Penn Badgley and Chace Crawford are reflecting on their Gossip Girl days. On the latest installment of Variety’s Actors on Actors series, the former co-stars reminisce about their time on the teen soap and reveal why they don’t watch episodes of it today.
While Badgley watched the series with his wife, Domino Kirke, years back, he didn’t have a positive viewing experience.
“She had never seen it, and that’s the last time I can remember seeing an episode. I remember even then, it has nothing to do with the show, but it was very hard to watch,” he recalled. “These snapshots of yourself when you’re 20, 21, 22 years old. Who can enjoy that? Sometimes it’s just uncomfortable.”
Despite that experience and not having seen the show “in so long,” Badgley admitted that it’d be “very interesting to watch it now.”
“Buddy, you have to strap me to a gurney and pop my eyes open like Clockwork Orange,” Crawford said of the chances of him rewatching the series. “But no, it would be interesting to see the first couple maybe.”
“I don’t like really watching myself that much in general,” he added. “So to go back and open that time capsule, I think there would be some nostalgic value. We’re doing that when you come to L.A. We’ll have a drink.”
Badgley said he was on board for Crawford’s watch party idea, adding, “Dude, if we live-tweet a viewing of any episode of Gossip Girl, people would love that.”
While live-tweeting an episode is something that fans would love today, back when the show first premiered, both Badgley and Crawford were hesitant to join the social media platform.
“I remember even meeting a publicist that first season, and she was talking about this thing called Twitter. And as she explained Twitter, I was like, ‘What is this nonsense? I don’t want to have a Twitter account, and you tweet. What is this bird thing?'” Badgley recalled. “That’s something that actually years later, I think we got to give credit to Gossip Girl.”
“It was ahead of its time. It really tapped into something interesting on the cusp of it all changing,” Crawford agreed. “I’m like, ‘Why would I want to put my life out there? I’m trying to crawl into my hermit shell. I’m a Cancer.’ But now we’re all partaking. It’s part of the business.”
Just as the days without Twitter feel like a distant memory, so too does Badgley and Crawford’s day-to-day lives while starring on the show.
“Those were the good days, though,” Crawford said. “I don’t even remember what our first moment was on set. I remember the Palace hotel. It was definitely my first time experiencing New York. We got the red carpet right away.”
“That was remarkable. It feels like another lifetime to me,” Badgley agreed. “When I think of being at the Palace, that just feels like a different person. It feels like another world, another life. It’s pretty wild.”
Gossip Girl’s six-season run came to an end in 2012, with the reveal that Badgley’s character, Dan Humphrey, was the mysterious online blogger, a conclusion that both Crawford and Badgley agree didn’t make sense.
“At the end of Gossip Girl the show, whatever your reaction is on whether it was smart to do that or not, that he’s Gossip Girl — it didn’t really line up with the character of Dan,” Crawford said, as Badgley agreed.
Now though, Gossip Girl will get an all-new spin with the upcoming HBO Max reboot series, which will feature a new cast.
“Dude, I’m so interested to see what it’s like,” Badgley said of the reboot. “I wish them well. I really am also interested to see how people react to it.”
When ET spoke with Badgley last year, he opened up about the possibility of appearing on the reboot series.
“That’s a message I gotta put at the top of my inbox, you know, to think about… I would love to contribute in a meaningful way to it. And I guess it would just depend on a lot of things,” he said. “It would depend on how and why he’s there and I don’t know.”
“I’m always up for anything,” Crawford added to ET. “That was such a good part of my life and experience, and hell, if they throw in shooting in New York City again, I’m there.”
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