Blake Lively, Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick, Leighton Meester and Penn Badgley on Location for "Gossip Girl" - November 27, 2007

Gossip Girl reboot: why this actor from the original series is the only one to return

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Joshua Safran, aka the creator of Gossip Girl’s upcoming reboot, has explained why the show’s original stars won’t have cameos in the new series. Except, of course, for this megastar… 

The original Gossip Girl series, which ended almost a (wait for it) decade ago, introduced us to a bevy of iconic actors in Blake Lively (Serena van der Woodsen), Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf), Penn Badgley (Dan Humphrey), Sebastian Stan (Carter Baizen), and Chance Crawford (Nate Archibald).

For all those hoping that some of these stars might return for the BBC’s upcoming Gossip Girl reboot, however, we have some bad news for you; it ain’t happening.

Speaking to People about why he decided to swerve any big name cameos, showrunner Joshua Safran explains: “There are some cameos in season one from people on the original show, but not the series regulars.

“The audience would never accept these [new] characters if they were in the shadow of the original characters. They’re already in the shadow of the original characters, but if the original characters were there with them in some way, why would you want to briefly get to know Zoya if you suddenly can see Nate?”

Gossip Girl reboot
Emily Alyn Lind, Jordan Alexander, Savannah Smith and Zion Moreno on the film set of the Gossip Girl reboot.

Safran adds: “Hopefully we’ll get there and will reach out to the cast if that time comes and see if they’ll want to come.”

It’s not all bad news, though, as one of the show’s headlining stars is set to return in a big way. We’re talking, of course, about Kristen Bell, who famously narrated the original series as the eponymous ‘Gossip Girl’ (before – spoiler – devious Dan was unmasked as the blogger in the show’s big finale).

“There was never a question for us to not have Kristen,” Safran tells The Wrap.

“And I think, if anything, if she hadn’t wanted to return, I think we would have thought long and hard about whether we should either. Like, I think [producers] Josh [Schwartz] and Stephanie [Savage] felt at a certain point, if we’re going to do this again, we should do it with Josh Safran. And then I felt, as did they, that if the three of us were going to do it again, we needed to do it with Kristen.”

Safran adds: “I just don’t think it would have worked with anyone else. And it was so early on that it could have gone away, if Kristen had been like, ‘You know what, I don’t want to revisit that.’ 

“We reached out to her before it was even close to going to ensure that she would be as interested as we were.”

So, there we have it; Bell will once again serve as our one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite. And we can’t wait for her to welcome East Siders back in her iconically coy (yet omniscient) tones.

Of course, the Gossip Girl reboot isn’t due to land on UK shores (via the BBC) until August. Until then, though…


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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