How Old The Gossip Girl Cast Was Compared To Their Characters (2024)

Summary

  • In the TV show Gossip Girl, the characters range in age from 14 to 42 years old, and the actor ages are not far off from the characters.
  • Blake Lively was 20 years old when she first played Serena.
  • Taylor Momsen was the only cast member to play her true age on the show.

Gossip Girl featured the talents of Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, and many other young actors who rose to fame thanks to the CW teen drama television series. The popular show ran for six seasons from 2007 to 2012 and was based on the book series of the same name by Cecily von Ziegesar. Gossip Girl, an anonymous blogger who spilled the secrets of wealthy teenagers living on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, was at the center of the story, and their identity was the series' central mystery that would not be solved until the very last episode.

Teen television shows in the 2000s and early 2010s typically featured actors who were certainly not teenagers and were well into their twenties or even sometimes thirties. However, the ages of the Gossip Girl cast members compared to their characters did not vary too much. Of course, most of the stars in the CW series were above 18 years old, likely due to the studio wanting to avoid adhering to child labor laws or having to enforce schooling on set. For the most part, the Gossip Girl actors were not significantly older than their counterparts in the show.

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10 Blake Lively: 20 Years Old

Serena Van Der Woodsen: 16 Years Old

When Blake Lively started playing Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl, she had just turned 20. Her birthday is August 25, 1987, so she was cast when she was 19, meaning the actress was not remarkably older than her character in the CW teen drama series. When Gossip Girl premiered, the main characters entered their junior year at the Constance Billard School for Girls and the St. Jude's School for Boys, which would make Serena 16 years old.

Serena had spent a year away from the city and attended a boarding school in Connecticut, and her return was the source of much gossip in the first season. Lively being older than Serena worked in the show's favor, allowing Serena to seem older than her years and weary of all the past drama. Throughout the series, Serena was at the center of a lot of drama, which was her job as the main character.

But she found her happy ending by the finale, and thanks to a time jump in the last episode, Serena closed out Gossip Girl at 26 or 27 years old.

Gossip Girl and the later revival series are both available to stream on Max.

9 Penn Badgley: 21 Years Old

Dan Humphrey: 16 Years Old

Dan Humphrey ended the show as Gossip Girl, but he began Gossip Girl as the loner teenager with a crush on the popular girl he had never spoken to — a typical 16-year-old. Dan attended St. Jude's School for Boys as a junior and eventually worked up the courage to ask Serena out on a date.

He certainly seemed more logical and mature than many of the other characters

Serena and Dan's relationship was a focal point throughout the course of the series, and whereas their characters were the same age in Gossip Girl, the actors (Blake Lively and Penn Badgley) shared a one-year age difference. Lively was 20 years old while filming the first season, while Badgley turned 21 during production. Like most of the main cast, being older than the character played worked in Badgley's favor. He certainly seemed more logical and mature than many of the other characters.

8 Chace Crawford: 21 Years Old

Nate Archibald: 16 Years Old

Nate Archibald was at the center of the drama between Serena and Blair at the beginning of Gossip Girl season 1, and just like the other teenagers in the show, he was 16 years old. Nate was Blair's boyfriend when the CW teen drama series premiered in 2007, but he had previously cheated on her with Serena, which (obviously) became a source of contention between the three friends. Chace Crawford, who played Nate throughout all six seasons of the show, was 21 years old when shooting the first season.

Nate is one character whose age doesn't really feel influenced by the actor playing him. That's likely because Nate is the "good guy" of the main cast of characters. He largely stayed out of the drama and didn't stoop to the levels of immaturity that other characters did. He also didn't have the same "old soul" feel that characters like Serena or Chuck did, so the audience would have likely believed Crawford and his character were very close in age.

7 Taylor Momsen: 14 Years Old

Jenny Humphrey: 14 Years Old

Jenny Humphrey, Dan's little sister, was the youngest of the teenage characters in Gossip Girl. When the television show began, Jenny was only 14 years old and a freshman at the Constance Billard School for Girls. Although she was younger than everyone else in the series, Jenny wanted to fit in with the older crowd and desperately sought attention and validation from Blair.

Jenny eventually learned how to become her own person, but the journey to get there was exhausting, to say the least. And unsurprisingly, Taylor Momsen, who played Jenny in Gossip Girl, was the same age as her character (14 years old) while filming season 1. For many of her early interactions, Jenny feels like a child trying to gain the favor of the grown-ups, even if the "grown-ups" in this instance are only meant to be a few years older than her. Momsen brought a youthful energy to the role that an older actor wouldn't have.

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6 Kelly Rutherford: 39 Years Old

Lily Van Der Woodsen: 41 Years Old

Serena's mother, Lily van der Woodsen, was 41 years old when the pilot episode of Gossip Girl premiered in 2007. Lily was a single mom at the start of the show, but just like her daughter, she had a complicated love life. She was dating Chuck's father, Bart Bass, while reconnecting with her former lover, Rufus Humphrey, Dan and Jenny's father. As one could easily tell, everyone was connected on the Upper East Side in Manhattan.

Whereas Lily was in her early forties at the beginning of Gossip Girl, Kelly Rutherford, who played the character, was younger and turned 39 while working on the first season. That difference isn't a huge point of contention for the character. After all, Lily has still loved an entire life that her children have not, and they could have benefited from her experience instead of hiding things from her so often.

5 Matthew Settle: 38 Years Old

Rufus Humphrey: 42 Years Old

Like Kelly Rutherford, Matthew Settle was a tad bit younger than his Gossip Girl character. Settle portrayed Rufus Humphrey in the CW teen drama series, and Rufus was 42 years old in season 1. Meanwhile, Settle was only 38 when he started playing Dan and Jenny's father in Gossip Girl​​​​. It made sense that the actors playing Rufus and Lily would be close in age so that their characters would appear close in age on the show as well, since they were high school sweethearts.

Like Rutherford, Settle being just a few years younger than his character didn't make a difference for the role. It's clear that Rufus is more experienced in the world than his kids, but he does still have the kind of youthful energy that comes with having the dream of being a rockstar.

4 Jessica Szohr: 22 Years Old

Vanessa Abrams: 16 Years Old

Even though Dan did not have many school friends when Gossip Girl premiered, he always had Vanessa Abrams to turn to. Dan and Vanessa were childhood best friends, but she moved to Vermont before their relationship could become something more. Vanessa eventually moved back to New York City in season 1, but Dan was dating Serena at the time, meaning that the drama between them was only just beginning. Vanessa was 16 years old at the start of the series, while her portrayer, Jessica Szohr, was 22 when she accepted the role in Gossip Girl.

Szohr certainly looked older than 16, but that worked for Vanessa. Vanessa, who had lived on a commune and initially abhorred the underhanded nature of the popular crowd, still had to be able to fit into the glitz and glamour of the Upper East Side. A slightly older actress made Vanessa appear much wiser than Dan and much more likely to be able to slip into an exclusive party.

3 Kaylee DeFer: 25 Years Old

Ivy Dickens: 21 Years Old

Kaylee DeFer was the only series regular in Gossip Girl who did not appear in the first season. The actress's character, Ivy Dickens, was introduced in season 4 before becoming a central figure in the series in season 5. Ivy was the rival of Lily, seeing as she pretended to be her niece for the money and glamour of being a member of the family. When DeFer began filming Gossip Girl, she was 25 years old, while her character was 21.

The actress and her character were close enough in age that no one in the audience would have noted the four-year gap at the time. An actress as a con artist trying to fit in among wealthy teens really meant that the writers could have made her just about any age and the audience would have likely accepted it.

2 Ed Westwick: 20 Years Old

Chuck Bass: 16 Years Old

Chuck Bass was a controversial character, thanks to his "bad boy" tendencies and manipulative personality. But just like other men on television who share these qualities, there was something about Chuck that made (almost) everyone come back for more. In particular, Blair held a soft spot for Chuck, and their relationship was another focal point of the series. He was the same age (16) as Serena, Blair, Dan, and Nate in the first season, seeing as he was a junior at St. Jude's School for Boys.

Meanwhile, Ed Westwick was 20 years old when he first appeared as Chuck in Gossip Girl​​​​. Interestingly, Westwick is the one of the core five cast members in the first season who actually looks much older than his high school character, but it works for him.Chuck, after all, has largely been left to his own devices by his father, has partied his way through New York, and is capable of running the family business while still in school. It makes sense for the character to seem older than his peers.

1 Leighton Meester: 21 Years Old

Blair Waldorf: 16 Years Old

Leighton Meester played Serena's best friend, the quotable Blair Waldorf, in Gossip Girl throughout all six seasons, and like Blake Lively's character, Blair was 16 years old at the start of the series. Meanwhile, Meester was 21 years old while filming the pilot episode and introducing the world to (who would soon be) a fan-favorite character.

Meester's age helped her make Blair feel older than her 16 years

Also like Lively, Meester had to have a youthful quality, but the audience also had to believe she had been put through some drama in the past. Meester's age helped her make Blair feel older than her 16 years, while still allowing her plenty of moments of immaturity to be believable as well.

Blair was the designated "Queen B" of the Constance Billard School for Girls, who often feuded with her friends (especially Serena, despite their status as best friends). However, like most "Queen B" characters in teen drama shows, Blair was much more complex than anyone once thought and became a Gossip Girl fan favorite.

How Old The Gossip Girl Cast Was Compared To Their Characters (3)
Gossip Girl (2007)

TV-14

Drama

Romance

A group of teens on New York's Upper East Side face drama, betrayal, and romance in their friend group while being blogged about by the anonymous Gossip Girl.

Cast
Blake Lively , Leighton Meester , Penn Badgley , Ed Westwick , Chace Crawford , Kelly Rutherford , Matthew Settle , Taylor Momsen

Release Date
September 19, 2007

Seasons
6

Creator(s)
Stephanie Savage , Josh Schwartz
How Old The Gossip Girl Cast Was Compared To Their Characters (2024)

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