An Interview with Leighton Meester

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Here's an interview with Leighton Meester, courtesy of IGN. The Gossip Girl star talks about marketing her new show, as well as the attitude of her character...

IGN TV: How has it been doing all the promotion for the show? I've seen you guys all over the place this summer.
Leighton Meester
: At first I thought "Wow, this will be fun and easy!" And I'm telling you, it's work! But I can talk about the show for days and days, because I love it.

Blair Waldorf
IGN TV: Based on first impressions your character will probably be seen by most as the bitchy girl, but how would you describe her to people?
Meester: I think that at first glance, or maybe even second or third glance, she definitely is that quintessential bitch. She's got a feisty side. She's really demanding and in control and sassy, and you do kind of hate her. But then you get to know her and you get to see how vulnerable, and really kind of scared and young she is, and you can actually start to relate to her.

She's not all good, she's not all bad; none of the characters on the show are really either/or. And so the more you get to know her the more you love to hate her. [Laughs]

IGN TV: Were you a fan of The O.C.?
Meester: I'm a fan of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage! They are miracle workers. They know what's up. I think every element of the script is what drew me to the project. I think the dialogue and the way that they talk and how they describe the characters…

I think that it was probably helpful for Josh and Stephanie because they're this whole series of books out there that have a long life of description and happenings that manifest in wonderful scandals on the page. So to put that in the script I think is great, because the characters on the show have something to draw from, from reading the books.

IGN TV: Were you familiar with the books the show is based on before you got the part?
: Not before, I was not. And I think that it could be a generation thing, not that my generation is that far [removed]. But I think now I don't want to get too deep into the series. I don't want to spoil it and I don't want to be disappointed, because I know they're not going to follow it directly, which I don't think they should. But I think they're going to follow it closely enough that reading about the character and really getting to know her on the page is much more beneficial than just seeing it as something in a script.

IGN TV: The show is great to look at. How is it shooting in New York?
Meester: I wouldn't have it any other way. If it's up to me, we will always shoot in New York. I know that there's a lot of shows that don't, and that's cool, but this is such an important element to the show that you couldn't shoot it anywhere else. And the fact that we're not just on a lot; we're not in a studio the whole time. We're in the streets of Manhattan, which is where these kids really do hang out and go.

It's obviously beautiful to look at, because New York is such an amazing city. It's one of my favorite cities in the world, and I live there and I'm so excited that I can shoot there. And the clothes obviously, you must be talking about as well! [Laughs] They're fabulous and very enjoyable to wear. I think it's kind of interesting, because when I was that age, hell, I did not have anything like that at all. But I can understand how that could be important in that little club that they live in; the fashion.

IGN TV: I wanted to ask you about 24, because you were part of a very dark storyline on that show.
Meester: I know! It's a little bit of a contrast, right?

IGN TV: I really didn't think they'd go through with killing your character.
Meester: I know, it's unbelievable. When I found out, I was like "Oh, man!" And then I realized it was going to be such an awesome death, I was like "I can't resist! I can't resist!" It was wonderful. Very dramatic and very challenging. It's very hard to just completely let go and do that. And Shohreh Aghdashloo I will say to the end is one of my favorite actresses that I've ever seen and that I've ever worked with. She is amazing.

IGN TV: I'm a huge Veronica Mars fan. How was it working on that show?
Meester: It was really fun. I love Kristen Bell, who is playing the voice of Gossip Girl.

IGN TV: What did you think when you found out Kristen would be narrating Gossip Girl?
Meester: I thought it was perfect.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Gossip Girl Quotes

And who am I? That's one secret I'll never tell ... You know you love me. XOXO, Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl

[to Jenny] That's the thing. You need to be cool to be queen. Anne Boleyn thought only with her heart and she got her head chopped off. So her daughter Elizabeth made a vow never to marry a man. She married a country. Forget boys. Keep your eye on the prize, Jenny Humphrey. You can't make people love you, but you can make them fear you. For what it's worth, you're my Queen. I choose you.