‘Gossip Girl’: Kristen Bell and Rachel Bilson Shot Their Cameo While Working on Another Show
Teen drama TV shows come in a lot of different flavors, from intense mysteries like Pretty Little Liars and 13 Reasons Why, to urban fantasy shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, to comedies like Shameless and PEN15. Each drama has their own particular niche, however, and the drama that fit the niche of exploring the personal dramas of the young socialite uber-rich was (and is) Gossip Girl. The original show actually came from a series of novels, but it exploded into an entire franchise. One particular aspect of the show that was iconic was Kristen Bell’s narration as the eponymous Gossip Girl. However, Bell never appeared on the show itself until the very end, alongside friend Rachel Bilson. What led to them doing this cameo together?
Kristen Bell reveals who ‘Gossip Girl’ is — but it’s not her
The season finale features some drama over the Gossip Girl herself — or rather, himself. During the series finale, we learn that the eponymous Gossip Girl is actually Dan Humphrey, who had been a main character in the series from the very beginning. For those who followed the series intently, this might not have been a big surprise, but the way it’s revealed is interesting. Kristen Bell is the voice of Gossip Girl, and throughout the six seasons of the show she did the voiceover. Viewers probably strongly associated Bell with the character.
Therefore, it’s an extra wink to the viewers when Bell herself reveals that Dan is Gossip Girl. In the finale, Dan is adapting his book, and Bilson is playing a character auditioning for a role. Bell explains to Bilson that Dan is Gossip Girl, and later in the episode we see Dan explaining his motivations. It fits his character and the arc of the series, while being not exactly who you would expect!
Rachel Bilson was working on a different show the day they shot the cameo
According to a video Bilson made with InStyle, both she and Bell were working on a show called Hart of Dixie in 2012, when the Gossip Girl finale was being made. Bilson played the lead on this show, while Bell was there visiting her. According to Bilson, she and Bell “have been friends for a really long time.” On the same day that Bilson was working on a scene for Hart of Dixie, they “literally took just 20 minutes,” and shot the cameo with this plot-essential reveal on the set of Hart of Dixie. It seems a bit impromptu, but having the voice of Gossip Girl reveal who the real Gossip Girl is was probably an excellent experience for the audience!
Kristen Bell returned for the new ‘Gossip Girl’
Kristen Bell’s voice was pretty iconic, and even those who didn’t watch the show have come to be able to recognize the cadence of the narration. Therefore, when HBO announced a sequel to the show set within the same universe, fans hoped that Bell would return for her role as the voice of this new Gossip Girl (this time a group of beleaguered teachers trying to stir drama among their students). Fortunately, Bell did come back, and her voice can be heard as this Gossip Girl as well. So far, there are six episodes of the first season, and the remaining six episodes of the season will be released starting in November 2021. Whether there will be future seasons of the show is yet to be seen, but hopefully Bell will continue with this sequel as well.