You know you love me. XOXO.
Hey Upper East Siders! There’s a new Gossip Girl podcast in town. “XOXO” is hosted by former cast member Jessica Szohr (who played Vanessa Abrams). For its premiere episode, she chatted with the original CW drama’s creators and executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.
For example, before they settled on Kristen Bell to voice Gossip Girl, apparently Christina Ricci and Selma Blair were in consideration to potentially be Gossip Girl.
Side note: I could totally see that for Selma — remember how great she was as UES prep school student Cecile in Cruel Intentions?
Also, apparently Penn Badgley was cast to play Dan Humphrey with long “snowboarder” hair, but he buzzed all of his hair off the day of the pilot.
“He showed up on set with his big hair,” Stephanie said. “That morning that he went on camera, the first scene we shot of him and Rufus (Matthew Settle) putting up flyers in Brooklyn for the Lincoln Hawk concert, and we brought him into the trailer and they buzzed all of his hair off.”
“Which is a nightmare for the network,” Josh added, “Because normally the network makes you do hair tests and they want to approve everything. And all the sudden it was like, ‘Penn shaved his head??’ Then everybody saw him and was like, ‘Oh damn. He looks good.'”
As for Blake Lively, aka Serena Van der Woodsen, Josh and Stephanie talked about how there was a “big online push” for Blake to play Serena even before the series started.
“The characters really needed to be imbued with warmth and a kind of a rootability that the book characters didn’t necessarily have,” Stephanie reasoned.
“And so Blake’s natural warmth and her California sunniness was actually going to be a great quality to bring to Serena. That she loves her brother, that she cares about her friends, that she’s trying to be a better person, Blake was going to bring all of that in spades versus some other actress who might be a more natural Serena, but wasn’t going to be able to infuse Serena with those positive quality that we needed her to have.”