gossip girl production secrets

These 19 Gossip Girl production secrets will change the way you see the show

Blair and Jenny had a feud in real life too

Gossip Girl finished 10 years ago and yet the obsession for the series just never disappears. Jessica Szohr who played Vanessa has recently launched her own podcast about Gossip Girl where she and guests connected to the show spill loads of behind the scenes production secrets.

The podcast series called XOXO with Jessica Szohr was released in January earlier this year and so far she’s had Ed Westwick and the series producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage on the show to give an insight into what it was actually like filming.

And so many secrets are being spilled, Gossip Girl herself couldn’t keep up. Ed Westwick revealed Chuck was never meant to be a main character. Gossip Girl without Chuck Bass? It’s unthinkable. Stephanie Savage revealed Jessica got the part of Vanessa after they saw her at a pool party.

Over the years the cast and crew have revealed a number of Gossip Girl production secrets in interviews as well as some secrets coming out in the press such as Leighton Meester and Taylor Momsen’s alleged feud. And honestly knowing they were fighting behind the scenes makes it so much more juicy to watch.

And it’s not the only one, these 19 Gossip Girl production secrets will change the way you see the show:

1. Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick lived together during filming

Not only were Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick friends in the show but also in real life too.

During the first two seasons of Gossip Girl the pair lived together in an apartment in New York which they’ve previously described as “pretty immaculate”.

2. Jennifer Lawrence was in the line up to play Serena

It’s hard to imagine anyone else in Serena van der Woodsen’s iconic shoes than Blake Lively however Jennifer Lawrence once auditioned to be Serena.

She was reportedly “bummed” she didn’t get the role.

3. Chuck wasn’t meant to be a main character

During Jessica Szhor’s podcast Ed Westwick said was only meant to appear in a few episodes and so Ed didn’t have to do as many rounds of auditions.

He said: “Chuck Bass was supposed to be a reoccurring role and was only supposed to come in for a few episodes.

“I kind of got around one of the testing aspects there, because I didn’t have to test like a series regular. I did two auditions and then a screen test but I never had to test for network.”

4. Jessica Szohr got the part of Vanessa after a pool party

In another episode of her podcast Jessica interviewed the series creator Stephanie Savage who spoke about the casting of Jessica.

Stephanie said they first saw Jessica at a pool party where she had been brought along by Adam Brody from the O.C.

She said she and her co-creator Josh Schwartz ran to the nearest computer in order to find out if Jessica was an actress.

5. Penn Badgley shaved his hair off on the first day of filming

When Penn was in the audition process for Dan he had “long snowboarder locks”. However on the first day of filming the show he shaved all his hair off to that buzzcut he was sporting in season one.

Apparently this threw a massive spin in production as hair changes are meant to be approved by the network.

6. Serena’s wardrobe was inspired by Kate Moss

Blair’s style is obviously inspired by Audrey Hepburn thanks to her many reincarnations of famous Audrey scenes. However Serena’s looks were said to be inspired by Kate Moss’s more bohemian style wardrobe.

7. The male actors weren’t allowed to wear belts

This a rogue one but according to Sebastian Stan, who played Carter Baizen, in the earlier seasons of the show men weren’t allowed to wear belts as part of their costumes.

He said: “I remember going into the fittings and being told, ‘You’re never wearing a belt again from a fashion standpoint’. Just watch. There’s not a belt on that show.”

The show’s costume designer Eric Daman explained the lack of belts was because of the time period the show was being filmed in, “This was also the era of metrosexuals, ‘Jersey Shore’ and hideous jeans with really ugly belts. No, this is not happening on my watch.”

He also said belts gave men “an extra girth around the waist, and no one wants that for a classy look.”

8. None of the cast knew who Gossip Girl was

The cast waited almost as long as the rest of us to find out who THE Gossip Girl was. They discovered her identity when they were given the final scripts.

The show runners made this decision in order for Penn Badgley to act as naturally as Dan as possible.

Stephanie Savage said: “It was nothing that we talked to the actors about. It was nothing that we wanted to be part of Penn Badgley’s performance as Dan.”

9. Mischa Barton was offered the part of Georgina Sparks

Easily the most villainous character of the entire series Georgina Sparks was played by Michelle Trachtenberg. However the role was initially offered to Mischa Barton from the O.C.

10. Jack Bass and Georgina Sparks were meant to have a longer storyline

In the final Gossip Girl episode Jack Bass and Georgina Sparks get together, however the producers had originally planned for them to have a storyline together much earlier.

They couldn’t do it due to Desmond Harrington’s, aka Jack Bass, filming commitment for Dexter.

11. The Empire Hotel is real

Chuck buys a a hotel called The Empire and it’s a real hotel. The hotel still exists today and has the same branding it did in the show.

If you visit the hotel’s rooftop bar you can order a Gossip Girl inspired cocktail called “XOXO-Gossip Girl” which contains vodka, peach puree and prosecco.

12. There are only three characters who appear in every single episode of the show

Serena, Blair and Dan are the only three characters who appear in every single episode of the show.

14. It cost a LOT to film in New York

The majority of Gossip Girl was filmed on location in New York and it reportedly cost between $10,000 to $60,000 per day to film in the city.

15. Ed Westwick modelled his accent on Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

In case you didn’t know Ed Westwick is actually English and so when it came to embodying a New York native he sought accent inspiration from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

And the character he chose to inspire his accent? The one and only Carlton Banks.

16. The majority of the cast hooked up with each other

gossip girl production secrets

With the exception of Chace Crawford and Taylor Momsen, all the other cast members at some point dated their co-star.

Ed Westwick dated Jessica Szohr aka Vanessa for two years from 2008 to 2010.

Leighton Meester was in a relationship with Sebastian Stan who played Carter Baizen in the show for two years before they broke up in 2010.

And on screen couple Dan and Serena actually dated in real life too. Blake Lively and Penn Badgley were together for three years during filming.

17. Blair and Jenny reportedly had a feud in real life too

Throughout Gossip Girl one of the biggest feuds was between Blair and Jenny. And apparently in real life they didn’t get on either thanks to a conflict over music.

Both Leighton and Taylor Momsen were forming music careers outside the show. Leighton was doing it solo and Taylor was part of a band called The Pretty Reckless.

Gossip Girl featured two of Leighton’s songs in the series, but none of Taylor’s. This allegedly caused a fall out between them.

The network in charge of the show released a statement explaining they would play Taylor’s music when it was ready.

They said: “The show will support Taylor and her music when the time is right, but her music is not ready yet.”

18. The Gossip Girl author didn’t like Vanessa

gossip girl production secrets vanessa

The Gossip Girl series is actually based on a book by Cecily von Ziegesar. Whilst she liked how the majority of her characters had been adapted the only one she had a problem with was Vanessa.

In the book Vanessa has a shaved head and wears loads of black. Whereas in the series Jessica Szohr has all her hair and adopts a more bohemian style of dressing.

Cecily said the show “ruined” Vanessa and “In the book, she’s kick-a– and has a shaved head and wears lots of black. I think a lot of the readers who don’t usually read teen fiction identify with Vanessa… I just wish Vanessa was like she is in the books a bit more.”

19. Season four scripts were sold on eBay

During season four of the show the producers had to deal with hackers who were allegedly selling the scripts on eBay.

A producer of Gossip Girl told Vanity Fair: “All season, our scripts were ending up online, and we couldn’t figure out how…A teenager, I think either [from] Russia or Bulgaria, had hacked one of the writer’s e-mails, and was selling scripts on eBay.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Quiz: Can you name all these obscure Gossip Girl characters?

Ranked: These are the net worths of the Gossip Girl families

Quiz: Which girl from Gossip Girl are you actually?