He Played Michel on "Gilmore Girls." See Yanic Truesdale Now at 52.
The Canadian actor played Stars Hollow's most fastidious and sarcastic resident.
Among the whimsical residents of Gilmore Girls' Stars Hollow, Michel Gerard alone stood out for his perpetual irritation and biting sarcasm. Playing a Frenchman inexplicably employed in Connecticut hospitality, actor Yanic Truesdale became known worldwide as the snooty but lovable concierge who would follow Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) from their work at the Independence Inn to opening the Dragonfly Inn over the course of the series' seven-season run.
In the years since Gilmore Girls ended, Truesdale has stayed busy, including starting a surprising Canadian business venture and having a strange reunion with McCarthy that involved being hoisted in the air by a crane. Read on to learn more about the TV actor's life and where he is now at age 52.
He splits his time between L.A. and Montreal.
While the character of Michel hailed from France, Truesdale was in fact born and raised in Quebec. (The actor met his American father just once, at age 12, according to a 2021 interview with VÉRO.) So while French is his first language, he picked up an accent for the role. Long before he became a Gilmore guy, Truesdale was dividing his time between his native Montreal and Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood, a practice he has continued in the years since, saying he generally spends the summer months up north.
In a French-language interview last year, he revealed that the move to Hollywood had felt necessary after Majeurs et vaccinés, a 1995 comedy series starring Truesdale, was canceled after one season despite acclaim. Although he hesitated to repeat what he was told about why the series was not renewed, he said the incident made him realize that the circumstances of being a young Black actor in that time and place did not suit him, leading to a year spent studying acting and English in New York City before departing for L.A. and ultimately winning the part of Michel.
He opened a spinning gym.
Like his health nut alter ego Michel, Truesdale eats a healthy diet and stays active. A former jogger, he got into L.A.'s indoor spin cycling trend following a knee injury, according to an interview with Global News Morning Montreal. A few years after Gilmore Girls ended, the actor decided to bring the workout to his hometown.
"I loved it so much that I opened my own studio," he said of Spin Énergie, the spinning and indoor cycling studio he opened in 2013 in the city's trendy Plateau neighborhood.
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He has an international acting career—and returned to Stars Hollow.
Since the original run of Gilmore Girls came to a close in 2007, Truesdale has acted in multiple series and films–although you may have missed some of them if you don't often tune into French Canadian television. In 2008, he appeared in the French-language sitcom Rumeurs, followed by a role in another series, Mauvais Karma, in 2012. On working in French Canadian media, he told The Montreal Gazette in 2013: "It's really refreshing to act in your own language. There's an ease to it. Also, it's working with people you've known for a long time. It just feels very easy. There's something soothing about it. You're home."
However, Truesdale has not stuck strictly to Quebec-based roles. Over the last decade, he has had roles in English-language Canadian and American series including The Fixer, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and the 2016 Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival, playing a now openly gay, married, and soon-to-be-father Michel.
He teamed up with a legend for a dramatic role.
For Truesdale, who turned 50 on St. Patrick's Day 2020, the new decade has brought the desire to take greater charge of his creative path. "Being 40 didn't matter to me, but 50 I took as a last call," he said (in French) in his VÉRO interview. "I feel a kind of urgency."
That urgency is evident in his activity over the past few years, including appearing in the Sigourney Weaver film My Salinger Year, pitching the semi-autobiographical series Wake Up to Warner Bros., and enjoying back-to-back roles on Canadian series Les Mecs and The Wedding Planners. Last April, Truesdale also appeared in two Lifetime movies based on a mystery book series by R. Franklin James: Fallen Angels Murder Club and Fallen Angels Murder Club: Friends to Die For.
In the Fallen Angels movies, he plays Gene Donovan, ex-convict and best friend of amateur sleuth Hollis Morgan, portrayed by bestselling R&B singer Toni Braxton, who also executive produced the films. The dramatic role gave the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute-trained actor a chance to work alongside an idol–he admitted to having bought "a lot" of Braxton albums–and to finally show his abilities as a serious actor after years of being cast in comedies.
"[P]eople decided that I was a comedic actor, that I was a funny actor," he told The List of the genre change. "I never thought of myself as being funny. I'm much more comfortable in drama. It is more my nature."
He's still close with McCarthy.
While Michel's interactions with Lorelai and Sookie ranged from exasperated to endearingly crotchety, Truesdale was in fact quite friendly with both Graham and McCarthy on and off the set. In 2021, he was happily reunited with McCarthy when he traveled to Australia to co-star in her Netflix comedy series God's Favorite Idiot. In the series, Truesdale plays the archangel Chamuel—a role that involved being lifted into the air by a crane for his entrance–as he watches over a humble tech employee (McCarthy's real-life husband Ben Falcone) tasked with preventing the apocalypse.
Truesdale was grateful that the role offered him a chance to play the polar opposite of snooty and reserved Michel—and that it gave him ample time to hang out with the Bridesmaids star during the shoot.
"I love going to country houses or a beach house with people and friends because you wake up together, you have breakfast, and you can hang out and actually catch up," he told TV Insider. "So for me to be on set with her long days and all day, we were reconnecting at a deeper level."