Leighton Meester Says ‘Gossip Girl’ Wasn’t “The Healthiest Environment”

Former Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester, aka Upper East Side style queen Blair Waldorf, has opened up about her time on the show, saying that she has fond memories of her experiences, but that it wasn’t “the healthiest environment” for a young person, and she wouldn’t be keen to go back and revisit it.

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Speaking to Net-A-Porter, Meester recalled her early career, saying she moved to LA at the age of 14 and started the “emotionally taxing” process of looking for acting jobs, landing guest spots in shows like Veronica Mars before eventually ending up in her breakout role on Gossip Girl. 

She explained that filming typically involved 16 hour days –  “a lot of days I didn’t see the sun” – but that sudden TV fame was also tough to handle. She said:

“I was young when I started Gossip Girl. A lot more people were suddenly around and I was being looked at. If you don’t have the right perspective, you could definitely be confused by people being that nice to you or judging you for behavior that’s typical of a 20-, 21-year-old, making mistakes but having to make them very publicly. I’m not haunted by that time, but it’s been interesting and helpful for me to look at it and examine it as an adult and go, ‘I don’t know if it was the healthiest environment.’”

It’s a boom time for TV reboots and revivals, and a number of Meester’s co-stars have hinted that they might like to go back to Gossip Girl, but she doesn’t seem that keen on the prospect, saying:

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s sort of a time capsule. A lot of the questions that come from it are: ‘Do you miss it?’ ‘Did you love what you wore?’ And I understand that, but – and I say this with nothing but love – it is like saying, ‘High school was an amazing time for you. Do you wish you could go back?’ And the truth is, it was so special and such a unique, amazing experience, but no, I wouldn’t wanna go back to it. I was a kid!”

Leighton Meester will soon appear in the TV series Single Parents alongside former Saturday Night Live star Taran Killam.