TWoP: It feels very real to the high school/college age group experience.
Gilford: Right, exactly. And you know, it's a bummer, because we've seen a lot of characters leave the show over the past few years, starting with Smash and then moving on to Street and so on. But that's what happens in real life. I think a bunch of us keep popping back up and coming back and coming home, which happens in real life, too, whether it be for a holiday or whatever's occurring that brings people back home for a little bit.
TWoP: They announced that you're going to be doing four episodes of the fifth season.
Gilford: Right, that's what we were just filming yesterday. I was really excited to find out I was coming back. But to be honest, I talked to the creators of the show to find out exactly what the plan was, because I didn't want it to be just like, "Oh, Saracen's back for no reason!" But it's actually a pretty cool storyline, so I'm excited about it, and I'm definitely excited to come back and see everyone.
TWoP: Is it a little more uplifting than what you've had to do this season?
Gilford: It is, it's a little more uplifting. I don't think it's quite so depressing.
TWoP: It's been great, though, you've been handling the situation well. There's a lot of people pulling for you to get an Emmy nomination for this.
Gilford: Oh, whatever, in terms of that. Yeah, that'd be exciting, and it's fun that people are excited about the show. It seems like when it first started airing, people loved it and they kept trying to push it but it never really blew up, so then people who loved it were like, "Alright, well this is our thing. We'll watch it and stop bugging people about it." And it's cool that this year, this is a great season. We've got a bunch of new characters coming in and watching the old ones leave, and the new school and everything. I think Kyle [Chandler]'s done an amazing job. I think it's kind of sparked a new energy in people about the show again, and they're trying to get people to start tuning in again.
TWoP: Is there any part of you that misses putting on all of the big, heavy football equipment?
Gilford: Yeah, I miss it a ton! I remember at the end of Season Three, after we filmed the State game, we were getting out of our uniforms and me and Taylor Kitsch just kind of looked at each other and were like, 'This is the last time we're ever going to wear our Panthers uniform.' We'd had it for three years, it was like the last time taking off a real uniform. It was kind of a weird feeling, because obviously it was a make-believe team, but we've had the same football players on our team since the pilot, and it's such a family down here, it really feels like a real team. It was really sad to have to move on from that, especially down in the heat, here. It's so much nicer to be sweating in football pads to be able to just pour water on your head than wearing jeans and a jacket and you're supposed to not be sweating. This is brutal.