On Thursday, I sat down with Ed Westwick following his participation in The CW's Bad-Ass Boy TCA panel, meaning I've officially interviewed every single actor from Gossip Girl. And while they've all been lovely, I can officially say that out of the entire cast, Ed is the most unlike his character.
Don't get me wrong, he's as charismatic as Chuck Bass but there is a lightness to Ed's playful nature that stands in such stark contrast to his character that I was momentarily thrown as he laughed more in one minute than Chuck has in five seasons. But I guess that's why they call it acting!
During our chat, I found his ability to dole out an unexpected metaphor as delightfully jarring as his penchant for giggling and his openness about the pros and cons of fame utterly refreshing. Check out our chat below to find out what's coming up on Gossip Girl and how Dan is like Mitt Romney.
Insider.com: You just wrapped up a Bad-Ass Boys of The CW panel -- do you still see Chuck like that?
Ed Westwick: It's kind of one-dimensional. Also, what are they implying? Is The CW saying I'm bad? The character is bad? Both? [laughs] I can't box Chuck as a bad boy any more – he was very much in the beginning because he was a brat and got up to some shocking activities, with date rape and all sorts of precarious activities. But I don't believe that any more. At the moment, he's a man on a mission to get the love of his life. Granted, there will be a few covert operations along the way, which are bound to have deviousness involved. So there's that, but I think after five years, we've showed depth. Or at least I hope I have [laughs].
Insider: Tonight's episode features Chuck in a coma -- is that the ideal situation for an actor?
Ed: I think I fell asleep, which was perfect with our long days. I loved that scene in the back of the limo with Leighton [Meester, who plays Blair]. It was so Diana & Dodi -- which is why I worried for a second I worried they might kill me. But, no [laughs]. I wake up, I survive, I'm back.
Insider: Fans are as invested in Chuck and Blair today as they were in season one. Does their longevity as a couple surprise you?
Ed: It does, but you've seen it before on countless shows. Fans like to go down that road with a couple. Love and relationships are such an important part of our lives, it's nice to see one played out in fiction. I think it's great and I hope we can keep giving them something that they want.
Insider: This year, Louis was brought into the action, but for fans, the true love triangle has been between Chuck, Blair and Dan. Did you see that coming?
Ed: It's been a little out of left field. Penn Badgley's cute, so I get it [laughs]. It's an interesting dynamic because that's a complete 180 from what she likes about Chuck. The whole situation is infuriating for Chuck because he just wants to shake her and say "What are you thinking?!?!" But he can't. It's not his style. He's got to be cool, calm and meticulous about his approach. I don't know which way it’s going to go – and that's the thing. We've got one more year on our contracts, which will see the show out, and I'm as invested in the relationship as well. I want to know how it ends.
Insider: The idea of soulmates has been thrown around a lot with Chuck and Blair. Is that how you see them?
Ed: Yes, that's what I feel. But I think Chuck needs to get out of the house because I would not behave in this way whatsoever [laughs]. I would tell him, "There are other people, sort yourself out – you have a lot going for yourself. You're a good-looking guy with a lot of money, there are other women out there." I mean, Blair is hard work. But .. she's really good in the sack! [laughs]
Insider: What has been your favorite part of playing this character?
Ed: The whole thing has been a dream role. A dream to have the success we've had. Clothes that I wouldn't normally be exposed to – fashion wasn't in my mind in the beginning. I've loved the development of his journey – I've played every emotion out there and that's great as an actor. And as a young actor, it's even greater because I've been able to add so much to my repertoire.
Insider: Has there been anything you haven't loved about playing this character?
Ed: For lack of a better word, the fame at such a young age has been a weird thing. Very weird. Look, I wouldn't change it for a thing. I've had a blast, as I'm sure you know [laughs]. But it is a weird thing at times. It's offered me an insight into humanity. The culture we live in, in this day and age. Because you see someone on TV, they're no longer a person – they're just an object you want a piece of. It's very interesting. I'm not sour or bitter about it, but I find it intriguing.
Insider: What about the dog? Is it true that you should never work with children or animals?
Ed: Oh god ... on that note [laughs]. It's a lovely dog, it's just a hassle. Honestly, I would have preferred the monkey. That's what it was supposed to be in the book. Maybe they didn't want to pay for the exotic animal license.
Insider: Right, or maybe the writers figured there's nowhere for Dan to buy a monkey on the UWS!
Ed: Right! "Where did he get that monkey?!?" There's Jenny, she changed!
Insider: Looking ahead, you have Blair's wedding and the show's 100th episode. What are you excited for fans to see that's coming up?
Ed: First of all, 100 episodes is such an achievement -- I almost can't believe we got here. I'm excited for fans to see the wedding – it's huge and amazing. You've never seen a more gorgeous bride than Blair. She's stunning. There's a lot going on in terms of this whole Blair & Dan thing – this is where I feel Chuck is losing the battle. There's a few approaches and he keeps shooting blanks. I don't know if he's going to make a late surge. It's kind of like the Republican nomination – I think Dan is Mitt Romney. Chuck is Santorum -- which is better than being Rick Perry.
Gossip Girl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
- Ed Westwick
- Ed Westwick
- Chuck Bass