TV & Movies

These Gossip Girl Then Vs. Now Photos Show How Much The Cast Has Changed

It’s been 84 — er, 14 — years.

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From 2007 to 2012, The CW’s Gossip Girl chronicled the drama, wealth, and scandalous lives of Manhattan’s (young) elite, making stars — and fashion icons — out of actors Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick, Taylor Momsen, and Jessica Szohr.

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Based on Cecily von Ziegesar’s books and created by The O.C.'s Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the show aired 121 episodes over six seasons. As a new clique takes over in the HBO Max Gossip Girl reboot on July 8, let’s catch up with the OG cast of a show that shaped a generation.

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Before playing “it” girl Serena van der Woodsen, Lively was in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. She told Vanity Fair, “I remember saying when I read this script, ‘Whoever does this will not be able to walk out of their house ever again and be the same as before.’”

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Since Gossip Girl, Lively has become a fashion icon in her own right and starred in films like The Shallows, A Simple Favor, and Green Lantern, where she met her husband, Ryan Reynolds. They share three daughters, James, Inez, and Betty.

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Meester began acting at 13, long before playing mean girl Blair Waldorf, and even worked with co-stars Badgley (Drive-Thru) and Bell (Veronica Mars) prior. Though she called GG a “unique, amazing experience,” she told Porter Edit, “I wouldn’t wanna go back to it; I was a kid.”

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While filming Gossip Girl, Meester lent vocals to Cobra Starship’s “Good Girls Go Bad” before finding her sound in folksy album Heartstrings (2014). She’s since starred in ABC’s Single Parents and Broadway’s Of Mice and Men and welcomed two kids with her husband, Adam Brody.

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Before playing Dan Humphrey, Badgley started acting at 13 (Will & Grace). In a recent conversation with Crawford for Variety, Badgley said, “People wanted to watch a show like Gossip Girl because it was escapism... this aspirational, fantastical vision of excess and wealth.”

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Since Gossip Girl, Badgley’s most notable role is as stalker-murderer Joe Goldberg in Netflix’s You. He told The New Yorker that Joe is “the same role” as Dan, “but now he has blood dripping down his face.” He also currently serves as lead vocals of indie-band MOTHXR.

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Crawford, meanwhile, modeled for Hollister and debuted in The Covenant (2006) before becoming heartthrob Nate Archibald. Westwick, his co-star and NYC roommate from 2007 to 2009, was in Breaking and Entering (2006) and British shows before portraying hotel scion Chuck Bass.

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Crawford played alongside Jane Fonda and Catherine Keener in Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (2011) and Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez in What to Expect When You’re Expecting (2012). He currently plays The Deep, an anti-superhero in Amazon Prime’s The Boys (2019).

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Since Gossip Girl aired, Westwick has been accused of rape and sexual assault, allegations which he has denied and were dropped based on insufficient evidence. He has since continued filming BBC Two’s sitcom White Gold and released the comedy thriller Me You Madness.

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Prior to playing Brooklyn filmmaker Vanessa Abrams, Jessica Szohr appeared in shows like That’s So Raven and Drake & Josh, while Momsen, who played Dan’s rebellious sister Jenny, began acting even earlier — at age 3 (remember Cindy Lou Who from How The Grinch Stole Christmas?).

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Momsen left the show a year early, in 2011, to become the frontwoman of rock band The Pretty Reckless with hits “Kill Me” and “25.” Of that time, she told Metro, “The thing that made me the happiest is when I finally quit and I could focus on my true passion.”

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Since Gossip Girl wrapped, Szohr has moved on to shows like Kingdom and the science fiction dramedy series The Orville but has some ideas on where Vanessa could be today. Szohr previously told Bustle, “She could be pregnant with four kids. [Or] She could be married to one of them.”

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