‘Gossip Girl’: 1 Lead Star Hated Being On the Show Despite Their Iconic Contribution to the Series

Gossip Girl is arguably one of the best teen dramas to have ever aired. The show was so popular that it could almost be compared to Riverdale or even Vampire Diaries. The teen drama launched various actor’s careers and set them on the path to stardom.

Although actors such as Penn Badgley and Leighton Meester, and Blake Lively already had screen credits before, Gossip Girl was hugely responsible for their A-list stardom. Interestingly, however, Badgley didn’t like being on the show. Gossip Girl showrunner Josh Safron stated that the actor regretted ever taking on the role of Dan Humphrey.

‘Gossip Girl’ was known for its scenic locations

Chace Crawford, Blake Lively and Penn Badgley
Chace Crawford, Blake Lively and Penn Badgley at the “Gossip Girl” press conference. | Vera Anderson/WireImage

Gossip Girl begins with the arrival of Serena van der Woodsen after her mysterious absence. She is described as an outgoing Upper Eastsider with a flair for fashion and one who gets media attention almost all the time.

Viewers also get introduced to Serena’s frenemy Blair Waldorf. The two always had a love-hate relationship over the past years. Their relationship has always been complicated, and they would fight and make up all the time.

The series centers on the lives of Serena, Blair and their privileged upper-class friends living in the Manhattan Upper Eastside. Throughout the show, an anonymous blogger called Gossip Girl narrates the events. Most times, the anonymous blogger reveals the secrets of the Upper Eastsiders.

In the six seasons that the show was on air, fans indulged in the lifestyles, high fashion of the New York teenagers, and the cliché teen dramas. The show was also famous for its scenic locations, which included New York and Paris. It also showcased the trendiest restaurants, thus providing viewers with the coolest places to dine at.

The show overflowed with scandals and a little dark and twisted plotlines that included murder. All these kept viewers engaged and returning for more. Although Gossip Girl was full of twists and turns, the biggest reveal happened during the series finale when the true identity of Gossip Girl was revealed to be Serena’s love interest Dan Humphrey (played by Penn Badgley).

Badgley has moved on to playing a serial killer on ‘You’

Badgley began his career with voice work for the Mario games in 1999 and 2000. He got his first acting credit when he appeared in an episode on Will & Grace. He also appeared in shows such as The Brothers Garcia, What I Like About You and the soap opera The Young and the Restless.

In 2002, Badgley landed a starring role in The Do-Over, a series produced by Warner Brothers. In 2004 and 2006, he appeared in two more Warner Brothers’ series called The Mountain and The Bedford Diaries.

Badgley gained recognition after he appeared in the 2006 film John Tucker Must Die playing Tucker’s brother Scott Tucker. The actor appeared in the film Drive-Thru, in which he co-starred alongside Leighton Meester. The two would, later on, appear in Gossip Girl together again.

In 2007, Badgley landed the role of Dan Humphrey in the CW series Gossip Girl. His portrayal of Dan was highly praised, and he managed to bring life to the character for six seasons that Gossip Girl ran for. In 2009, the actor starred in The Stepfather as the stepson of the serial killer stepdad.

The following year, he played Emma stone’s love interest in the film Easy A. in 2018, Badgley appeared in the thriller drama series You initially aired on Lifetime before moving to Netflix. Badgley’s performance of the serial killer boyfriend Joe Goldberg was highly praised. In 2019, Badgley got a role on Here Today, appearing alongside Tiffany Haddish and Billy Crystal.

Badgley hated being on ‘Gossip Girl’

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When Badgley was offered the role of Dan on Gossip Girl, he initially rejected it. He only accepted the part after the showrunners failed to find a replacement for him. Although the role came at a low point in Badgley’s life, it isn’t one he is proud of.

Gossip Girl showrunner Josh Safran even stated that Badgley didn’t like being on the show, but he still delivered. Safran added that although Badgley didn’t like his character, Dan was closest to who Badgley was.

Safran told Harper Bazaar: “Penn did not like being on Gossip Girl, but…he was Dan. He may not have liked it, but [his character] was the closest to who he was.”