Leighton Meester's hair nearly cost her the role of Blair Waldorf

Blondes don't have more fun apparently

blair waldorf
(Image credit: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock)

Blondes don't have more fun apparently

Now here’s something to make you feel old - it’s officially been a decade since Gossip Girl aired. The over the top (yet utterly chic) teen sitcom swept the world and we grew to love and hate Serena van der Woodsen and her flowy blonde locks, broody Chuck Bass and of course, ice queen Blair Waldorf. However it turns out that the show could have gone very differently, as Leighton Meester nearly lost out on Queen B because of her blonde locks.

In an anniversary profile with Vanity Fair, the cast and crew came together to reflect on their fictional lives in the Upper East Side. The topic of their first auditions came up as well and surprisingly, Leighton actually auditioned first for Serena - not Blair.

After reading for Blair during her audition, she felt an instant connection with the character and the showrunners fell in love with her. There was an issue though: her hair was a very Serena van der Woodsen blonde.

Josh said, ‘[Leighton] came in and she was really funny, and really smart and played vulnerable. But there was one problem: she was blonde. And Blake was blonde, obviously; Serena had to be blonde. So, [Leighton] went to the sink and dyed her hair. She wanted it.’

blair waldorf

Henry Lamb/BEI/REX/Shutterstock
(Image credit: Henry Lamb/BEI/REX/Shutterstock)

In real life, Leighton’s probably the furthest thing from Blair Waldorf. She’s more reserved, had a much less glamorous childhood (her mother was imprisoned for drug smuggling, for example) and is now married to Adam Brody of Seth Cohen fame - somebody Blair wouldn’t have even given the time of day. Another Gossip Girl cast member had reservations that she could really step into Waldorf’s heels.

Chace Crawford reflected on meeting Leighton and said his initial thought was, ‘I just don’t see her as Blair Waldorf. I can’t see it.’

It wasn’t long before she snapped on a headband and turned around ‘slyly in her chair’ that he was totally swept away. He said, ‘I just remember thinking, ‘That girl can act. She’s the perfect girl for this.’’

Other surprising tidbits from the interview included the fact that Blake Lively nearly turned the role of Serena down, since she initially wanted to continue her studies at Columbia University. She eventually took the role when the Gossip Girl team allowed her to go one day a week, but as the show became a cultural phenomenon and demanded more from her, she wound up dropping out.

And as for the burning question on everybody’s lips: will there be a reboot any time soon? Well, everybody played pretty coy about it. Josh and his fellow show runner Stephanie Savage revealed that they had considered making a film, but that it hadn’t gone anywhere.

However, the author of Gossip Girl Cecily Von Ziegesar had other ideas. She admitted to hoping they’d go completely off the wall with a slasher flick version of the series, where Serena returns from boarding school as a serial killer. You know what, we’d totally be down for that.

Megan C. Hills

Megan is a freelance journalist who covers entertainment and all things lifestyle, with a particular passion for fashion, beauty, travel and Keanu Reeves stories. She has previously worked on staff for titles including Marie Claire UK, CNN Style and The Evening Standard and has written for titles such as Bustle UK, Wallpaper*, Forbes and Hong Kong Tatler. She splits her time between London and her hometown Hong Kong, where she currently lives with the love of her life - an elderly dog named Poppy - and her husband.