Leighton Meester & Blake Lively: Were The ‘Gossip Girl’ Stars Ever Friends In Real Life?

Even though Blake Lively and Leighton Meester were BFFs on 'Gossip Girl,' they weren't the closest friends off-screen. Here's everything we know about their real-life friendship.

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Blake Lively and Leighton Meester’s characters on Gossip Girl were best friends, but they had a complicated relationship. Jealousy was a big problem for the ladies’ fictional characters, Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf. Pair that with endless supplies of money and a fabulous life on the Upper East Side, and things often got heated between the two on the show.

Of course, this led to speculation about what Blake and Leighton’s relationship was like off-screen. For years, the Gossip Girl cast faced rumors that Blake and Leighton were feuding behind-the-scenes. “They avoid each other like the plague,” it was reported, and picked up by New York Magazine, in 2008. A blind item at the time also hinted at rumors of trouble between Blake and Leighton. “Which rival young actresses on the same hit show are forced to pose together at PR events, even though they hate each other?” the blind read. “One resents the other for having knocked her off her ‘star of the show’ pedestal.”

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Blake Lively and Leighton Meester on the set of ‘Gossip Girl.’ (Everett Collection)

Another report at the time claimed Leighton thought Blake was an “egomaniac.” Rumors also swirled that Blake was jealous because Leighton had a higher wardrobe budget than her. For the most part, Blake and Leighton have kept quiet about the real status of their friendship, but the truth about where they REALLY stand has come out on a few occasions over the years.

Were Blake Lively & Leighton Meester Friends During ‘Gossip Girl’?

Josh Safran, a writer on the set of Gossip Girl, revealed the truth about Blake and Leighton’s friendship during a 2017 profile with Vanity Fair. “Blake and Leighton were not friends,” he said, point-blank. However, he made it clear that there was no major drama between them, either. “They were friendly, but they were not friends like Serena and Blair. Yet the second they’d be on set together, it’s as if they were.”

Josh credited Blake and Leighton’s very different personalities for the reason they didn’t click as BFFs off-screen. “Blake is very much in the moment,” he shared. “Blake knows what’s happening. She knows this movie’s coming out, this band is happening. You talk to Blake on a very contemporary level, and she would be like, ‘I’m doing this thing tonight. Have you been to this restaurant?’ Leighton was very removed and very quiet, and, after the scenes were done, she would wander the stage. I had this image of her just in these gorgeous dresses with a book in her hand, sort of a little bit out of focus out in the corners.”

Did Blake Lively & Leighton Meester Feud During ‘Gossip Girl’?

When confronted with feud rumors during a 2008 interview with New York Magazine, Blake and Leighton were “quick to deny rumors of animosity,” according to the mag. “I was just reading something about, like, how Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson didn’t get along [on the set of The Other Boleyn Girl],” Leighton said. “Why don’t they say that George Clooney and Brad Pitt don’t get along? It’s always the girls.”

The ladies’ co-star, Chace Crawford, also addressed rumors of fighting between Blake and Leighton in 2009. Like Leighton, he shut down reports of a feud. “Everyone wants to know what’s happening on set,” he revealed to Interview magazine. “There isn’t anything shocking to write about, so magazines want to stir things up, like, ‘Blake and Leighton hate each other.’ But the truth is, when we’re all done with work, it’s like,’ Hey, what are you doing? Let’s go do karaoke.’ The publicity factor is outrageous. They just want to shoot you down. So that can definitely wear on you a little bit.”

Michelle Trachtenberg weighed in on the reports of drama in the 2017 Vanity Fair profile. “It’s funny,” she said. “Because when we were filming, there was, ‘Leighton hates Blake, Blake hates Leighton, everyone hates Blake, everyone hates Leighton, everyone hates Chace,’ and blah, blah, blah. It really wasn’t! We were all chill it was cool.”

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Blake Lively and Leighton Meester filming ‘Gossip Girl.’ (Everett Collection)

A makeup artist from the show, Amy Tagliamonti, echoed these sentiments. “I have to say, there was too much work to do for things to be that dramatic behind the scenes,” she admitted. “It’s not like [the actors] were trying to get followers for Instagram; nobody was trying to do all the things that I feel like people do now, like, ‘Let’s get attention.’ Everyone was just doing their thing.”

In the 2017 Vanity Fair profile, Blake admitted that this kind of scrutiny was part of what made her hesitant to sign on for Gossip Girl after she was chosen for the part of Serena. “I’m actually a very shy person and the idea of losing my anonymity was one that was scary to me,” she explained. “I remember saying when I read this script, ‘Whoever does this will not be able to walk out of their house ever again and be the same as before they started this.’ You could tell it was a cultural phenomenon. That was both exciting and thrilling, but also scary.”

Are Blake Lively & Leighton Meester Still Friends?

Although Leighton and Blake haven’t been publicly seen together since Gossip Girl ended, they appear to be on amicable terms. In 2019, Blake posted a throwback photo of herself and Leighton on Instagram from when they presented at the Emmy Awards together. “10 years ago,” she captioned the photo, with XOXO emojis. Blake definitely seemed to be looking back on the memory fondly.

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Blake Lively and Leighton Meester filming ‘Gossip Girl.’ (Everett Collection)

Plus, both ladies have said in the past that they’d be open to reprising their roles as Serena and Blair if the timing was right. Although neither actress has appeared in the Gossip Girl reboot, they each expressed their thoughts about a revival in separate interviews over the years. “If everyone was into it and the timing was right, you know? I don’t want to say, ‘No, never…'” she said during the Vanity Fair interview. While speaking to E! News in May 2019, she added, ” “No one’s ever asked me. No one’s ever talked to me about it except for in interviews and I always say the same — I never say never. So, I don’t know. No one’s sent me that information.”

Blake made similar statements. “I’m open to anything that’s good, that’s interesting and that sort of feels necessary,” she said in the VF profile. “I imagine we all would [consider it]. I can’t speak for everyone else, but we all owe so much to this show, and I think that it would be silly not to acknowledge that.” She also told Variety in 2017, “It sort of all depends. Would I do seven years of the show? No, because it’s hard work and I’ve got my babies and I don’t want to be away from them that much. But I’ve just learned in life you never say never. I’m looking to do something I haven’t done yet, not something that I did. But would I do that? Who knows! If it was good, if it made sense. We had so much fun shooting and living and working in New York City.”

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