In a new interview, Leighton Meester has revealed that the phenomenal success of Gossip Girl made her wary of those around her at a very young age.
Meester worked on the popular TV show for six seasons from 2007 to 2012. She played Blair Waldorf, the ultra-rich Upper East Side socialite. She starred alongside Blake Lively, Ed Westwick, Chace Crawford and Penn Badgley. At the start of Gossip Girl, Lively was 21 years old.
While sitting down for an interview with PorterEdit, Lively said, “I went to school with people who at a really young age felt like they knew what they wanted to do and they were pursuing it.”
Meester said that she moved to Los Angeles at the age of 14, and started doing small jobs like “a pilot most years, some modeling, commercials, stuff like that”. At the age of 16, she got her diplomas, and that was when she started working full time.
She explained, “And then I started working more, because if you’re a kid and you can work as an adult, it’s good for your résumé.”
Meester also talked about Gossip Girl, revealing that she was young when she started the show and that having the right perspective was critical for her at that age. She said, “If you don’t have the right perspective, you could definitely be confused by people being that nice to you or judging you for behavior that’s typical of a 20, 21 year old… making mistakes but having to make them very publicly. I’m not haunted by that time, but it’s been interesting and helpful for me to look at it and examine it as an adult and go, ‘I don’t know if it was the healthiest environment.’”
She also said that the fame of the show completely changed her attitude on friendships and new relationships.
“Everyone has their own journey, especially in their early twenties when they’re just figuring out who they are. Because of the success of that show, I was put in a place where that journey was sped up. I had to figure it out quickly and with not a completely developed mind to discern between what’s real and what’s not, who I can trust and who I can’t. I got really lucky and was able to very early on find and stay friends with people who are true.”
She also addressed a question she said she often gets from fans: whether or not she would want to return to the times of playing Blair Waldorf. Meester said:
“It was a very special time…that was filled with challenges that have nothing to do with [Gossip Girl] and also sometimes things that did have something to do with it. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s sort of a time capsule. A lot of the questions that come from it are: ‘Do you miss it?’ ‘Did you love what you wore?’ And I understand that, but – and I say this with nothing but love – it is like saying, ‘High school was an amazing time for you, do you wish you could go back?’ And the truth is, it was so special and such a unique, amazing experience, but no, I wouldn’t wanna go back to it, I was a kid!”
Meester is now starring in the show Single Parents, which airs on September 20.