Whatever Happened To Lane From Gilmore Girls?

Keiko Agena — aka Lane from Gilmore Girls — is a comedian and actress who has appeared in many mainstream television shows. Of those shows, her most notable role was as Rory Gilmore's best friend Lane Kim in Gilmore Girls, of course. If you're a fan of Rory, Lorelai, and the rest of the gang, you know that the Stars Hollow community wouldn't be complete without the rebellious and fiercely loyal Lane. She defied her mother's strict rules to pursue her passion for music, drumming for her band Hep Alien and playing small shows with bandmates Zack, Brian, and Gil.

The talented woman behind Lane, Keiko Agena, has an impressive filmography and has made strides in amplifying the voices of Asian American performers. She has shown her talents across several multimedia platforms, appearing in films, live productions, and even video games! 

So what's she doing today? Here's what Lane from Gilmore Girls has been up to.

The actress behind Lane from Gilmore Girls has been a guest star on several popular series

Following her tenure as Lane from Gilmore Girls, Keiko Agena expanded her resume with appearances on some of TV's hottest shows, including NCIS: Los Angeles, House, and Castle.

In 2012, Agena guest starred on Scandal as White House Press Secretary Britta Kagan in the episode "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." From 2018 to 2019, she played a recurring character in the first season of the show Dirty John. She carried out the role of Nancy, one of the colleagues of main character Debra Newell, who was played by Connie Britton.

Starting in 2018, Agena played the character of Viola Goto on Better Call Saul, making her first appearance in the episode "Something Beautiful." At least one Gilmore Girls fan loved seeing her in the series, remarking on Reddit, "So great to see Keiko Agena in a new show!"

Keiko Agena, aka Lane from Gilmore Girls, launched a podcast

In 2015, Keiko Agena, aka Lane from Gilmore Girls, and Will Choi combined forces to produce the podcast Drunk Monk Podcast. The podcast followed Agena and Choi as they "rewatch every episode of USA Network's hit TV show Monk and may get a little drunk in the process." The podcast ran from 2015 to 2017, boasted 53 episodes, and analyzed each season of Monk.

While the podcast focused on Monk, Agena and Choi also tackled current events and social issues throughout each episode. In the podcast's inaugural episode, they discussed gun control and Asian American representation. Subsequent episodes delved into the hosts' personal lives with stories about their high school experiences, most embarrassing moments, and a revolving door of hysterical roommates for Choi.

As guests on Talk Nerdy With Us, Agena and Choi discussed their inspiration for the podcast, with Agena saying, "We were really just floating the idea around one night after drinking. It didn't start as a serious idea ... just a last minute conversation."

The woman behind Lane from Gilmore Girls played live with Hep Alien

During the 2015 ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, Keiko Agena and her former Gilmore Girls co-stars put on a show with their fictional band, Hep Alien, at the San Jose Hotel, as noted by Refinery29. The band — which consisted of Agena, Todd Lowe (who played Zack), and John Cabrera (who played Brian) — played covers of songs by Blondie and the White Stripes and even performed a cover of the Gilmore Girls theme song, "Where You Lead." The iconic song was originally performed by musician Carole King.

In addition to the Hep Alien performance, Agena, who's still known as Lane from Gilmore Girlstook part in a panel alongside co-stars Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Kelly Bishop, Milo Ventimiglia, and others during the festival. Selfies of the cast also went viral on social media at the time (via HuffPost), as fans were excited to see the cast reunited again following the show's series finale that aired on May 15, 2007.

Years after playing Lane from Gilmore Girls, Keiko Agena starred in commercials

In 2015, the actress behind Lane from Gilmore Girls, Keiko Agena, was cast in a commercial for Verizon Wireless for their "Flipside Testimonials" campaign. In the commercial, Agena demonstrated the cons of a bad cellular network, and Agena's appearance did not go unnoticed by fans of Gilmore Girls. Realtor.com even published a review of the campaign, which partially focused on real estate, in which they noticed Agena and said, "Isn't that Keiko Agena from The CW's Gilmore Girls? Squee!"

Agena also appeared in another commercial – this one for UnitedHealthcare and titled "Pool Vault." In the commercial, she plays one of two women who watch a group of men try to pole vault across a backyard pool. Knowing that the looming pole vault is doomed to fail, Agena and the other woman discuss which urgent care they should have on standby, and Agena pulls up the UnitedHealthcare app to easily access nearby facilities.

Keiko Agena played Lane from Gilmore Girls again in the show's revival

Lane was a breakout character during the seven years that Gilmore Girls originally aired, and Keiko Agena recognized the responsibility she had to bring to her role. Speaking to the importance of Agena's portrayal of Lane, The Lily noted, "Many of the millennials who grew up with the show thought of her as our best friend, too, particularly children of immigrants, who saw our mother-child dynamics reflected less in Rory and Lorelai's relationship than in Lane and Mrs. Kim's, which despite its sternness and secrecy we also recognized as loving."

So, it was exciting to see Agena return to our screens as Lane in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, the Gilmore Girls revival, in 2016. Produced by Netflix, the revival consisted of four episodes. Unfortunately, fans of Lane from Gilmore Girls may have been disappointed in the revival because it showed the character never having left Stars Hollow. Instead, Lane settled down with her husband and twin boys (via Entertainment Weekly), and she worked alongside her mother, Mrs. Kim, in her family's antique shop. Many fans expressed regret that Lane never left her hometown to become the rock star she had dreamed of being.

Gilmore Girls star Keiko Agena has been enjoying married life

Keiko Agena has been married to singer-songwriter Shin Kawasaki for over a decade. The two, who were friends before entering a relationship, became engaged after only a month of dating, and they tied the knot in December 2005. Their wedding was quite the adventure, as the ceremony was performed in a helicopter as it flew over Las Vegas, as Agena shared on Peter McGraw's podcast.

Agena — aka Lane from Gilmore Girls, a show that boasts many fan theories — has spoken highly of her husband, saying on Reddit, "When I'm not doing improv, I'm probably with this dude." She called him her "Life Partner/Cool Cat."

One thing Agena has in common with her husband is their shared Japanese heritage, even though she was raised in Hawaii while her husband was raised in Japan. Speaking with The Lily, Agena said, "Shin, my husband, we say this a lot, that in some ways, we are more similar to each other than we are to Asian Americans that have grown up in California, because in Hawaii, Asian Americans are the majority. And obviously in Japan, Japanese are the majority."

You may have seen Lane from Gilmore Girls on Netflix's 13 Reasons Why

In March 2017, Netflix premiered the show 13 Reasons Why, which follows the journey of high school student Hannah Baker (played by Katherine Langford), who takes her own life, and the fallout it has on her friends and loved ones. In the series, Keiko Agena plays Pam Bradley, a teacher at Liberty High School who teaches peer communication. 

Agena's appearance in 13 Reasons Why drew attention from Gilmore Girls fans as they were excited to see a familiar face and to watch more of Agena's work. Bustle reported on Agena's performance in the Netflix series and drew a connection to Gilmore Girls, stating, "[Keiko Agena's] character is a teacher — something that Rory Gilmore would definitely be proud of." Yes, we bet Lane from Gilmore Girls would impress her bookworm BFF Rory with her interest in academics.

The actress who played Lane from Gilmore Girls published a book

In 2018, Keiko Agena, done with playing Lane from Gilmore Girls, published a book called No Mistakes: A Perfect Workbook for Imperfect Artists. The workbook is a compilation of prompts for drawing, writing, and list-making and includes reminders to breathe deeply. The activities range from whimsical — like drawing things you'd bring with you during a zombie apocalypse — to personal and introspective, such as, making a list of "the negative things you think about yourself," as noted by The Lily.

Agena has spoken openly about her own journey with anxiety and self-doubt, and her book is a way to connect with readers who experience the same fears she has. The book is a chance for Agena, and for all artists, to reclaim their creativity. Speaking with Bustle, Agena said, "I love books like this, that dive back into what we need to do as artists. So I asked myself 'What do I need?" and 'What am I scared of?' Well, I'm constantly scared that I'm not good enough, or I'm not the right type of something, and that I'm a failure." As a result, Agena has channeled her fears and needs into the pages of her book, through which artists can work on overcoming their mistakes so that they can continue to create with confidence.

Gilmore Girls' Keiko Agena was a series regular on Hulu's The First

In September 2018, Hulu premiered The First, a science-fiction show about the preparation of the first human mission to Mars. On the show, which was produced by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, Keiko Agena plays Aiko Hakari, one of the five astronauts chosen to explore Mars. Agena starred alongside actor Sean Penn on the series.

Set in the year 2033, The First explored the possibility of life on Mars while also telling stories about the personal lives of the astronauts and their family members. No longer just Lane from Gilmore Girls, Agena's storyline as Aiko Hakari saw her character balance the impending mission to Mars with leaving behind her husband, two children, and elderly mother on Earth, as noted by The Atlantic. The inaugural season of The First consisted of eight episodes, with the season finale showing the launch of the crew's mission to Mars.

Unfortunately, Hulu canceled the series in January 2019, after only one season, as reported by The Verge.

The actress known as Lane from Gilmore Girls co-hosts shows and does improv

If you think that Lane from Gilmore Girls had a comedic presence, there's a reason why: Keiko Agena is an accomplished comedian. As noted by UCB Comedy, she studied comedy at the Groundlings and received comedic training from the iO West and UCB improv programs. These days, she performs with the improv groups Ham Radio, RJP, Totally Heather, and Kilowatt.

Given her experience, it makes sense that Keiko Agena has served as host of the Asian American variety show Asian AF as part of her work to promote Asian representation in media. The variety show performs at the UCB Theater in Los Angeles, and a typical performance includes some of the best Asian American comedians, musicians, actors, storytellers, and sketch performers.

In February 2019, Agena appeared on a podcast with Peter McGraw, where she spoke about the inspiration behind Asian AF and its origins. One of the reasons why Asian AF was started was apparently due to the number of whitewashing incidents occurring in Hollywood and in the media.

After playing Lane from Gilmore Girls, Keiko Agena did voiceover work

Keiko Agena is clearly multi-talented and excels at many things, including voiceover work. Since her days playing Lane from Gilmore Girls, Agena has voiced a character on Central Park. She posted a clip of her performance on Central Park on her Instagram account, sharing a funny sketch featuring Agena's guest role as a store clerk. In the caption, she noted she "absolutely [loves] living in this world." She also took on a voice-acting role for Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, voicing the character of Atsuko in the 2020 finale of the show.

In addition to television voiceover work, Agena has voiced characters in video games. Two video games to which she has lent her voice are Prey and Law & Order: Justice Is Served, playing the characters Miyu Sato and Toki Yamamato, respectively. The quality of her performances across different media platforms proves just how talented she is!

Not just Lane from Gilmore Girls anymore, Keiko Agena starred in Prodigal Son

Starting in 2019, Keiko Agena starred on Fox's crime drama Prodigal Son. On the show, she played NYPD medical examiner Dr. Edrisa Tanaka. Discussing the show, she told The Knockturnal, "As soon as I read this script I was fascinated by it." She continued, "I mean it's the kind of script that's intriguing because it's dark, it's intense, it makes sense, it's about family, it's a little bit funny but in a dark humor type of way."

Prodigal Son was filmed in New York City, and Agena admitted that she went through an adjustment moving to the Big Apple. In her interview with The Knockturnal, she described NYC and her transition by saying that New York is "a city with a strong personality, so I'm trying to find what my place in the city is."

While Prodigal Son was renewed for a second season, as noted by Express, it was canceled in 2021, as reported by TV Line. Still, it's clear that Lane from Gilmore Girls is doing well in the entertainment world, and we look forward to more of Keiko Agena's work in the future!