Blake Lively talks about playing the illustrious Serena van der Woodsen
Blake Lively first caught the public's attention when she co-starred in the hit film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is scheduled to be released next year, but in the meantime viewers can see Blake in the hit weekly series Gossip Girl on The CW. Gossip Girl is based on the best-selling series of young adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar.
Blake recently answered questions about the show and her career.
Do you have your own sort of group of friends that you text message all the time and keep in contact with and gossip with and share stories?
Blake Lively: Well, yeah, of course. I have my friends from high school that I keep in touch with. And also, when you're traveling and shooting away on location, it's much easier. When you're on set, you can't have your cell phone ringing all day, so, of course, I e-mail and I text. And it's a really good way of keeping in touch with people. I try not to indulge in the gossip of, you know, "This person egged my house last night because they're mad about this guy's boyfriend." I don't know.
Are you about the same age as this character?
Blake Lively: Yes.
How do you feel the morality of the characters is being portrayed?
Blake Lively: Well, I think that all teenagers are different. Some teenagers are much worse than how we are on the show. But what's most important is, for my character alone, she gets caught up in this universe. They're handed everything on a silver platter, and she's the center of her own world and she ends up -- she sees her best friend's boyfriend. She wants him, so she takes him. And I think what's so important about her is that she realizes that she was wrong and she needs to reform herself. And she goes away to boarding school and tries to make herself a better person and comes back into this world and is fighting not to be sucked into it. And I just think that that's what's really great, that you see that people can change and that that's not right to do that. And I don't know. I think that everybody has a good soul at the heart of it. But, you know, we're also teenagers. We're making mistakes, and we're smart kids. We're very smart.
Is that as monumental as trouble for her in every script you've done so far in terms of her being contrasted against the other kids?
Blake Lively: I think that it would be very easy for her to fall back into that world, because a lot of the kids haven't realized that there are other things out there. But I think, what Josh [Schwartz, Executive Producer] was saying earlier, these kids are very worldly. They know that this is not the only place in the world. They're aware of everything around them, which is very important. It's not a little suburban community.
You grew up with in the West Coast, but you've seen the East Coast, at least, for filming the pilot. What do you find fascinating about the difference between the way the kids live on the East Coast and the way you're used to living?
Blake Lively: I think that they're definitely more cultured there. They're much more worldly. And their money is old money. They've grown up in this, where a lot of kids in L.A., this is just -- their father is some big producer or it's newfound fame and money, which is different. It's very different. Definitely the education there is just so much better. It's very important to them, where kids in L.A. just want to, a lot of times, hang out at the beach, so I really like that about New York.
America Ferrera recently said that when filming the first Sisterhood movie, Amber Tamblyn and Alexis Bledel had one piece of advice for her which was never ever become a series lead. When you did Sisterhood 2 did any of the three of them give you any advice about going into this?
Blake Lively: They gave me a ton of advice. It's just to stay sane. They said, "All you need to do [is] don't try to do anything. Don't try to clean your house. Don't try to get groceries. Just sleep and eat. Don't try to do [anything]." I try to do [everything], I go to everything. I think I'm superwoman sometimes, definitely not. But they were really, really great about it, very supportive. They want to watch this show every single night. And, you know, it really helps me to have such great genuine friends like that who have already been through this before, so they're definitely a good support group.
Evidently, you have all stayed pretty tight.
Blake Lively: We have.
As soon as you got the offer for this role did you get on the phone to any of them and ask for advice?
Blake Lively: My first instinct was I'm going to call the girls because I knew they had all been through it. But then -- they're so dog-gone opinionated and they're all so different. When they get together, I'm like their baby sister. And they sit me down. I was going to get another dog recently, and they're like, "No. You're not going to do [that]" -- they, like, wrote a whole list of pros and cons for me. So I thought I'm just going to make this decision on my own, and then I'm going to talk to them about it, which, I think, was the right decision. I'm very happy.
Your character comes back after being away for a year and finds that her best friend is no longer her best friend and has turned on her. Did you have any kind of experiences like that in high school that you can draw on for your character?
Blake Lively: Yeah, definitely. I think in high school there's so many cliques. You're never safe. So I went away when I did Sisterhood. My first summer, I did it between my junior and senior year of high school. And I was with my friends every single day throughout our entire high school career, and when somebody's gone for that long, you can't sit at home by yourself, so my friends made other groups of friends. And then I came back after three months ready to like, okay, let's all go do what we used to do, and things change. People get older and there are inside jokes that you don't know about that have happened, and you feel a little lost for awhile. And it's a little bit hard to slip back into that. And then the friends that they've replaced you with are a little territorial. So I definitely experienced that a little bit.
Gossip Girl airs Wednesday nights at 9/8c on The CW.