The cast of HBO’s Gossip Girl reboot is mostly made up of Hollywood newcomers, actors for whom playing a super-rich Manhattanite is one of their first starring roles. Not so much for Thomas Doherty, a Scottish actor and singer who is already a familiar face on the Disney Channel, as well as in the tabloids. While you may have spotted him on Hulu’s High Fidelity (another reboot) or on HBO’s Catherine the Great miniseries, he’s lately made more headlines for ending his four-year relationship with another Disney stalwart, Liv & Maddie actress Dove Cameron.
Doherty started acting when his mom, eager to find a hobby to occupy her “hyperactive” teenage son, enrolled him at the MGA Academy in Edinburgh, a school for theater and dance. The 26-year-old recently told Interview magazine about his evolution as a performer, starting with musical theater and a particularly impactful experience putting on Spring Awakening. “I did that when I was 18 and I absolutely adored it,” he said. “That’s definitely something that I’d do in a heartbeat.” He tried to put the show on again at his hometown’s world-famous Fringe Festival, but it didn’t work out. In the meantime, he worked odd jobs, from Hollister salesperson to housecleaner to bartender, while going on auditions. Eventually, he booked the part of a mountain biker on the Disney Channel series The Lodge.
As it so often goes, Disney work begets more Disney work and Disney couples. Doherty was cast in the network’s Descendants movies, which is how he met Dove Cameron in 2016. It was more than a locationship: The duo dated for four years and two TV movies, finally breaking up in the fall of 2020 around the same time the new Gossip Girl series started filming in NYC. More recently, Doherty has been linked to Dutch model Yasmin Wijnaldum.
Unlike some of his co-stars who were big fans of the original Josh Schwartz adaptation of Cecily von Ziegesar’s YA series, Doherty has only a passing familiarity with Gossip Girl 1.0. And though he may look like a collage of Nate Archibald’s piercing baby blues atop Chuck Bass’ razor sharp jawline, among the few episodes he’s seen, Doherty’s favorite character is Blair. Or, as he put it to Interview, “the brown-haired one... I thought she was class.” In the reboot, he plays Max Woolfe. So far we don’t know much about his storyline, but from the trailers, he definitely seems more like a Chuck than his headband-wearing love.