I think that playing Serena van der Woodsen-as-Gossip Girl this season is really taking its toll onÂ Blake Lively: Whereas other actors would be bummed to learn that their TV show is ending next year, she’s over the moon at this shift in her career. She told Bullett,
“Itâ€™ll be bittersweet when itâ€™s over because itÂ gave me all of this. I thinkÂ the best way to describe itÂ is like someone who reallyÂ enjoyed high school, andÂ is like, Iâ€™m a senior and IÂ canâ€™t wait for the next thing!Â Gossip GirlÂ was so great, butÂ whatâ€™s the next challenge in life? Because, you know, sixÂ years is a long time. And as an actor who plays a caricatureÂ of myself on the show, I donâ€™t think Iâ€™d say, WatchÂ Gossip GirlÂ for my best quality of work. But I am very lucky to have hadÂ that experience.”
At first you kind of want to smack her over that pretty golden hair and say, “Duh!” The show has always lacked the nuanced satire of the books, and all Blake does as Serena is pout and scheme. And yet, she readily acknowledges that Serena is a parody; I wonder if the subtext here is also Blake talking about herself, the celebrity. After all, people seem to think of her as “the dumb blonde from Gossip GirlÂ who was surprisingly good in The Town.” She hasn’t had much of a chance to make a second good impression, but there’s a definite sea change happening, what with her upcoming turns in HickÂ and Savages.
I’ll give her credit that she’s really embracing dark roles while not filming Gossip Girl. InÂ Oliver Stone‘sÂ Savages, she plays a privileged California girl who’s kidnapped by Benicio del ToroÂ after her two marijuana-growing boyfriends both refuse to work with a Mexican drug cartel. I was actually impressed when she described how difficult it was to play this role since she didn’t have an accent or hair dye to glom on to:
“To playÂ a blond California girl who gets with two men was scary. If itÂ looks like me and talks like me, how do I turn it into somethingÂ different? It would have been easier if Iâ€™d been thrown into theÂ movie with a Scottish accent and purple hair.”
I think leaving Serena van der Woodsen behind is the best decision she’ll make.