Gilmore Girls gave Paris Geller (Liza Weil) many a boyfriend over the course of seven seasons. Jamie was the boyfriend to whom she lost her virginity. Brandon Barash played Jamie and revealed the unusual inspiration for his character. Barash said Gilmore Girls told him to play Jamie as a “young Bill Clinton.”
Barash was a guest on Scott Patterson’s I Am All In podcast April 27. He explained how former President Clinton influenced his portrayal of Jamie.
‘Gilmore Girls’ was looking for a ‘young Bill Clinton’ to be Paris’s boyfriend
Paris meets Jamie in Washington, D.C. over the summer. Jamie goes to Princeton and they meet at a student government program before he becomes Paris’s boyfriend. Clinton went to Georgetown himself, but the political aspect wasn’t too big of a stretch. Of course, Gilmore Girls came after Clinton’s scandals in the ‘90s.
“I remember throughout the audition the note I kept getting was young Bill Clinton,” Barash said on I Am All In. “Think young Bill Clinton. This was of course after the whole thing. Well, which part about Bill Clinton’s life am I emulating here? Just to be clear, should I take a cigar into the audition room or not?”
Brandon Barash had a lot to navigate on ‘Gilmore Girls’
Gilmore Girls was also Barash’s first on camera role. He would go on to long running stints on the soaps General Hospital and Days of Our Lives. But, on Gilmore Girls, “young Bill Clinton” was one of many new challenges to navigate.
“The notes I kept getting was ‘think young Bill Clinton’ and ‘speak faster,’” Barash said. “So it was just trying to negotiate, again, all of those things. The cameras, the lights, the booms, the mind splitting silence of a TV set or a movie set. Young Bill Clinton is what I keep remembering from that whole process.”
The end of Jamie and Paris’s next boyfriend
Ultimately, Jamie only appeared in three episodes. In 2003, Barash would have been open to more Gilmore Girls, but alas, Paris dumped him when he visited her at Yale. Fortunately, Barash bounced back with roles on 24 and NCIS before the soaps.
“My career would’ve loved that,” Barash said. “Look, I’m not unhappy where I am right now. I’m very happy but back then, yeah. I was bummed out for sure when I found out that she had left Jamie for an older man and Jamie’s time in Stars Hollow was over.”
Paris was also a force of nature, not unlike the women with whom Clinton was involved. Perhaps that’s why she hooked up with a Yale professor.
“Liza was great as I’m sure she still is great,” Barash said. “She was great to work with. Paris was intense and I think Jamie enjoyed that. He wasn’t used to that. He was kind of a slower speed kind of guy but he was just along for the ride until we all know he wasn’t. We all know what happened there.”