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And it was even more difficult for us, because we were going after a younger, more finicky audience.”There were two core figures at the center of the books—Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen—and casting them was at the top of Schwartz and Savage’s agenda.
Waldorf is a brunette queen bee—controlling, poised, meticulous.
It’s currently available on Netflix, where a new generation is discovering the show for the first time.
“Phones get updated, but the inner life of teenagers, and the things that they struggle with, are pretty timeless, regardless of what device they’re on,” Schwartz said.
There was no shortage of high-profile guest stars throughout the run, either, as luminaries from the world of fashion, publishing, music, and art appeared on the series.
The notion of a group of people being callously gossiped about online by an anonymous troll certainly has resonance in our current climate, in which celebrities (as well as politicians and public figures) are often blogged about with a blithe and biting disregard.
As Kristen Bell, who voiced “Gossip Girl” for the show, said to me, “[Schwartz and Savage] were spearheading: broadcasting their every move on social media—which perhaps helped to create a certain air of mystery and intrigue about them, one that doesn’t exist in the same way for young television stars now.)The show also debuted at the very end of the period during which people regularly watched shows live when they aired (as opposed to on their DVRs or laptops or phones).When they started to cast the show, Savage and Schwartz looked at online message boards, where fans of the book series had already decided that Lively—known at this point primarily for her role in 2005’s Lively was not completely sold, though. After the first year [of the show], it’ll quiet down.