This little detail almost cost Leighton Meester her role as Blair Waldorf

Posted by
Susan Devaney

It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the formidable character of Blair Waldorf entered our living rooms by way of American hit TV show Gossip Girl. Whether you loved or hated her, you can’t argue she didn’t have presence. 

The hit book-series-turned-TV-show, centred around some of New York City’s most privileged teens, was narrated by an anonymous blogger known by the moniker, Gossip Girl. The six successful seasons followed the enviable (and drama-packed) lives of five main characters in Mahattan’s Upper East Side: Chuck Bass, Serena van der Woodsen, Dan Humphrey, Nate Archibald and, of course, Blair Waldorf. Along with side characters Vanessa Abrams and Jenny Humphrey.

And while Leighton Meester appeared to have been born to play the part of queen bee Waldorf, it nearly didn’t happen.

Initially Leighton read for the role of cool-girl Serena van der Woodsen (played by Blake Lively, of course) but she felt a stronger affiliation to the Chanel headband-wearing character of Blair. But to snag the part she had to undergo a drastic makeover, literally within minutes.

Leighton Meester
The main cast at the CW Television Critics Association Press Tour party in 2007 in California

“She came in and she was really funny, and really smart and played vulnerable," the Noughties show’s co-creator Josh Schwartz recently told Vanity Fair.

"But there was one problem: she was blonde. And Blake was blonde, obviously; Serena had to be blonde. So, [Leighton] went to the sink and dyed her hair. She wanted it."

Leighton Meester
Leighton Meester with blonde hair in 2006 before starring in Gossip Girl

All we can say to this is a recital of the famous words spoken by B. Waldorf herself: “If you really want something you don’t stop for anyone or anything until you get it.”

During the time the show aired Leighton spoke openly about having a deep rooted connection to Blair’s somewhat icy demeanour.  

"The evil side of Blair is somewhere in me," she told Cosmopolitan in 2009.

"But acting her out is like therapy. I get to do things nobody would ever say or do in real life."

Leighton Meester
Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl

Earlier this year, Leighton demonstrated her undying love for the character by predicting what the straight-talking fashionista would’ve achieved by 2017.  

“Ohhhh... let's see... when we last left Blair Waldorf, she had a kid with [Chuck Bass], and she was running her own fashion company. And I think it was going really well, wasn't it?,” she mused to ELLE earlier this year.

“So in 2017, Blair Waldorf is probably about to debut her new fashion line. She's probably doing New York Fashion Week! She's got a runway somewhere.”

Well, we couldn’t possibly imagine anyone having played the part as brilliantly as Leighton.


Images: Rex Features / Getty