With Gossip Girl’s 10th anniversary approaching, it’s hard to imagine the show without its iconic (aka, perfect-looking) cast. Even a decade after the show’s premiere, Blair and Serena are still friendship goals, and the roles helped Leighton Meester and Blake Lively skyrocket to fame. However, in a recent Vanity Fair feature, Lively admitted that she almost didn’t take the chance to star on Gossip Girl. Um, a world without Lively as true style inspiration is definitely not one I’d want to live in.
Prior to the show finalizing its casting in 2007, Lively had decided that acting may not be for her. “I realized that [acting] was a business as much as a craft,” she told the magazine, which wrote a piece about the show’s anniversary. “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.”
When showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage came across Lively as a possibility for Serena (thanks to online forums’ suggestions!), she initially wasn’t thrilled with the idea. “I said, ‘No, I want to go to college. Thank you, though,’” she recalled. “Then they said, ‘O.K., 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 start going to school. We can’t put it in writing, but we can promise you can go.’ So that’s why I said, ‘O.K. You know what? I’ll do this.””
Of course, despite her wishes, we all know that the craziness of Gossip Girl didn’t really allow for college. “But no, the show didn’t slow down,” Lively said. “It just got more and more.”
She may not’ve gotten her college education, but I think it’s safe to say that taking on the role of Serena paid off for Lively in the end. With a busy film career and an adorable family, things have definitely only gotten better for her post-Gossip Girl, and she credits the show for being a strong starting point.
“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,” Lively shared.
Call me nostalgic, but hearing this news might inspire a Gossip Girl rewatch for me!