10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Gossip Girl’

To mark the iconic show's 10-year anniversary

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since Gossip Girl first came into our lives, quickly changing friendship goals to that of Blair and Serena, and relationship goals to the passion of Chuck and Blair. 

To commemorate the show’s anniversary on September 19th, Vanity Fair spoke to the cast to reveal a few juicy facts that went on behind-the-scenes.

Take a seat.

1. Blake Lively and Leighton Meester weren’t friends (sob) but there was no tension on set

“Blake and Leighton were not friends. They were friendly, but they were not friends like Serena and Blair. Yet the second they’d be on set together, it’s as if they were,” writer/co-producer Joshua Safran said. Michelle Trachtenberg (Georgina Sparks) echoed the statement: “When we were filming, there was, ‘Leighton hates Blake, Blake hates Leighton, everyone hates Blake, everyone hates Leighton, everyone hates Chace,’ and blah, blah, blah. It really wasn’t. We were all chill. It was cool.”

2. Leighton originally auditioned for the role of Serena

But then told producers she thought she was better suited to Blair. She wanted the role so badly she even dyed her hair for it! “She came in and she was really funny, and really smart and played vulnerable. But there was one problem: she was blonde,” co-producer Josh Schwartz said. “And Blake was blonde, obviously; Serena had to be blonde. So, [Leighton] went to the sink and dyed her hair. She wanted it.’”

gossip girl

3. Even before the show aired, Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass) and Chase Crawford (Nate Archibald) were being hounded by girls

“We had these girls coming up to us [at an Arctic Monkeys concert], and they were kind of freaking out about it: ‘Oh, we love the books.’ [Ed and I] kept looking at each other like, shit, man,” Crawford recalls.

4. Gossip Girl was never going to be a girl

While they eventually settled on Dan, both Nate and Eric van der Woodsen, Serena’s brother, were considered by the writers as possible real identities of the blogger in early seasons.

5. Blake and Penn Badgley (Dan Humphrey) broke up long before the cast found out

“The shocking thing was, I found out on the set of the season 2 finale that Blake and Penn had broken up months before,” Safran said. “They kept the breakup hidden from the crew, which you could never do now. I don’t even know how they did it. They kept it from everybody which is a testament to how good they are as actors. Because they did not want their personal drama to relate to the show.”

gossip girl serena dan

6. Chase and Ed were real life roommates

While Blake and Leighton weren’t besties, at least the boys were. They lived in a two-bedroom apartment in Chelsea while filming the show.

7. Blake knew how big Gossip Girl was going to be – and it scared her

“I’m actually a very shy person and the idea of losing my anonymity was one that was scary to me,” she said. “I remember saying when I read this script, ‘Whoever does this will not be able to walk out of their house ever again and be the same as before they started this.’ You could tell it was a cultural phenomenon. That was both exciting and thrilling, but also very scary.”

8. However, Leighton was more surprised by the world’s reaction to the show

“I think it was just the normal, typical pilot season audition for me,” she recalled. “I auditioned and then I tested once and then we did a screen test with everybody. And then, that was it….I dunno. I got it.”

chuck and blair

9. Leighton was very reserved on set, while Blake was extroverted 

“Leighton was very removed and very quiet, and, after her scenes were done, she would wander the stage,” Safran said. “I had this image of her just in these gorgeous dresses with a book in her hand, sort of a little bit out of focus out in the corners.”

Meanwhile, “Blake is very much in the moment,” he continued. “Blake knows what’s happening. She knows this movie’s coming out, this band is happening. You talk to Blake on a very contemporary level, and she would be like, ‘I’m doing this thing tonight. Have you been to this restaurant?’ “

10. Most importantly: Both Blake and Leighton are open to a Gossip Girl reunion 

“I guess I hear that [reunion talk] in fits and starts here and there, but it’s hard to say,” Leighton said. “If everyone was into it and if the timing was right, you know?” She trailed off, “I don’t want to say, ‘No, never…’”

Blake is game too: “Of course. I’m open to anything that’s good, that’s interesting, and that sort of feels necessary. …I imagine we all would [consider it]. I can’t speak for everyone else, but we all owe so much to this show, and I think that it would be silly not to acknowledge that.”

Read Vanity Fair’s full piece here.

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