Exclusive Interview: 'Gossip Girl' Star Ed Westwick
Exclusive Interview: 'Gossip Girl' Star Ed Westwick
Ed Westwick has been taking New York City by storm this season on Gossip Girl. Playing devious, scheming womanizer Chuck Bass, Westwick tends to steal every scene he is in. Currently, his character is involved in a love-triangle involving Blair (Leighton Meester) and Nate (Chace Crawford), and tonight's episode, the last that we'll have in a long time, promises to serve up a scandal that only Gossip Girl can provide. Westwick sat down with BuddyTV to discuss his character, his inspiration for playing such a morally dubious socialite and his Gossip Girl wardrobe.
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First, why don't you start by catching us up on what's been going on with your character this season.

Chuck was introduced to the audience as the bad-boy, the overly-affluent guy who takes what he wants how he wants. In the early episodes we saw lots of drinking and womanizing, often unwilling. These traits remained consistent but we saw Chuck become more vulnerable and passionate as a result of his relationship with his father and feelings towards Blair. However in true GG fashion, drama will unfold and Chuck will be undoubtedly in the mix.


I've read that you're not really a bad guy in real life. Where do you get your inspiration from?

I think we all know how to be bad or mean when we want to be. We all have those moments when we can be selfish, arrogant, inconsiderate, etc. There was no specific influence for me. My vision was a collection of the people I have met in my life, characters I have seen on screen and the way I have acted on some occasions perhaps. However I assure you I am entirely different from Mr. Bass Jr.


Now, you must get this a lot, but what's it like for you, as a Brit, to be playing an American? Is it hard to do the accent?

I feel very lucky to be given the opportunity to play an American. With regard to the accent it is something that I didn't have to see a dialect coach for, it just came to me by listening and practicing. It is important not to get lazy and make sure I warm up my tongue properly since American sounds require different movements from my tongue.


What's coming up for Chuck on this last episode of the season?

Well we have reached half way in the season and unfortunately the writers strike means we don't know when the second half of this season will take place. But for a kind of mini, half-way climax, we see all the scandal revealed. Hearts and friendships alike are broken and control is lost. It should have everyone begging to see what happens next.


Do you know what the writers and creators have planned for you for next season?

We have no idea. But I have a lot of faith and respect for that aspect of the team so I'm sure it will be fantastic to be part of.


Something that is noteworthy about the show is all the drug use and underage drinking going on with the teens on the show. I think it's somewhat refreshing to have a more honest portrayal of drug use on TV, but some others criticize Gossip Girl for glamorizing it. What's your take on that?

I think it's realistic in terms of showing consequences even if sometimes they are not clear at first.


Another thing I love about the show is the fashion. You've got your trademark cashmere scarf... How much of a say do you get on what you wear? What was the deal with your red and white striped pool outfit on last week's episode? [laughter]

Originally I requested a 1950s one-piece with a rowing-type straw hat. I was told this was too much so we got the watered-down version. It can be easy to get carried away with regard to costume, especially with Chuck. We always have our input when we have a wardrobe fitting. The items that are selected for us and the ideas of the wardrobe designers are incredible though.


Is Gossip Girl being aired in the UK? What has the reception been like there?

It airs in the UK February and March I think. There is already hype so I am very excited for the show here.


Finally, aside from Gossip Girl, you've got a lot of other things going on: some film projects and your band the Filthy Youth. When do you sleep? What do you do when you get a break?

Well currently the strike means I am effectively breaking, it can be hectic during production but it is fun so I never feel pinned-down. I am in London currently and have been doing things with the band which has always been a romance for me and I look forward to bringing them to the US this year sometime. I have two films which I appear in which are waiting for release any time soon which I am excited for, it should be good times.


-Interview conducted by Debbie Chang
(Image courtesy of The CW)

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