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'Gossip Girl' First Look: Billy Baldwin as Serena's dad!

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William Baldwin’s upcoming Gossip Girl stint as Serena and Eric’s MIA dad (which kicks off April 26) forced him to come face-to-face with an awful truth: “The hardest thing to take in was that I was playing Blake Lively’s father,” sighs the 46-year-old actor of his 22-year-old co-star. “As scary as it is to say, I AM old enough to be her father. But it’s still tough to take.

“I’m [supposed to be] with the girl,” he continues with a laugh, “not the father of the girl.”

Ironically, it’s the actor’s own fault he got cast in the part. Gossip producers approached him last season to play a different role, but he nixed it. “It was only for one episode,” he explains. “So I told them to come up with something [bigger].”

Well, there are few roles bigger than that of William van der Woodsen, who’s forced out of hiding due to a crisis involving ex-wife Lily. Baldwin says he “avoided meeting” Lively in advance of the scene in which father and daughter reconnect for the first time in 15 years. “We didn’t see each other virtually until when they rolled the cameras,” he says. “I wanted to limit the amount of exposure we had with one another, because I really wanted it to have an unknown quality to it.”

More certain is Baldwin’s future with the show. “If I were a betting man, it would make sense for something to happen next season,” he hints. “It feels like they’re going to want to bring William back.”

If not, Serena could always work out her daddy issues with a look-alike lover. Quelle scandale!

PHOTO CREDIT: Giovanni Rufino/The CW