Earlier today, I shared with you a few of the highlights from the Gossip Girl panel at PaleyFest. Well, that's not all the cast and creators had to say. Read on for some more funny bits and stories from how this group of ridiculously attractive people came together for the show:
- With apologies to FabSugar, my fashion awards for the panel: Snazziest Blazer Award to Ed Westwick, Tallest Heels Award to Taylor Momsen, Best Emo Hair award to Chace Crawford, and Best "Oh, I Just Threw This On" Award to the casual-chic Lively.
- Speaking of styling, Entertainment Weekly's Tim Stack, who moderated the panel, really could not stop complimenting Lively's hair, at one point calling it "the best head of hair in Hollywood." I know Molly would agree.
- Speaking of Lively, executive producer Josh Schwartz said that when they started casting the series, they found a lot of fan sites for the books that mentioned her as a choice for Serena if the series were ever made into a movie or show, which convinced them to go meet her.
- Penn Badgley, meanwhile, had done three other WB series before Gossip Girl and wasn't keen on doing another, but he'd worked with executive producer Stephanie Savage on The Mountain (which got scattered cheers from the crowd; Savage attributed the clapping to her mom and sister) and decided to give it a shot.
- On what should happen with Rufus and Lily: "It's 2008," said Matthew Settle. "I think they should have a double date with the kids!" He then let loose with an extended ode to Rutherford: "I look at you and I feel warm . . . my wife can't see this, right?"
Lots more — including what Gossip Girl series author Cecily von Ziegesar first thought when she heard the folks from The OC were adapting her work — plus some video from the panel if you read more.
- Von Ziegesar said she was "overwhelmingly happy" with the way Schwartz and Savage had adapted her books but admitted that her expectations were incredibly low. She said that, never having seen The OC, she imagined that the OC folks' version of Gossip Girl would have Serena as a beach volleyball player, Nate as a lifeguard, and Blair as "a teen mom by day and a stripper by night."
- While the idea of making a series out of Gossip Girl would seem like a slam dunk, apparently it wasn't so easy: The material had been developed twice before, once as a movie and once as a pilot for Fox. Obviously, neither attempt was successful. The big difference with this adaptation, the producers said, was that Schwartz and Savage gave Serena more drive.
- On filming in New York: Producers said it can be a pain to have crowds stopping to gawk at the shoots, and Kelly Rutherford said she gets nervous about paparazzi darting in front of cabs to get their shots. Lively and Leighton Meester seemed most annoyed about the photographers eating food from their craft service table.
- Speaking of Rutherford, she's so Lily van der Woodsen, it's scary. I had a hard time remembering she wasn't in character.
- Will Blair and Chuck ever reconnect romantically? Meester said there will probably always be some sort of tension between the two because in a way, they're perfect for each other. "He understands her like nobody else does," she said.
- If the show goes on for years, Schwartz and Savage have a plan for continuing it without making everyone be 25-year-old high schoolers. "New York is more of the franchise of the school than high school is," he noted — and Savage pointed out that school is such a small part of the show, they don't even have a classroom set.
The Paley Center's official highlights are still to come, but you can watch almost the whole panel on YouTube. Here's a clip: