There's so much to look forward to this television season — but perhaps one of the most exciting developments is the Ed Westwick TV renaissance. The guy who played Gossip Girl's notorious bad boy and Blair Waldorf's one true love is heading back to TV with a starring role on ABC's serial killer drama Wicked City, which takes place in the '80s on the then-seedy Sunset Strip. Westwick may have swapped the Upper East Side for West Hollywood and designer suits for... knives, but that doesn't mean we should forget his years as the inimitable Chuck Bass. No one could have played the devious playboy with quite as much prowess, and it turns out that Westwick didn't need much practice to channel his inner Chuck: Westwick's audition tape for Gossip Girl just resurfaced on Twitter, and watching it will remind you of why the show handed him the part in the first place.
While I'm not quite so sure how many people auditioned for the role of Chuck, I would imagine that whoever did was turned away the second the casting director heard Westwick utter Chuck's first few lines. Though Westwick's audition tape has been on YouTube since 2010, watching it years after Gossip Girl's end is sure to bring back plenty of nostalgia for the CW series.
Here are the things that will blow your mind about Westwick's Gossip Girl audition years later:
1. Westwick's Striped Shirt
I'll be honest: this shirt is slightly heinous. But it's also super on brand with Chuck's earlier uniforms, which were basically an assault of color onto viewers' eyes. (Never forget Chuck's "casual" basketball outfit.)
2. Chuck Has "Parents" In The Pilot
One of the scenes that Westwick reads translates exactly to the final pilot, and there's a key line he says in the first episode of Gossip Girl that Chuck wouldn't dare utter in any other episode, given his "poor little rich boy" attitude: Instead of saying that his dad purchased the hotel, Chuck says that his parents bought it. In another scene, he talks about his mother's Paxil prescription.
3. Westwick Created The Chuck We Love
Chuck's dialogue could have come across as gross and smarmy — and while his actual words certainly are, Westwick was able to convey a sort of charm to our beloved anti-hero. It was instant.
4. Chuck Could Have Been British?!?
At one point in the audition, the producers have Westwick read Chuck's lines in his normal British accent. Though it's unclear if producers would have ever really gone through with making Chuck from the other side of the pond, it definitely would have changed everything about this born-and-bred New Yorker.
5. It's Super Weird To Hear Chuck Give Nate Advice About Blair
Chuck and Blair were barely a thought in viewers' minds during the pilot, but it still feels so very wrong. Still, Westwick's serpent-like whisper into "Nate's" ear was oh so very Chuck, Season 1.
6. Westwick's First Read Through Was Exactly What The Show Went With
Westwick read the lines several different ways, but ultimately the version that stuck also happened to be his initial instincts on the part. Guess he had Bass in his blood all along.
7. That Smirk Was All Westwick's Idea
Yep, he invented it just minutes into his audition.
Watch the entire tape below: