Hey, Upper East Siders. If you can believe it, it’s been almost a decade since the first episode of Gossip Girl graced our television screens (because we were actually watching it on TVs back then…) With this major anniversary on the approach, the behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the show’s cast and crew are coming thick and fast: who knew that Blake Lively would take pictures of a doll on set and then send them on to then-boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio? Now, a new revelation from co-creator Josh Schwartz (also responsible for that other Noughties teen favourite, The OC) has managed to up the ante of reminiscing even further: it seems that Jennifer Lawrence auditioned to play Manhattan golden girl Serena van der Woodsen – and that she was pretty fed up to lose out on the role.
‘We did not realise this at the time, but Jennifer Lawrence really wanted to play Serena and auditioned,’ Schwartz told Vulture. ‘This story came to us second hand, but we were told she definitely auditioned and was bummed not to get it.’
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As for whether Schwartz and his co-creator Stephanie Savage ever saw that intriguing audition tape? ‘We can’t remember if we saw it or not,’ he said. ‘It was 10 years ago, and she would’ve been how old, 15?’ If any casting assistants are holding on to this vital piece of evidence, we ask them to come forward immediately in the public interest.
The part of Serena was, of course, eventually offered to Blake Lively, then best known for The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants; the rest, as they say, is history, but the role was initially considered for a very different teen star, Ashley Olsen. In a 2015 interview, casting director David Rapaport told Buzzfeed that ‘the network initially pitched us Ashley Olsen and Rumer Willis for Blair and Serena.’
For Rapaport, though, ‘Blake was the front-runner’ – and quite right too.