The Truth About Mae Whitman And Lauren Graham's Relationship

Mae Whitman and Lauren Graham may be one of the most recognizable mother-daughter duos in 2010s television, but their relationship goes way beyond their roles on the beloved family drama series, "Parenthood," which aired for six seasons from 2010-2015 (via IMDb). Whitman notably played the character of Amber Holt, the somewhat troubled and rebellious teen trying to find her way in life, while Graham portrayed Sarah Braverman, the single mom of two trying to navigate parenthood, her love life, and complicated family drama. And although the pair often butted heads onscreen, their years-long friendship has been going strong ever since they started working together over a decade ago.

"The first word that comes to mind is life. I don't remember what my life was like before her," Whitman told Glamour in 2014 of her relationship with Graham. "She has shaped my existence so much. She's more than a best friend: she's my role model, she's a mother, she's a sister. I mist up even talking about her."

That wasn't the only time Whitman gushed about the "Gilmore Girls" alum. During an interview with HuffPost after the "Parenthood" series finale aired, Whitman opened up about her onscreen fictional family, telling the outlet, "Lauren Graham is my best friend, and Dax [Shepard] is my family, and Miles [Heizer], who plays my brother, he's my roommate, he lives with me in real life. We bonded in this way that is so unlike anything I've ever experienced."

Mae Whitman helped Lauren Graham land her role on Zooey's Extraordinary Playlist

Although "Parenthood" has been off the air for more than six years, Lauren Graham and Mae Whitman's friendship has remained steady. In fact, it was Whitman who helped Graham land her role in NBC's hit television series, "Zooey's Extraordinary Playlist," which stars Jane Levy — who is one of Whitman's closest friends — as the titular character. "Mae Whitman is the reason I'm friends with anybody who's cool and 30," Graham said in an interview with InStyle. "Jane is one of Mae's dearest friends. I don't know why, but I get to be part of this cool group of girls."

"Mae now is actually bitter and upset because her two best friends are gone and together," Graham jokingly added. "We send her pictures and it makes her upset."

Even though her two besties had their own relationship onscreen — Graham played Levy's boss in "Zooey's Extraordinary Playlist" — "Parenthood" wasn't the last time Whitman and Graham worked on a project together. The "Perks of Being A Wallflower" star actually had a cameo in Netflix's "Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life," which marked the first time Whitman and Graham's other TV daughter, Alexis Bledel, were brought together on the small screen (via HelloGiggles).

Mae Whitman on her role as a mom in Good Girls

While it's no secret that Mae Whitman has had quite a successful career so far — she's worked on over 150 live action and animated productions ever since her first credited acting role in 1994 (via IMDb) — there's one role that she's been extra-grateful to play: mom Annie Marks in the hit series, "Good Girls," which also stars Christina Hendricks and Retta.

"It's been amazing. I've been acting since I was four years old. I only have flashes of memories from when I was little," the "DUFF" star revealed in an interview with Variety. "But, I've been sitting in so many cars looking up at the mom — my TV mom or my movie mom — who's been driving, and it's amazing now that I'm driving the car. I look over at my kid in the passenger seat, and it just feels really full circle, and it feels really cool. It makes me remember how thankful I am that I still get to be doing the job I do."

Mae Whitman says Lauren Graham helped her step into her role as a mom

Mae Whitman also credited Lauren Graham for helping her prepare for the role of Annie in "Good Girls," telling Variety that she had "some of the best moms in the biz" to look up to. "I take so much from Lauren Graham, especially, who played my mom on 'Parenthood,'" Whitman continued. "She's basically my best friend. I look up to her so much as an actor, and I'm so lucky that I got to have the experience of being able to play her kid and see how she sort of treated her children with respect, and they had a real friendship."

In an interview with The Lily in 2018 — right around the time "Good Girls" premiered — Whitman also gave a little more insight into her relationship with Graham, telling the outlet all about their close-knit friendship. "Lauren is literally someone whom I've had write break-up texts for me," she shared. "She is an all-purpose, amazing resource that is this magical treat. She's always there for me and it's so hard to be away from her, but the fact that I get to have her in my life forever is something I'll be thankful for the rest of my life."