Why the Cast of the New Gossip Girl Looks So Familiar

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E! NEWS 09 July, 2021 - 10:00pm 21 views

What Time Is Gossip Girl on HBO Max?

New episodes of Gossip Girl arrive to HBO Max weekly on Thursdays at 12 a.m. PT/3 a.m. ET. HarpersBAZAAR.comGossip Girl Episode Release Schedule on HBO Max - How to Watch Gossip Girl 2021

On Thursday, July 8, the highly-anticipated reboot dropped on HBO Max, launching its stars—Emily Alyn Lind, Eli Brown, Whitney Peak, Thomas Doherty, Jordan Alexander, Evan Mock, Zión Moreno, Savannah Smith and Tavi Gevinson—into overnight sensations. However, some viewers may not realize, several members of the cast aren't new to the industry.

For starters, you'll never guess which starlet played the younger version of Emily VanCamp's character on Revenge. (Hint: She's one of the blonde stars in the cast.) Oh, and we can't forget to mention that one handsome actor has graduated from the Disney Channel to join this captivating revival.

And while one member of the cast is new to television, he is well-known in the modeling and skating spaces. And then, of course, there's one actress who is no stranger to blockbuster films and critically-acclaimed television shows. 

Intrigued? Well, that's one secret we'll never tell—just kidding.

We're more than excited to introduce you to the stars stepping into Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, Taylor Momsen and Ed Westwick's shoes. So, if you're like us and curious about where you've seen the new Gossip Girl cast before, scroll through the images below.

Before she was playing Audrey Hope in the new iteration of Gossip GirlEmily Alyn Lind was a child actress playing the younger version of Emily VanCamp's character on Revenge. If you don't recognize the actress from Revenge, you may know her from the other projects listed on her extensive resume, including The BabysitterDoctor SleepThe Babysitter: Killer Queen and Code Black.

We'd be lying if we said it didn't take a quick google search to figure out why Eli Brown, who plays Otto "Obie" Bergmann IV on Gossip Girl, looked so familiar. However, once we clicked onto his IMDB page, we realized we were more familiar with Eli's career than we thought. Specifically, Eli was one of the leads in the short-lived Pretty Little Liars spinoff, titled Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. We also watched him in Guy Ritchie's 2021 action film, Wrath of Man.

You'll get chills when you learn who Whitney Peak played before taking on Zoya Lott in the new Gossip Girl series. We're, of course, talking about her role as Judith in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. You may've also spotted her as Alpha Jessica in the Apple TV+ mystery drama, Home Before Dark.

If you've ever turned on Disney Channel, there's a chance you've spotted Thomas Doherty, who is now playing Max Wolfe on Gossip Girl. Specifically, Thomas is best known for his work as Harry Hook in the Descendants TV film series and as Sean Matthews in The Lodge. He also had a recurring role on Legacies before booking GG.

It's safe to say that Jordan Alexander landed a star-making role when she booked Gossip Girl. However, before playing Julien Calloway on GG, Jordan was a part of the main cast for Sacred Lies, a Facebook Watch series. 

You may not recognize Evan Mock from prior television projects, but you will likely know him from his Instagram account as it has over half-a-million followers. Evan is a model and a skateboarder from Hawaii. You've likely seen him in campaigns for Calvin Klein, Lanvin, Saint Laurent and more. 

Zión Moreno may not be a household name yet, but she's no stranger to TV. Prior to playing Luna La in 2021's Gossip Girl, she starred in Netflix's Mexican teen drama Control Z as Isabela de la Fuente. Being an openly transgender actress, Zión is a big advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

Savannah Lee Smith may be a newcomer with Gossip Girl being her television debut, but she's already making a splash online. With over 22,000 followers on Instagram and a profile by Wonderland, the new actress appears to be an It-girl in the making.

Before she was an actress, Tavi Gevinson gained notoriety at age 12 thanks to her fashion blog, Style Rookie. As she hit her teenage years, Tavi pivoted her focus and launched Rookie, an online magazine that discussed everything from pop culture to feminism. Rookie shut down in November 2018 after seven years.

As for her performance credits, you may've spotted Tavi in Scream Queens, Broadway's The Crucible, Parenthood and more.

The OG Gossip Girl! For the 2021 reboot, Kristen Bell once more lent her voice to the all-knowing truth teller. In addition to narrating the original CW series, Kristen is known for her roles in blockbuster films and hit TV shows, including Frozen, The Good Place, Veronica Mars, Bad Moms, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and House of Lies.

The Gossip Girl reboot is available on HBO Max.

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12 new things to watch this weekend: Black Widow, Gossip Girl, Shark Week and more

Tom's Guide 10 July, 2021 - 03:04am

All the new TV shows and movies to stream on Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and more

Oh, and SPOILER WARNING: We've got a Black Widow post-credits scene explainer if you're left confused by the film's ending.

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6 “Gossip Girl” Side-By-Sides Of The Original Cast Vs. The Reboot Cast

BuzzFeed 10 July, 2021 - 03:04am

Monet (Savannah Smith) screamed Blair (Leighton Meester) to me from the moment she stepped on screen. The mannerisms, the desire to rule, the constant power play between her and those much more her senior — and, of course, her preppy style. 

Two "poor little rich boys" with hearts of gold who have a tense family dynamic. In the 2007 pilot, it's already evident that Nate (Chace Crawford) is over Blair, the same way it's evident in the reboot that Obie (Eli Brown) is over Julien.

The empathetic, hardworking, "good guy" characters, each from the "wrong side of the tracks" (aka Brooklyn). They both want to be part of the rich kids' world while still retaining their sense of self. 

In terms of looks, these two feel spot-on. I think the similarity in their personality lies in their desperate need for attention and their angsty energy.

Ah yes, the sexually promiscuous "bad boy"–type characters. Both Max (Thomas Doherty) and Chuck (Ed Westwick) love to party and don't take themselves too seriously. And based on that scene between Audrey and Max, it seems that Max may follow in Chuck's footsteps and be the character who stirs up trouble just for the fun of it. 

How 'Gossip Girl' ​​​​​​​Got Creepy

The Atlantic 10 July, 2021 - 03:04am

The late Janet Malcolm, writing about the Gossip Girl novels for The New Yorker in 2008, delighted in the heartlessness of the teenage characters—their voyeuristic cruelty and the sharp satisfaction they take in the downfall of their peers. What the series understands, Malcolm wrote, is that “children are a pleasure-seeking species, and that adolescence is a delicious last gasp (the light is most golden just before the shadows fall) of rightful selfishness and cluelessness.” Why else do adults cherish teen drama, particularly on television? Its most predictable element, apart from conspicuous wealth and a photogenic class of aspirants, is usually malice. Older and wiser, we can enjoy watching it precisely because, as divorced from our own experiences as it might be in some ways, it also reminds us why we don’t want to go back.

There’s little malice in HBO Max’s rebooted Gossip Girl, because the nature of teenage scandal has changed, something that dooms the show even before it rolls out its robotic characters and their dreary schemes. The CW’s first adaptation of Gossip Girl debuted in 2007, the same year as the iPhone, and although its Upper East Side–set protagonists informed on one another—texting pictures and snippets of sightings to the show’s titular blogger—they hadn’t yet been habituated to inform on themselves, via Instagram and TikTok and the confessional tendencies of the extremely online. Blair Waldorf (played with irresistible insouciance by Leighton Meester) could be awful because being awful wasn’t yet a cancelable offense. Now, though, the specter of Gossip Girl hovers over the students of Constance Billard School more menacingly than before—less a bitchy BFF, more Big Brother. Instead of watching for hookups, drugs, eating disorders (the kinds of things teenagers have long since destigmatized), she’s on the lookout for behavior that her readers might term “problematic.”

The added menace is, in part, because of the reboot’s nonsensical premise. In the earlier series, like the books, Gossip Girl was an anonymous online chronicler of the misadventures of a group of privileged New York City teenagers, a “Page Six” for the private-school set. In the first episode of the reboot, a teacher at Constance Billard (played by the Rookie magazine founder Tavi Gevinson) comes across the Gossip Girl archives, which she likens to “a lost Edith Wharton novel.” Infuriated by her students’ insolence and disproportionate power, Gevinson’s Kate Keller persuades a few co-workers to revive Gossip Girl as a watchdog to provoke better behavior. They start on Twitter, where no one notices (because, in one teacher’s words, it’s “a glorified chat room for meme sharing, conspiracy theorists, and Lin-Manuel Miranda”), but eventually moves to Instagram, where her revelations quickly catch fire, and consume Kate more than anyone. The more influential the new Gossip Girl becomes, the more preoccupied the teachers become with their new power, and with the teens they’re supposed to be cultivating.

Apart from the setup, which implicates viewers more than anyone—the obsessive investment of a bunch of so-called grown-ups in the lives of beautiful young adults feels creepy at best—the new show is a carbon copy of the old one, only less white and less straight. The Queen Bee rivalry previously occupied by Blair and Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) has been taken up by Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander), an influencer and It Girl, and Zoya Lott (Whitney Peak), a freshman who’s also Julien’s secret half sister. One difference is that the school setting is purely a decorative backdrop for social-media activity—no one is seen attending class or studying or obsessing over getting into Yale like their forebears. As a teacher says, “Who needs an education when you’re famous for putting on your makeup?” Instead, the students plot out their schedule of daily Instagram posts with the expertise and discipline of General Patton invading Normandy. “I want to be more real, more honest, more vulnerable,” Julien tells her school friends and de facto brand consultants, Monet (Savannah Lee Smith) and Luna (Zión Moreno), who are horrified at this unlikely pivot away from exceptionalism. She concludes, “I’m gonna get a crêpe. Film me eating it?”

So who is this cynical, glossy goat rodeo supposed to be for? It’s hard to imagine actual teenagers recognizing their lives within it, given that every time the kids in the show are on their phone, they’re scrolling through Net-a-Porter instead of TikTok. The reboot is more sexually explicit than the original, in ways that feel positive (sexual fluidity comes up) and negative (the show plays exhaustingly on the “evil bisexual” trope and frames a physical relationship between a teacher and a student as tender and affirming). The characters are racially more diverse than before, but the narrative pays almost no attention to that fact. Virtually everyone is wealthy, and beautiful. Occasionally, people mention their “privilege,” as unemotionally as if they’re stating their eye color. Although the two main characters are Black, the show does little by way of exploring what that means for them over the first four episodes, even though racism within New York City private schools is a topic that seems well worth digging into.

Gossip Girl’s showrunner, Joshua Safran (who executive-produced the original show), is in his late 40s, which is maybe why the reboot rarely connects with its characters; instead, it seems to feel faintly sorry for these icons of doomed youth, as constrained by their self-presentation as they are. (“This is the land of schadenfreude on Adderall,” Luna tells Zoya. “You need to curate your image as meticulously as a Gagosian show.”) Even before Gevinson’s Kate dragged Edith Wharton into this mess, I couldn’t help thinking about the grasping divorcée Undine Spragg in The Custom of the Country, and how her “sense of reviving popularity … refurbished that image of herself in other minds which was her only notion of self-seeing.” The characters in Gossip Girl 2.0 are aware of the fact that their fixation with coming off the right way online is messing with their mind—“I spent so much time putting forward this idea of me that I just forgot who I was a little,” Julien says in one scene—but rather than use this knowledge to figure out their actual interests, they rotely turn revelation into yet more content.

Wharton, some readers have argued, may have based the two lovers of The Age of Innocence, the starchy Newland Archer and the bohemian Ellen Olenska, on the dueling instincts within herself—the impulse to flee a society steeped in mindless conformism and rigid convention, and the impulse to find comfort within its rules. The characters of Gossip Girl, raised entirely online, can’t imagine any kind of escape, and so they just observe and expose one another again and again. (“Let the play within the play begin,” Max [Thomas Doherty] says as the kids peacock into the opening night of a new Jeremy O. Harris production at the Public; they’ve planned several offstage micro-dramas of their own over the course of the evening.) But their behavior is contagious and it seeps beyond generational lines. Kate and the other teachers become as obsessed with Gossip Girl and various petty rivalries as their students. A different teacher, seeking notoriety of his own, exposes himself on Instagram. Parents hide partners who don’t fit into their personal brand and refine their self-presentation in ways that they hope will please others. The thrill of a teen drama such as Gossip Girl used to be in watching the kind of misbehavior that plays out behind doors closed to elders. Now the doors are wide open, and everyone’s watching everyone.

You Can Stay in One of the Lavish Homes From the "Gossip Girl" Reboot

HouseBeautiful.com 09 July, 2021 - 04:52pm

The HBO Max series boasts a range of interiors, from ultramodern to fantastically maximalist.

To get the full scoop on the luxe pads of Manhattan’s new and improved elite, we spoke to production designer Ola Maslik and set decorator Rich Devine, who brought these lavish interiors to life.

Below, take a look at the sumptuous residences of Max Wolfe, Obie Bergmann, and Julien Calloway. And fear not—this is a spoiler-free zone!

In real life, the structure that acts as the exterior of Bermann’s pad is actually a former factory in Dumbo, built in 1869. The design of this building was meant to highlight certain architectural elements, including the original arched windows and the heavy, framed timber, both of which were used to “enhance the ambiance of this space,” adds Maslik.

In the show, Bergmann lives on the top two floors of the building, mostly by himself, given that his parents are rarely home. Devine says that the idea behind this loft was that his parents bought the building as an investment. “Left to his own whims with an unlimited budget, he would have used a top young designer and picked most of the furniture and art himself,” adds Devine. “It’s all very playful and young, yet lush and textured.”

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