“We Want to Watch Them Be Crazy”: Gossip Girl’s Stars On Why the Reboot Isn’t About Consequences
We’re only one episode into the new version of Gossip Girl but we are already loving the fresh take on the students of Constance Billard, the luxury and glamour and the revelation of Gossip Girl’s identity in the first hour of the new series.
Of course, just like the original, we are also loving the fashion that we have seen so far and cannot wait to see what legendary costume designer Eric Daman will deliver as the first season progresses.
POPSUGAR Australia had the chance to speak to two of the show’s stars — Emily Alyn Lind, who plays Audrey Hope and Savannah Smith, who plays Monet de Haan — about how their costumes inform the way they play their characters and whether the new season will carry more consequences for the gang.
Lind revealed that while she may not have seen it at first, the clothing that each character wears perfectly reflected who they are.
“Fashion is also a character in the show.”Savannah Smith
“Eric Daman is a genius,” Lind told POPSUGAR Australia via Zoom. “And he was so set on making sure that each character had their own thing.
“Even when you’re doing something like school uniforms that you think would look so mediocre, he really did put in that effort and made something pretty great. I mean, even if I didn’t see it at first, in the first fittings, I didn’t realise until later that, like every single character, their outfits are an expression of them.”
When it came to creating the wardrobe for Monet, the new HBIC who oversees the PR for social media star Julien Calloway (Jordan Alexander), Smith revealed that Daman’s inspiration was ’90s supermodels like Naomi Campbell, which she was a huge fan of.
“I didn’t have any complaints,” she laughed. “I think just like New York is a character in the show, I think fashion is also a character in the show, and he’s very specific. And you can tell he really takes his time.
“We talked about this before, Emily and I, you know, when you’re wearing clothes that are worth multiple 10s of 1000s of dollars and you’re wearing diamonds for the first time in your life — it’s going to shift how you play your role and kind of shift how you walk and talk and relate to each other and act with each other, which only helps us as actors to play.”
The new iteration of the series has been praised for being decidedly more socially conscious than the original, with the characters being, thankfully, more aware of their privilege. But will they ever reap the ramifications of their conniving, duplicitous ways? After all, in the original, they were all able to live happily-ever-after despite all that they had done to each other.
“It’s funny because we know as much as you, in a way. We’re almost going into (shooting) Episode 10, but we don’t know where it’s going to go from there,” said Lind.
She continued, “I feel like there’s needs to be a little bit more of a push towards who and how bad they even are first and everyone can have fun with that.”
Added Smith, “I think if anything, Julien kind of starts to struggle with the consequences of her actions in the first season and I think that kind of propels a shift in the dynamic in the friendship because Monet and Luna (Zión Moreno) are really focused on her just from a business perspective, and making her and her brand work for them mostly.
“But when her sister (Zoya Lott, played by Whitney Peak) comes to town, she starts to question how good of a person she is. I don’t say she directly feels any consequences, like no one at the school is telling her that she’s wrong, but as we saw in episode one — Obie (Eli Brown) breaks up with her. So I think as the season goes on, you’ll definitely see her struggle with that more.”
“We’re living kind of in a false reality and it feels like a dream world.”Emily Alyn Lind
As Lind pointed out, however, Gossip Girl, past and present, has been about escapism and excess and not intended as a morality tale.
“The truth is these kids…like, we’re not doing a show that is supposed to be about consequences, we’re living kind of in a false reality and it feels like a dream world,” she said.
“So when we say “consequences”, I mean, hopefully, that’s sort of what Gossip Girl is, right? This is their consequence to shape up. But also, I wouldn’t expect anything to be like ‘well, you learned your lesson’ because we want them to keep on doing this.
“We want to watch them be crazy. We want to see that.”
Even so, Smith said that she would love to see Monet get just a little bit of a shakedown for her actions over the course of the first season (which can be streamed on BINGE in two parts.)
“I hope Monet gets discipline for some of her actions,” she laughed. “Because she’s the worst!”
Gossip Girl is now streaming on, only on BINGE.