Blake Lively comes to TV for the CW drama series Gossip Girl. Based on the books by Cecily von Zeigesar, the show will not be as faithful to the source material as Lively's Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants films. The TV show has to remain open for a potentially long run.
"With Sisterhood, I read all four books in the very beginning because it was just a movie," said Lively. "So for three months we'd be telling the story of the first book. Whereas this is a full series. It could go one episode, it could go 100 episodes, we don't know. So I read the books of the Sisterhood but Gossip Girl I just read about half of it to really get to know the character. So I know Sisterhood better but Gossip Girl, I'm very excited to dive into. I've never done anything like this."
The TV series will be more of a slow build for Lively, because she won't want to peak as Serena van der Woodsen too early. "I'm very excited because Serena is very complex. She was what you can call a bad girl before and now she's trying to be good. But she's still got this core to her. She's being pulled at all different angles from her mom to her brother to this new good guy, Dan, to Nate who she still loves, to her best friend. She's got all of these people pulling on her and she needs to find her place. So I definitely think there's going to be room to explore different areas because she's so complex."
Playing a character from a wealthy society has fashion perks. "Oh gosh. I wore to casual day at school, I wore a $10,000 Chanel coat. My mom carries around a $35,000 Hermes purse, a $12,000 John Galliano jacket. It's just absurd but these people, we were shooting on the steps of The Met and I see my mom in the scene before had the Hermes purse. I thought, 'Nobody really spends that much money on a purse.' And someone walking down the street walking her dog had the exact same purse."
Lively is moving to New York to film the series. "The pilot was the longest amount of time I've ever been there but I'm very excited to live there just because there's so much energy and there are so many artists there, so many people doing what they want to do. Even if they're not accomplishing it yet, it's just like the world is at your fingertips there. Nothing closes and everybody's so excited about what they're doing and everybody's all pushed together on an eight mile island. L.A. is a lot more isolated."
With a series exploring what makes socialites behave badly, Lively has her own insights into the phenomenon. "I don't think it's so much a life of privilege as it is how you're raised. I think parenting is very important because even the Humphries on the show, they're privileged. You look at their apartment and anybody that's been to New York and looked at apartments knows that those people aren't struggling. And they go to these expensive prep schools but they were brought up by really great parents and the family was so important to them that they have stayed grounded. They're very moral people. And my family are all actors but I grew up with the business around me, but I have such a great family and such a great base, that was never an option for me to become a Paris Hilton type. So I don't think it's money and privilege as much as it is parenting and the important of education and your surroundings."