Gossip Girl actor Connor Paolo, who plays Eric, the little brother of lead character Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), who was infamously outed at the end of the first season, has rejected an offer from the show to become a series regular.
Why? Is the 18-year-old scared to be "gay-cast," as Thomas Dekker allegedly was, circa Heroes? It doesn't look like that's the case, as Paolo has given interviews in the past indicating he is perfectly comfortable playing a gay character.
More likely, it's about common sense and keeping his options open, EW reports.
The deal offered Connor would not guarantee he'd be on all episodes produced, or ASP as it's called. Rather, the new contract called for him to appear in half of the 25 episodes scheduled to air in the current Season Two of Gossip Girl.
That's more or less what he's been averaging right now. Thus, by remaining a recurring player, the 18-year-old keeps his usual gig with none of the strings attached.
"He probably didn't want to commit to being ninth fiddle on a show," one TV agent opined. "Sure, he'll make less money than a full-time cast member, but he's free to accept other opportunities in TV and film should they come along."
New contract or not, the One Life to Live alum is committed to TV's hottest prime time soap for the near future, at least. Which is good, because he's kind of awesome.