Gossip Girl was one of the most influential teen drama series in history. The CW series ran for six seasons from 2007-2012. The show was so well-known and loved that it sparked trends, inspired memes more than a decade later, and spawned an HBO Max reboot of the same name. The series’ main characters, Serena Van Der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf were equally influential BFFs. As a result, the actors who played them, Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, became instant it-girls. But, legend has it the two starlets weren’t thick as thieves like their TV counterparts. We’re breaking down the rumors and getting to the truth of these iconic frenemies.
Blake Lively And Leighton Meester Played Best Friends On ‘Gossip Girl’
When it comes to on-screen best friends, there are few duos that are as iconic as Serena Van Der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf. Naturally, the actors that played them, Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, became two of the biggest celebs of the 2000s and 2010s.
On the show, Serena and Blair were known for their frenemy status. They had recurring jealousy, tumultuous fights, and strong grudges. Still, the two always made up and ended up stronger than ever. They were ride-or-dies who acted like (extra dramatic) sisters: fighting, making up, and always being there for each other.
Given how close their characters were on Gossip Girl, many fans of the show have wondered what Lively and Meester’s real-life friendship is like. Sadly, their relationship is nothing like what you see on TV.
Rumors Swirled That They Hated Each Other
Much like their characters, Lively and Meester were the subjects of many rumors during their tenure on Gossip Girl.
“There was one point where we were just afraid of how our personal lives overlapping our work life could be perceived by our bosses,” Lively told Vanity Fair. “[But then] we were like, ‘Oh no, that’s exactly what they want.’ They wanted us all to date. They wanted us all to wear the same clothes that we’re wearing on the show. They wanted that, because then it fed their whole narrative. People could buy into this world.”
And buy into it they did. As rumors spread about an alleged feud between Lively and Meester, the world took notice. New York Magazine reported that the co-stars “avoid[ed] each other like the plague”
In response to the rumors, Lively’s publicist issued a PR statement that didn’t exactly put the speculation to rest: “Blake and Leighton have never been best friends, and never professed to be…Blake goes to work, does her job, and goes home.”
What Their Friendship Was Really Like
Given the nature of tabloid gossip, it’s no surprise that rumors of a feud between Lively and Meester became larger than life. Their co-star, Chace Crawford told Interview Magazine, “There isn’t anything shocking to write about, so magazines want to stir things up, like ‘Blake and Leighton hate each other. But the truth is, when we’re all done with work, it’s like, ‘Hey, what are you doing? Let’s go do karaoke.’ The publicity factor is outrageous. They just want to shoot you down.”
Gossip Girl’s executive producer, Joshua Safran, had a bit of a different take, telling Vanity Fair, “Blake and Leighton were not friends. They were friendly, but they were not friends like Serena and Blair. Yet the second they’d be on set together, it’s as if they were.”
According to Safran, the pair was just very different. “Blake is very much in the moment. Blake knows what’s happening. She knows this movie’s coming out, this band is happening… Leighton was very removed and very quiet, and, after her scenes were done, she would wander the stage. I had this image of her just in these gorgeous dresses with a book in her hand, sort of a little bit out of focus out in the corners.”
So, their opposite personalities didn’t spark a lasting friendship. More than likely, Meester and Lively were just friendly co-workers for five years who went their separate ways after the show ended—and nothing proves that more than Instagram. While Lively doesn’t follow any of her former Gossip Girl co-stars on the app, Meester follows several of them including Chase Crawford, Penn Badgley, Jessica Szohr, and Michelle Trachtenberg. Even so, she doesn’t follow Blake Lively.
It’s clear that while Lively and Meester were never the BFFs they played on TV, they were never the rivals the tabloids made them out to be either. Still, they’ll always be one of our favorite on-screen duos and are available for a Gossip Girl re-watch whenever we need them.