version of me and Dan Palladino,” she stated of the collection’ co-head author/director/producer. “Dan is an encyclopedia when it comes to music.”

And not accidentally, Lane’s band title on Gilmore Girls is Hep Alien — an anagram of “Helen Pai.”

Lane and Mrs. Kim each obtained assist from the Pai household for particular ‘Gilmore Girls’ episodes

Gilmore Girls castGilmore Girls cast
Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life solid members Liza Well, Danny Strong, Sean Gunn, Kelly Bishop, Yanic Truesdale, Scott Patterson, Tanc Sade, Alexis Bledel, Lauren Graham, Matt Czuchry and Keiko Agena on the premiere of Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life on Nov. 18, 2016 | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

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Pai can be married to Dave Rygalski — the character whose title they didn’t change for the present. Lane turns into romantically concerned with Dave throughout season 3. The on-screen Dave was performed by Adam Brody, nonetheless, after getting solid on The O.C., he left Gilmore Girls earlier than season four and needed to be written off. In actual life, Pai and Rygalski have been planning their marriage ceremony in the course of the Gilmore Girls Season 1.

Pai’s affect, nonetheless, wasn’t restricted to Lane alone. As she defined within the podcast interview, Pai’s mom helped train Emily Kuroda (who performed Mrs. Kim) some phrases in Korean. The present additionally consulted on the language and tradition when points got here up within the Gilmore Girls scripts.

As Agena captioned a 2016 picture on Instagram of Pai and herself, Pai is little question the “REAL LIFE Lane Kim.”

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