Hey Pretty52 readers, Gossip Girl here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite. And who am I? That's a secret I'll never tell...(unless you read my name at the top of this article).
*Disclaimer* to avoid tears and tantrums, if you haven't finished watching the series, then you better leave right now, as spoilers are coming your way...
Throughout its six year run, Gossip Girl was filled to the brim with enough drama, scandal and sass to make us have a Jenny Humphrey-esque breakdown. However, it's behind the scenes that the gossip gets even more interesting...
This writer was lucky enough to recently go on the Gossip Girl tour in the Big Apple, and let's just say, it doesn't disappoint! Here's what I discovered while delving into the depths of the Upper East Side...
1. Gossip Girl was originally pitched to be a feature length movie!
How could you possibly cram all the back stabbing and b*tching into an hour and a half long movie? More shockingly, Lindsay Lohan was set to play Blair Waldorf...no, seriously.
2. Ed Westwick (aka Chuck Bass) almost didn't make the cast!
Imagining Gossip Girl without our favourite bad boy literally brings us to tears. As Ed is one of us Brits (despite his convincing accent), delays in his work visa meant he almost missed the start of shooting! Even after getting the green light from immigration, producers were still not convinced that Ed had the potential to be a main character, believing "he looked more like a serial killer than a romantic lead". Thankfully, the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Chuck led to Ed being signed on as a series regular.
3. Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf) was the nicest person to work with on set.
As much as we love Blair (which is a lot), we can't deny that she is a total b*tch. However, according to her co-star Zuzanna Szadkowski who plays Blair's maid Dorota, she was the easiest person to work with, who everyone on set totally adored! Now that is serious acting work Leighton!
4. Blake Lively and Penn Badgley (Serena and Dan) actually dated in real life
Aww, you guys! We guess playing love birds on the show helped the stars to develop real feelings for each other when the cameras stopped rolling. However, after dating for two and a half years, the pair decided to split in 2010, while continuing to play a couple for the next two year run of Gossip Girl. Awks indeed! Despite telling Elle magazine that his relationship with Blake was "ultimately professional", Penn also admitted to not getting Blake a gift for her wedding to Ryan Reynolds. Sour grapes anyone?
5. Blair and Serena only ever sat on the right hand side of the Met Steps
Random, we know, but our socialites were very particular about their favourite meeting spot. According to the Gossip Girl tour giver, the premise for the Met Steps was based on an actual group of private school students in New York who eat their lunch there daily. Can we have their lives please?
6. The outside of the 'school' is actually a working museum
Sorry to disappoint, but Constance Billard School for Girls is completely fictional. Producers used The New York City Museum as the school exterior, using post-production wizardry to blur out the museum's welcome sign.
7. You can stay in Chuck's hotel 'The Empire' and drink Gossip Girl themed cocktails based on the characters
The opulent and luxurious Empire hotel is just as extravagant in real life as it is in the series...as showcased by my superb photography skills below. When the show's success catapulted, the hotel manager witnessed a whirlwind of fans wanting to stay in 'Chuck's' hotel.This lead the hotel to create a series of Gossip Girl cocktails, such as the 'XOXO', which includes a secret ingredient 'they'll never tell'.
**MAJOR SPOILER BELOW, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED**
8. Penn Badgley didn't know he was Gossip Girl until filming the reveal scene
Come on Penn, did you really not see the signs? The 'Lonely Boy' dying for acceptance? An unfading love for a girl from another world? A budding author with a fascination for the Upper East Side? THE WRITING WAS ON THE WALL! In an interview with People, Penn went on record to say the finale "doesn't make sense". We'll have to agree to disagree on that one! Interestingly, Gossip Girl's identity was never revealed in the novels. Perhaps the television series should have followed suit?
9. Taylor Momsen was allegedly fired for being 'too difficult' to work with
Now we've heard various different rumours regarding Taylor's sudden exit from the show. According to The Daily Mail, Taylor was let go for her "bratty behaviour" and being unprofessional on set. However, as Taylor fans will know, her departure from Gossip Girl was around the same time her band 'The Pretty Reckless' became successful, and in her own words, she has always preferred music to acting, stating "it was always a day job - something that paid bills". Hmm, the jury is still out on this one!
10.Gossip Girl producers turned complaints from concerned parents into promotional ads
Underage drinking, drug use, social manipulation, adultery, casual sex... you get the picture. Gossip Girl isn't exactly known for its child-friendly viewing. It's therefore no wonder that parents across the globe tried to boycott the show, expressing their concerns on the show's risque themes. The genius producers of the show turned this negative feedback into tantalising promo ads which only helped to further fuel Gossip Girl's popularity.
11. The writer of the books was not happy with Vanessa's on-screen adaption
She wasn't the only one! I'm sorry, but Vanessa was the definition of a wet lettuce. What was her purpose? Why was she always filming everyone with a camera? Just go away Vanessa, you are not wanted. Cecily von Ziegesar, creator of the Gossip Girl novels, told MTV "I think Vanessa is one character they ruined," she says. "In the book, she's kick-ass and has a shaved head and wears lots of black." We could not agree more!
12. Taylor Momsen was the only 'age appropriate' cast member
Despite playing a bunch of teenagers, at the start of the series, most of the cast were actually already in their 20s, with Blake Lively age 20, and co-star Leighton Meester aged 22 at the time. Little J on the other hand, was a young 13 when production first began, making THAT scene between her and Chuck even more inappropriate...
13. Blake Lively and Leighton Meester were rumoured to not get along
Say it ain't so! Despite playing besties on the series, the atmosphere between Blake and Leighton was far from rosy, if rumours are to be believed. In 2013, a year after the series ended, Perez Hilton reported that "after something of a thaw in their relationship during the final two seasons of Gossip Girl, Leighton and Blake don't speak anymore". However, after spending 18 hour long days together for 6 years, it's understandable that they needed some time apart from each other. Hopefully you'll patch things up in the future guys!
14. Gossip Girl was based on the life of writer Cecily von Ziegesar and her experiences growing up on the Upper East Side
While it's safe to say the plot in Gossip Girl was slightly far fetched, it seems that the real Upper East Side is full of scandal and secrets! We need a tell all book next, Cecily!