To celebrate the series' 10-year anniversary, Vanity Fair spoke with the actors, creators Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz and writer and executive producer Joshua Safran to look back at the fashionable and conniving Upper East Side students and their experience on the show.
Here are 11 juicy details we learned from the VF article.
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.”
As the show became a huge hit, the actor first enjoyed his time in the spotlight, then his opinion changed. “I think I used to feel like I was fine with it, but looking back on it from a different perspective now, I never really got used to it," Crawford confesses. "I’m a private person and I don’t like being the center of attention.”
6. Lively and Meester were not best friends.
“Blake and Leighton were not friends. They were friendly, but they were not friends like Serena and Blair," Safran reveals, adding that everyone got along fine, but the two actresses had different personalities. "Yet the second they’d be on set together, it’s as if they were.”
7. Lively and Badgley -- who dated for three years -- kept their breakup a secret so it wouldn't interfere with their work.
“The shocking thing was, I found out on the set of the season two finale that Blake and Penn had broken up months before,” Safran shares. “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.”
8. Badgley didn't have the greatest experience being on the show, and many other actors felt the same way after a couple of years.
“Penn didn’t like being on Gossip Girl, but . . . he was Dan. He may not have liked it, but [his character] was the closest to who he was,” Safran explains. “Some of the actors were not entirely happy to be there after a certain point. And no matter what we did, they were never going be happy. . . . They were kids. They were young.”
9. Lively dating Leonardo DiCaprio influenced the show.
Lively had landed a role in the 2012 movie Savages, which was shooting in Los Angeles, and asked to relocate the show to fit her needs. At the time, she was dating DiCaprio and it inspired the GG writers to move her character to the West Coast and create a new storyline.
"We learned a lot from Blake,” Safran says. “When I think about shooting the L.A. episodes, Blake was dating [DiCaprio] at the time, and she had this thing where she had a doll that she took photos of that she sent to Leo. Blake was way ahead of the curve. It was pre-Instagram. She was documenting her life in photographs in a way that people were not yet doing.”
10. Westwick still has no clue who Gossip Girl is.
“I still am not sure who GG was lol," the actor confesses.
11. Lively would be open for a revival, while Meester isn’t so sure.
“Of course," Lively expresses. "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.”
Meanwhile, Meester says, “Yeah, I don’t really hear [talk of] that . . . I guess I hear that in fits and starts here and there, but it’s hard to say. If everyone was into it and if the timing was right, you know? ... I don’t want to say, ‘No, never . . .’”