Gossip Girl First Look: William Baldwin as William van der Woodsen

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William Baldwin’s Gossip Girl role as Serena's father (also William) was a challenge on many levels. For one, it forced the 46-year-old actor to face the awful truth:

“The hardest thing to take in was that I was playing Blake Lively’s father,” he said. “As scary as it is, I AM old enough to be her father. But it’s still tough to take."

“I’m [supposed to be] with the girl,” he told EW. “not the father of the girl.”

Originally, Gossip Girl producers approached Baldwin last year to play a different role (we're not sure which), but he nixed it. “It was only for one episode,” he said.

“So I told them to come up with something [bigger].”

Father and Daughter Reunion

He got the bigger role he desired with William van der Woodsen.

Serena and Eric's MIA dad, who first appears April 26, will be forced out of hiding due to a crisis involving ex-wife Lily. Baldwin says he “avoided meeting” Blake Lively in advance of the scene during which the father and daughter reconnect after 15 years.

“We didn’t see each other virtually until when they rolled the cameras,” he says. “I wanted to limit the exposure, because I really wanted it to have an unknown quality to it.”

As for how long he'll be sticking around?

“If I were a betting man, it would make sense for something to happen [in Season Four] as well,” he hints. “It feels to me like they’re going to want to bring William back."

What do you think of Baldwin being cast in the role - and what do you think will happen when our fair Serena finally reconnects with her long lost father?

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

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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

Do you have Bryn Harold? Well then take off your shoes and chase her down, because I need that opera as a front of book idea. They're doing Boris Godunov this spring. Who doesn't love Tsars and Cossacks?

Blair