At 14, Taylor Momsen is the baby of the Gossip Girl cast.
But her character, Jenny Humphrey, has been growing up fast.
When the show returns Monday, J is poised to take on Blair Waldorf (played by Leighton Meester), the school's dethroned social queen who's not likely to go down without a fight.
Taylor Momsen talked to People about being a famous freshman, handling the press and getting proposed to by a Gossip Girl fan...
People: What did you do during the strike?
Taylor Momsen: I went to school, stayed in New York, learned the city a little bit better. I know the subways now. Now I can do the A, C, E , N and R [subway lines]. I figured out express trains too. That was cool.
People: What did you miss while you weren't working?
Taylor Momsen: The rice pudding! No, I missed the scripts, reading about what was going to happen. I missed all the people, the costumes, everything about it.
People: You mentioned the rice pudding. Is the food on set better than your cafeteria at school?
Taylor Momsen: We don't have a cafeteria at my school. We go out to lunch. This is more like school than my real school.
People: Do your friends ask you about the show?
Taylor Momsen: To be honest, they don't really ask questions about the show. Not really. They might ask what's gong to happen next. A lot of times I don't even know. I don't get the scripts until later.
People: Do you have a favorite subject in school?
Taylor Momsen: I like humanities — I like creative writing a lot.
People: Is it hard being the youngest in the cast?
Taylor Momsen: I'm always the youngest. I'm the baby in my class. All my friends are older.
People: Are the guys protective?
Taylor Momsen: Penn Badgley is a little bit. He's adapted to the brother role. He'll say, "Those shoes are really too tall for you."
Taylor Momsen: I like putting on the costumes — but it's always nice to get out of them too. At the end of the day, I'm so ready for my jeans.
People: Can you tell us what's in store for your character?
Taylor Momsen: Jenny Humphrey gets a new crowd and adapts to her environment. But I don't want to give too much away.
People: Speaking of crowds, is it hard filming in the city where people gather to watch?
Taylor Momsen: You sort of ignore it when you're filming and then when you come out of character you realize there's a lot of people standing around watching us do nothing. It's sort of weird.
People: Are you used to all the paparazzi?
Taylor Momsen: I'm pretty good at tuning stuff out when we're actually filming. But during rehearsals they're calling our names. This is nuts. "We're rehearsing guys, you have to be quiet!" There are rules … There's a ton more paparazzi now. And I've figured out it's not like you smile and give them a shot, you'll smile and they'll continue to chase you down the street. They're right there. I have to walk around the cameras. I can't even get through. It's crazy!
People: Do you like interacting with the fans?
Taylor Momsen: It's cool. They say they love the show and then they freak out a bit. I'm like, "What are you freaking out about?" But it's awesome that everyone is watching the show... Some people, if you look directly at them and wave, they'll start crying. [Then] I feel bad. Don't cry. I got proposed to ... that was strange. He said, "I'm in love with you. Would you please be my wife?" I said "Sorry, I'm already engaged."
People: Wait, you're engaged?
Taylor Momsen: No!