Next month will mark 10 years since The CW’s buzzy, network-defining series Gossip Girl first premiered — and it was almost a very, very different show: Blake Lively ended up starring in the show as Serena van der Woodsen, but she had decided to quit acting before being offered the role in 2007.
At just 18 years old, the actress realized acting and the Hollywood scene weren’t for her. “I realized that [acting] was a business as much as a craft,” she told Vanity Fair in a new piece celebrating the Gossip Girl 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.”
While the idea of performing had fizzled for the teenager, education had not, so she decided to enroll in school. Enter The O.C. creators and showrunners, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage: Having scoured online message boards for fan inspiration to cast the leads of their new project, Gossip Girl, the producers came across Lively’s name and took the part to her. When initially offered the role, however, Lively was not totally on board. “I said, ‘No, I want to go to college. Thank you, though,’” she explained. “Then they said, ‘Okay, 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.’ So that’s why I said, ‘Okay. You know what? I’ll do this.’”
Of course, Lively never did get to attend college, as the show blew up, surpassing expectations (especially the newly formed network’s). In the five years Gossip Girl has been off the air, Lively’s career has taken off with starring roles in movies like Café Society and The Shallows. Nonetheless, if asked to return for a reboot, she wouldn’t be averse: “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.”
Leighton Meester, who played Serena’s best friend and Upper East Side queen bee Blair Waldorf, is a little less committal on the reboot front. “If everyone was into it and if the timing was right, you know?” she told Vanity Fair. “I don’t want to say, ‘No, never …'”
Maybe before the idea of a reprisal gets too much traction though, someone should catch Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass) up. “I still am not sure who GG was,” he said. Read the full piece over at Vanity Fair.