- The popular CW show, “Gossip Girl” has drawn millions of viewers since its 2007 premiere.
- It helped launch the careers of Blake Lively and Leighton Meester and started many fashion trends of the 2010s.
- “Gossip Girl” author Cecily von Ziegesar had one major issue with the adaptation.
- Blake Lively almost turned down the role of Serena and Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for it.
When “Gossip Girl” aired its last episode in December 2012, the series finale was the show’s most viewed episode ever. 1.5 million people tuned in to find out the true identity of the show’s narrator, Gossip Girl, who was voiced by Kristen Bell.
Fans were shocked and delighted by the finale, but there are some things about the show fans may have forgotten since they last spent time with their favourite group of Upper East Siders.
January 26 is official “Gossip Girl Day” in New York City.
In 2012, Michael Bloomberg declared January 26 “Gossip Girl Day” in New York City. The announcement came in celebration of the airing of the show’s 100th episode and took place at the New York City studio where “Gossip Girl” was filmed.
Jennifer Lawrence wanted to play Serena Van Der Woodsen.
Before Blake Lively was given the role of Serena Van Der Woodsen, Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence put her hat in the ring.
According to executive producer Josh Schwartz, Lawrence “definitely auditioned and was bummed to not get it.”
“Gossip Girl” shot on location in New York City.
The “Gossip Girl” cast shot on location in New York City, and used many famous landmarks as a backdrop. Locations include New York Palace Hotel, the Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Bethesda Fountain, and The Empire Hotel – which now serves “Gossip Girl”-inspired cocktails.
The show has even inspired a sightseeing tour for avid fans, which features stops at Vera Wang, Dylan’s Candy Bar, and Grand Central Terminal.
Each episode title is a play on a famous movie title.
Upon taking a closer look at every episode title of “Gossip Girl,” fans have noticed each title is a spin on a famous movie. The show’s 121 episodes include titles like “Blair Waldorf Must Pie” (“John Tucker Must Die”), “It’s A Wonderful Lie” (“It’s A Wonderful Life”), and “You’ve Got Yale!” (“You’ve Got Mail”).
Blake Lively and Penn Badgley famously dated off-screen and secretly broke up.
Just like their on-screen personas, Blake Lively and Penn Badgley dated for three years while filming “Gossip Girl.” The two reportedly began dating in 2007 and called it off in 2010.
No one on the set was aware when the two had broken up. Executive producer Joshua Safran told Vanity Fair, “The shocking thing was, I found out on the set of the season two finale that Blake and Penn had broken up months before… 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.”
Serena and Blair’s wardrobes were inspired by fashion icons.
In an interview with HuffPost, the “Gossip Girl” costume designer Eric Daman revealed the inspirations for both Serena and Blair’s wardrobes.
For Serena, the look was modelled after Kate Moss. This included a lot of “nonchalant fashion,” which he described as “having that “I’ve travelled to Europe” vibe.” Daman also described his use of Audrey Hepburn as inspiration for Blair’s style, saying her wardrobe is “well thought-out, but also looks seamless and effortless.”
Penn Badgley didn’t know he was Gossip Girl.
“Gossip Girl” showrunners didn’t want their actors focusing too heavily on who would end up being Gossip Girl in the end, so it was not revealed until the final scripts were handed down.
Speaking to TV Line, executive producer Stephanie Savage said of Gossip Girl’s identity, “It was nothing that we talked to the actors about. It was nothing that we wanted to be part of Penn Badgley’s performance as Dan.”
Leighton Meester proved she was meant to play Blair Waldorf.
Although Leighton Meester seems like the natural fit for Blair Waldorf, her connection to the character was not always so apparent. Of her audition, executive producer Josh Schwartz told Vanity Fair, “She came in and she was really funny, and really smart and played vulnerable. But there was one problem: She was blonde. And Blake was blonde, obviously; Serena had to be blonde. So, [Leighton] went to the sink and dyed her hair. She wanted it.'”
Chace Crawford, who played Blair’s high school boyfriend Nate Archibald, described a memory he had of the first time he met Meester. He thought to himself “I just don’t see her as Blair Waldorf. I can’t see it.”
Crawford’s mind was quickly changed, however, when Meester turned around “slyly in her chair,” sporting Blair’s iconic headband. After that, Crawford said “I just remember thinking, ‘That girl can act. She’s the perfect girl for this.'”
Lively shot her “Gossip Girl” wedding just a month after her own.
Just a month after Blake Lively’s intimate wedding to actor Ryan Reynolds, she was spotted on set wearing a gold wedding dress. Fans were left to speculate at the time but later saw the gown in the show’s series finale.
There are many international “Gossip Girl” spin offs.
“Gossip Girl” was not only a hit with American audiences, but it also was reproduced in multiple international countries.
Spin-offs were produced in Mexico, China, Turkey, and Thailand.
Fan-favourite Dorota got the spin-off treatment too
One of the most beloved characters from “Gossip Girl” was Blair’s maid, Dorota, played by Zuzanna Szadkowski.
In 2009, Dorota got the spin-off treatment with her own show “Chasing Dorota.” The show was canceled after six episodes, but Szadkowski remained as a series regular on “Gossip Girl” until its finale in 2012.
Many private schools in New York City reportedly imposed bans on the show.
“Gossip Girl” was known for its over-the-top portrayal of New York City’s elite. It’s no surprise, then, that it received backlash from its very subjects.
Students reported many of their schools had imposed bans on their students watching the show, citing its unfavorable and unrealistic portrayal of real life as being damaging, reported the New York Sun.
“Gossip Girl” author Cecily von Ziegesar had one major issue with the adaptation.
Though she said she enjoyed watching “Gossip Girl,” von Ziegesar admitted in an interview with MTV that she had one major problem with the show’s casting.
Referring to Jessica Szohr as Vanessa, the author said “I think Vanessa is one character they ruined. In the book, she’s kick-arse and has a shaved head and wears lots of black … and I think a lot of the readers who don’t usually read teen fiction identify with Vanessa. Even though I don’t like Vanessa’s character, it’s nothing against [actress] Jessica [Szohr]. I just wish Vanessa was like she is in the books a bit more.”
Blake Lively originally turned down the role.
When “Gossip Girl” was picked up for the TV adaptation, fans of the book knew Blake Lively was the clear option for Serena. Lively had just started attracting attention from her role in 2005’s “The Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants,” and was a natural fit for the role.
When approached with the opportunity, Lively told producers, “No, I want to go to college. Thank you, though.” Talking to Vanity Fair, Lively continued, “Then they said, ‘OK, you can go to Columbia [University] one day a week. After the first year [of the show], it will 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.’ So that’s why I said, ‘OK You know what? I’ll do this.'”
Lively and Meester weren’t as close as Serena and Blair.
On screen, Blake Lively and Leighton Meester were the ultimate BFF duo. Off-screen, however, producers have said they were not as compatible. They are known to be different in temperament, and executive producer Joshua Safran told Vanity Fair, “They were friendly, but they were not friends like Serena and Blair.”
The show was targeted by hackers.
While the show was airing, the show experienced a breach in their database that lead to major script leaks. During the fourth season, producers were forced to hire a private investigator after scripts continued to appear online. The investigator later found that the details were being sold on eBay by a teenager, who could not be prosecuted due to their age.
Following the hacks, producers printed scripts on red paper or ‘X’-ed out each page to prevent plotlines from being spoiled online.
The costumes had major influence on retail trends.
Just as “Sex And The City” did in the late 90s, “Gossip Girl” had a major influence on the fashion trends of the 2010s. The show became so popular that designers were known to line up for a chance to put their clothing on Lively or Meester. In an interview with Fashionista, costume designer Eric Daman said, “Once we got one bigger designer to say yes, it’s like letting the floodgates open, and early on, Chanel said yes. All of a sudden, everybody wanted to be a part of it.”
Tory Burch was one of such designers, and said having an item displayed on the show immediately “translates to sales.” Speaking with The New York Times, Burch also said, “We have girls coming in with magazine tear sheets of Blake Lively or Leighton Meester, from location shootings or from everyday life.”
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