There is a reason why Gossip Girl’s run lasted a whooping 121 episodes. At times, it may have slid dangerously into sloppy soap opera territory but when it was good, it was so very addicting. I mean, the wardrobes! The scandals! The schemes! Blake Lively’s boobs! No, but seriously there were times when Blake’s breasts could have been billed as guest stars.
The series ended in 2012, with a finale that received a bit of criticism from fans. It certainly paid tribute to the characters who the audience grew to love in the six years it was on, but no one really bought the whole (spoiler alert) Dan Humphrey being Gossip Girl thing. Instead of diving into the gaping plot holes of Dan Humphrey Gossip Girl, let’s forget about that and talk about where all the actors are now.
When the show premiered, the main stars were all in their early twenties and basically unknown in Hollywood. Now, four years after the finale, most of the stars are on the brink of thirty and doing pretty well in the entertainment business. Well, we’ll be honest, some of the cast is doing better than others because that’s just the way it works.
Below is a list of your favorite Upper East Siders and what they’ve been up to since they said goodbye to their privileged, scheming characters.
15. Leighton Meester
If Blair Waldorf wasn’t your favorite then, uh, you need to question if you’re a true Gossip Girl fan. The insecure, manipulative Queen B who got to deliver almost all of the best lines of the show was played by Leighton Meester, who was somehow able to make you both fear and pity Blair all at once.
Being that Meester was one of the standout talents on the show, hopes were high that she would find the success she deserved after Gossip Girl but she’s keep a fairly low profile. She’s either starred in indie films like Life Partners and Like Sunday, Like Rain or had a smaller role in a bigger budget movies like The Judge. She also took to Broadway, where she starred in Of Mice and Men with James Franco. Thankfully for fans of the actress, she’ll be returning to the small screen this fall on Fox’s Making History, in which she’ll get to showcase her comedic chops.
On the personal front, Meester is doing very well. In 2013, Meester began dating Adam Brody in one of the most low-key Hollywood relationships ever. Seriously, the couple got married in 2014 and almost no one knew about it, and then they had a baby in 2015 and almost know one knew about it. How they manage to avoid the media is beyond us.
14. Blake Lively
I almost feel like I shouldn’t even include Blake Lively on this list because we have all pretty much kept up with her life. In fact, Lively’s life almost mimics that of her character Serena van der Woodsen. Lively is beautiful and charming but seemingly everything comes easy to her, which can get annoying after a while. I mean, why must one person be blessed with both the best legs and the best hair in Hollywood? Doesn’t seem fair, Blake. Doesn’t seem fair!
In 2012, she married movie star Ryan Reynolds and their relationship has been anything but low profile. The couple are frequently spotted together, probably because they are the best couple in, like, 300% of the rooms they are ever in. Lively gave birth to their first child in 2014 and as of right now, the couple is expecting their second.
On the professional side, Blake actually dipped out of movies and television shows for a bit to launch her lifestyle website, Preserve, in 2014. It apparently didn’t really take off and was shut down in 2015, at which point Blake made her return to the screen, starring in The Age of Adaline. Since then, Lively also starred in The Shallows and Woody Allen’s Café Society.
13. Ed Westwick
Who would have thought that Ed Westwick’s Chuck Bass would end up becoming one of the best parts of the show? In the pilot episode, his character literally tries to rape someone and somehow, in six seasons he became one of the most entertaining and endearing characters. I could wax poetic about Chuck Bass and his layers on layers all day but this is about what Ed Westwick is up to now.
Westwick’s performance on Gossip Girl certainly proved he could act but unfortunately, he hasn’t really found his vehicle since Gossip Girl. He went on to star in a few films, none of which received stand out reviews or were box office hits. So, in other words, these films did basically nothing to further his career.
He also went on to star in the dark ABC show Wicked City, which predictably got canceled. Seriously, Wicked City was on show in which Westwick played a sexy serial killer with weird sexual appetites. Considering ABC’s brand is more of the Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives fare, it’s a shock that this was even ordered on that network.
12. Chace Crawford
I know Gossip Girl had Blake Lively and Leighton Meester in its cast but the prettiest of all the faces on the show was certainly Chace Crawford’s. This guy is handsome AF. He was perfectly cast as the restless pretty boy Nate Archibald. Chace also managed to show some range while in the role.
In 2015, he returned to the small screen on ABC, just like his Gossip Girl BFF Ed Westwick. His series, Blood & Oil, was also short lived and canceled in its first season. With several smaller roles in upcoming feature films, Chace may have better luck on the big screen.
11. Penn Badgley
Penn Badgley, aka Dan Humphrey, aka Gossip Girl. Okay, we’ll stop complaining about the Dan Humphrey as Gossip Girl thing. I swear. Anyways, Badgley played Dan Humphrey, the outsider writer from Brooklyn who was seduced by the extravagant world of Serena van der Woodson and Blair Waldorf.
Despite the fact that he had a decent career before Gossip girl (appearing in John Tucker Must Die) and during Gossip Girl (co-starring in Easy A), he really fell off the grid since Gossip Girl. He appeared in a few films but none really worth mentioning. He’s currently in a Brooklyn-based band called MOTHXR, which is so very Dan Humphrey of him by the way.
On the personal front, Badgley had been linked to a few women since his relationship with Blake Lively but nothing seems to stick. Perhaps, Blake ruined Badgley for all other women. Well, on Gossip Girl, their characters ended up together. I guess that’s one thing Badgley can remind himself when he’s crying himself to sleep because Blake’s married to Ryan Reynolds, who is the hunk of all hunks.
10. Kelly Rutherford & Matthew Settle
Because the teenagers weren’t the only ones with scandal and drama, fans grew to love Kelly Rutherford’s Lily van der Woodsen (we’ll omit her 20 different last names from all of her marriages) and Matthew Settle’s Rufus Humphrey. Rutherford played the WASPy mother of Serena, while Settle played the musician father of Dan Humphrey.
The pair had dated when they were young but broke up because life, ya know? Throughout the series, they got together, only to break up and repeat. It started as one of the relationships that everyone could root for but after, I don’t know, the 13th break up, it got kind of old. In the finale, the pair didn’t end up together. Lily ended up with Dr. Van der Woodsen, who was like her 4th husband and the father of Serena and Eric. Rufus ended up with, surprise of all surprises, Lisa Loeb played by Lisa Loeb.
Since Gossip Girl, Rutherford has jumped around from an appearance in one television show to another, most recently appearing in Quantico. Settle has also jumped around in terms of television appearances and co-starred in the horror film Ouija.
In Rutherford’s personal life following the show, it’s been something like a Gossip Girl plot. Rutherford divorced Daniel Giersch in 2010 and reached a joint custody agreement for their two children. In 2012, Rutherford’s lawyer reported issues with Giersch’s businesses to the State Department, who then deported him back to France. Because he’s now unable to enter the United States, Rutherford filed with sole custody of their children. The court actually turned her down, ruling that the children should live in France with their father, with Rutherford visiting them there because Giersch cannot enter the United States. Yeah, she basically lost her children because she got Giersch deported.
Oh, it gets even more twisted. In 2015, she tried to overturn the ruling but the California court ruled that it didn’t have jurisdiction because she had moved to New York. She then took the case to New York and they ruled that they didn’t have jurisdiction because her kids live in France. So, finally, Rutherford took the case to France and lost, with the ruling being that her children will stay in France with her visiting. To top things off, Rutherford then filed for bankruptcy due to her $1.5 million in legal fees for the case. I told you, It’s even better than most of the Gossip Girl plots!
9. Taylor Momsen
What ever happened to sweet Jenny Humphrey? When the series started, Taylor Momsen played the fresh-faced, young girl who had ambitions to climb the social ladder and be the new Blair Waldorf. Her character developed in an entertaining way, that is until Momsen started appearing on the show with the most awful hair extensions and eyeliner that was ever seen on Gossip Girl and perhaps even on The CW. She was finally written off the show, only to return for the finale.
Momsen has stated that she’s quit acting in order to pursue a career in music. She’s been the lead vocals in the bank The Pretty Reckless since 2009. Surprisingly, the band is still pumping out albums and even has had a few hits landing on Billboard’s top charts.
8. Jessica Szohr
Because Jessica Szohr actually seems like a cool person, I feel a little bad that she had to portray Vanessa Abrams, who was basically no one’s favorite character. Abrams was another artsy Brooklyn character, who aspired to be a filmmaker. That was before she went off the rails and everyone ended up hating her. I mean, leave the scheming to the Upper East Siders, Abrams! She left the show in season four but returned for the finale.
Since Gossip Girl, Szohr has enjoyed success, appearing in smaller roles in big budget films like Ted 2 and The Internship. She’s also had appearances in a few television series, but nothing that has stuck in the same way Gossip Girl did. In 2017, she’s slated to appear on Showtime’s much anticipated Twin Peaks miniseries, which may bring her more attention.
In her personal life, Szohr has been dating Scotty McKnight, ex of Hayden Panettiere.
7. Connor Paolo
Connor Paolo played Serena’s little brother, Eric van der Woodson. When we’re introduced to Eric, he’s in a mental institution due to his suicide attempt. He is later released and we learn that he’s gay and has had difficulty coming out. In terms of his character, he was meh. I mean, there was no real reason to hate Eric but what did he bring to the table? Nada.
Paolo left the show at the end of season four, like Szohr. From there, Paolo appeared on Revenge for the first two seasons of the series’ run. By the way, if you’re looking for a show to fill the Gossip Girl hole in your heart, Revenge is set in the Hamptons and ups the ante scheming wise.
Since Revenge, Paolo has had several smaller roles, none of real significance. He is scheduled to appear on Rush Hour this fall, so things may be looking up for the younger van der Woodson. He’s also been dating Janet Bailey since 2013.
6. Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg had the honor of playing Georgina Sparks, who is an Upper East Side legend. She took Chuck’s virginity. She parties harder than Serena. She schemes better than Blair. Love her or hate her, Georgina Sparks is legendary.
Georgina was introduced as a villain in season one, brought back for small arcs in the following seasons, then finally appeared in a majority of the finale season. Her character ended up being a comical member of the group, who oddly (and perfectly) enough end up with Uncle Jack Bass in the finale. That seriously might be the best part of the finale. I want a Georgina Sparks and Jack Bass spin off about their sick relationship.
5. Sebastian Stan
It’s debatable as to which Upper East Sider is doing best in Hollywood at this moment but one could make an argument that Sebastian Stan is the most successful of the bunch. On Gossip Girl, he played Cater Baizen, an entitled bad boy on the Upper East Side. In the course of his appearances, he managed to hook up with both Serena and Blair, so points for Carter Baizen.
Since his appearances on the show ended, he entered the Marvel universe as Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger. In-between The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier, he starred on the short-lived Political Animals and appeared on Once Upon A Time as The Mad Hatter. He also went on to appear in The Martian, which received great reviews and was a box office hit.
This year, he returned to Marvel with Captain America: Civil War and is lined up to be in Avengers: Infinity War in 2018. It’s safe to say that Stan has officially made the jump from the small screen to the big one.
4. Zuzanna Szadkowski
Zuzanna Szadkowski played Dorota, everyone’s favorite maid on the show. She was also so much more than a maid. She was Blair’s therapist, study partner, scheme assistant and all-round bestie. The writers of the show even gave Dorota her own storylines as the seasons progressed, with Dorota getting married and having a baby. Basically, Dorota was amazing. I would 100% watch a spinoff about her.
Since Gossip Girl, Szadkowski has found even more success on the small screen. She appeared in an episode of The Good Wife and Elementary. She also appeared in Girls, as one of Lena Dunham’s Iowa peers. She also appears quite regularly on The Knick, as Nurse Pell. You keep doing you, Dorota!
3. Desmond Harrington
He may have only appeared in 12 episodes but Desmond Harrington’s Jack Bass made quite the splash on the show. Jack Bass shows up in season two after Chuck’s father passes away. He, of course, is a schemer and has his own plans for the Bass will. He returned in season three and succeeded in breaking up power couple Chuck and Blair. In the course of the series, he eventually became less of an enemy to Chuck and more of an ally. Oh, and in the finale he ended up with Georgina Sparks, so that was completely amazing.
While appearing on Gossip Girl, Harrington was actually spending more of his time appearing on Dexter, in which he played Detective Joey Quinn. Since Dexter came to an end in 2013, Harrington bounced around a bit, appearing on the short lived The Astronaut Wives Club and Limitless. He also appeared in the Nicolas Winding Refn film The Neon Demon.
2. Blair’s Underlings
Ah, Blair’s underlings, who she so lovingly called her minions. Many different actresses played her minions throughout the series because when she went to college, she clearly needed a new group of girls to boss around.
Of her worker bees, Amanda Setton appeared in the most episodes as Penelope Shafai. Setton went on to appear in The Mindy Project’s first season before being written off. From there, Setton had stints on The Crazy Ones and Hawaii Five-0. Perhaps not the most successful minion but she’s definitely found work.
Dreama Walker appeared on the show as Hazel Williams, another one of Blair’s high school minions. She last appeared on the show in 2009, most likely because she got very busy. Seriously, she was working a lot! Walker starred in Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23, which ran for two seasons and was actually a lot funnier than the title would lead you to believe. She also appeared on The Good Wife frequently between 2009 and 2013. Her career definitely slowed down a bit since then but may be on the up and up again, as she’s set to co-star in Doubt, alongside Katherine Heigl and Laverne Cox. The TV show will premiere on CBS.
Melissa Fumero didn’t become a minion until Blair entered college but her career has certainly taken off since her appearance on Gossip Girl. She stars along side Andy Samberg in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is in its 4th season.
1. Aaron Tveit
In case you don’t remember Aaron Tveit, he played Trip van der Bilt, who was Nate’s cousin and a politician. Trip was unhappy in his marriage and had an affair with Serena, which with him leaving her for dead in a crashed car. It was very dramatic.
The extent of Tveit’s talents were clearly not being used on Gossip Girl, as the dude can sing. He appeared in 2012’s critically acclaimed Les Miserables. More recently, he played Danny Zuko alongside Julianne Hough‘s Sandy on Grease Live!. Like I said, apparently Trip van der Bilt can sing and dance, you guys!
I’m totally glad that everyone is doing well and stuff but can we get a Gossip Girl reunion in the works? Sebastian Stan said he’d be down!