And to think that even then, the seeds were being planted all the way in the beginning!
It's almost too much for us to take, knowing we'll never get to see our beloved Blair and her handbands again!
For more fascinating musings from Stephanie Savage on keeping the cameos and story shockers under wraps, as well as where some of our favorite characters are now, check out the rest of her interview…AFTER THE JUMP!!!
On past inconsistencies with Dan's Gossip Girl revelation:
We could have made the show two hours long with just Rufus drilling Dan about all of those things. What about this time and what about that other time? Wait, you wrote this about yourself?! My hope is that people who are really curious about that can go back and rewatch the season and get their brains going.
We didn’t want to lean in too heavily to that idea. It was nothing that we talked to the actors about. It was nothing that we wanted to be part of Penn Badgely’s performance as Dan. Or something that we wanted viewers to be actively thinking about. We were hoping to have a nice long run and we didn’t want people to be preoccupied by the question of, “Who is Gossip Girl?” So we held reins loosely and didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that one of our main characters might actually be Gossip Girl.
On keeping all the surprise cameos a secret:
We were so happy that none of them got out. With Mayor Bloomberg, we were able to shoot in the city when he was available. It was all very dramatic with him coming in the back door so the paparazzi wouldn't see him and we shot inside. Jessica [Szohr] was in town for a movie. She did her cameo on the set of Carrie Diaries and it's Carrie Bradshaw's '80s kitchen she's standing in. And Rachel Bilson and Kristen Bell shot on the set of Hart of Dixie. We didn't send dailies out, we didn't send out to international partners, we didn't send the last two acts to anyone. We really tried to control spoilers.
On the wedding spoilers being leaked:
The Chuck and Blair wedding, we knew as soon as we stepped outside, it would be captured by the paparazzi. But Dan and Serena, that was really disappointing and upsetting. We worked really hard to dress Blake inside, she kept away from the windows. It was a locked set. But somebody either paid someone to get into the apartment across the street, or used a fire escape and used a telephoto lens, and that really upset me because I didn't want anyone to know. I wanted that to be a surprise for fans.
On Chuck and Blair having a child:
I think it was a conversation up until the end of last season among all the writers. We wanted to write a season-five finale that would point us in the right direction. But for me and Josh Schwartz, we always felt that those guys were endgame for each other. Always. It seemed like the ultimate coming together of their union and their future. And wanting to see that Chuck and Blair could both be good parents… See the joy that that little boy brings to his grandparents. And you got to see a little mini-Chuck in a bowtie…We had a few good contenders, but Alex who played Henry, was just like if you made computer program of what Chuck and Blair's kid would look like he would come out. We loved it.
On Rufus and Lily not ending up together…and Lisa Loeb!
Obviously, Rufus and Lily together complicates the Serena and Dan dynamic. But more importantly, we felt that Rufus and Lily gave it a real college try. But after CeCe died, it was just too hard for Lily to meet Rufus in the middle. She tried to make it work with Bart Bass, and he was a little bit — or a lot — too dark. And psychotic. Dr. Van der Woodsen kind of split the difference. He’s going to let Lily drink all the gin in her teacup that she wants and not really question any of her choices like Rufus might. He’s the father of her children. So that felt like a fun, slightly twisted way to end out Lily’s romantic story. And I think it was very important that we saw that Rufus and Lily still have a very strong and loving connection with each other. And they’ll always be bonded by the relationship between their children.
We didn’t want Rufus to be alone! And he has been spending a lot of time recently with Lisa Loeb. He really enjoyed his hormone-free Thanksgiving concert that he went to. And so that just felt like a nice way to give him someone who was from his world. At the end of the day, Rufus is probably most true to who he was of all the characters.
On including Gossip Girl voice Kristen Bell and The O.C.'s Rachel Bilson:
Once we felt certain that we could do Rachel and Kristen together, it seemed like you wanted to build more for them than just having them look at their phones. If you’re going to have those two ladies together in a scene then we wanted to have fun and play to their strengths. So Josh Schwartz and I came up with the whole idea… Having Kristen on the show was very, very special. To be able to have her onscreen for the finale was great. And to have Rachel do it with her was just the icing on the cake.
On where all the characters are in five years:
We realized that Jack and Georgina had never met, and so we had the opportunity to have a fun little pilot story where it's just slight but getting them together for the first time, which was super fun.
Nate is single and focused on work. And that Dan giving him the Gossip Girl exclusive is kind of what he needed to jumpstart the Spectator. And he's been able to focus on that. Not have any business partners or distracting girlfriends and become very focused and successful. He didn’t have any crazy partners or distracting girlfriends. We’re seeing him come into his own as a young man and a real player in the New York scene.
I always loved the idea that Blair would reach out to Jenny and have her become a part of Waldorf Designs. When Jenny is running up the stairs to Dan and Serena's wedding, she's using a "J by Waldorf" shopping bag. So it happened.
Vanessa's doing something very successful in her own world. Maybe she's directing an episode of season five of Carrie Diaries.
Serena is a powerful force in the New York social scene. We saw a glimpse this year of her philanthropic powers. Her ability to raise money and get behind causes, and that's probably what she's doing.