1. Blake Lively had quit acting before joining the show.
When the actress was 18, she decided to go to college instead of continuing to act because, according to Lively, she "realized that [acting] was a business as much as a craft. People will go see your movie based on your standing and all of that, and it didn’t make sense to me because I was 18 and being an artist.”
2. When Lively was offered the role of Serena van der Woodsen, she first passed on the opportunity.
"I said, ‘No, I want to go to college. Thank you, though.’ Then they said, ‘OK, you can go to Columbia [University] one day a week. After the first year [of the show], it’ll quiet down. Your life will go back to normal and you can start going to school. We can’t put it in writing, but we promise you can go,'" Lively recalls. "So that’s why I said, ‘OK. You know what? I’ll do this.’ This is advice to anyone: when they say, ‘We promise, but we can’t put it in writing,’ there’s a reason they can’t put it in writing. But no, the show didn’t slow down. It just got more and more.”
3. Crawford, who played Nate Archibald, didn't see Meester portraying Blair Waldorf when he first met her.
Crawford remembers meeting Meester at his audition and first thinking, “I just don’t see her as Blair Waldorf. I can’t see it.” After seeing her get into character, though, he recalls, “I just remember thinking, ‘That girl can act. She’s the perfect girl for this.’”
4. Meester's audition was "normal," nothing special.
The actress first auditioned for the role of Serena, but felt she would be better as Blair and dyed her then-blonde hair for the role.
"I think it was just the normal, typical pilot season audition for me," Meester shares. "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.”