Hey Upper East Siders, Gossip Girl is back and meaner than ever.
Before the premiere of Gossip Girl Season 2 on HBO Max Reboot, creator Joshua Safran and stars Grace Duah, Savannah Lee Smith, Emily Alyn Lind, Evan Mock and Eli Brown stop in New York on Wednesday A preview and Q&A of the first episode at the Prospect Park Nitehawk Cinema.
During the talk, the team opened up about what viewers can expect to see in season two, and Duah, who plays fan-favorite character Shan, didn’t hold back.
“This season is bigger and badder, but it’s mean,” she said. “I think that’s why you guys are sitting in your seats, I think that’s why millions of people are sitting in their seats at home. They want to see people being mean. You’re going to see that and that’s why you have to Tune in every Thursday until the end of January.”
For his part, Safran is particularly excited about the “truly incredible” queer content coming this season, as he is one of only two queer writers on the original Gossip Girl and hopes the reboot will paint a true picture of the LGBTQ world.
“There are some really unbelievable – at least my writers and myself feel – storylines, like, I won’t say who, but a character is scared of the first bottoming out, something I’ve never seen before,” he said during a question-and-answer session, prompting Mock, who plays Aki, to jokingly leave his seat and run off the stage.
Lynd, who plays Audrey, explained that her character was on a path of self-discovery this season as she found herself falling in love with two people – Mork’s Archie and Max, played by Thomas Doherty – three of whom officially became a trio in season two.
“I think she feels that loving two people diminishes the fact that she loves one, which is also scary in the sense that she loves them equally,” Lind Say. “So, in this season, I think we can see her kind of letting go of that control she’s always had, peeling off the layers and trusting her partner and being who she really is.”
For Smith, who plays Monet, her character path in Gossip Girl season 2 was a bit dark. After harboring feelings of jealousy and anger towards Jordan Alexander’s Julian Calloway in the first season, Monet declared war on the Queen Bee at the end of the first episode.
“You could see her plotting every episode [of the first season], maybe she was brewing this decision,” Smith said. “Reading the script, I could see where it was going, so I really wanted to get there. When I finally got the script for season two, I said, ‘Oh yeah, it’s finally here.’ I also On Twitter, and Twitter said, ‘This is what we want. So, we give Twitter what they want.”
Later in the conversation, Safran talks about Zión Moreno One particularly “powerful” scene between Luna in 2008 and Max in Doherty. In the first episode of season two (spoiler alert), Max tries to force Audrey and Aki to announce their trio to the world, but the latter two aren’t ready, so they hold off until Max gives them the final Ultimatum: They come out as a threesome or they break up.
After giving them a choice, Luna confronts Max and asks him to remember what it was like before he came out.
“Luna said to Max, ‘You don’t remember how you felt before you came out, before you realized that once you came out, you could have your own powers?'” shared Safran, and explains that the line was not originally in the script. Safran, Moreno, and Doherty came up with this idea when they realized that something in the scene wasn’t working.
“I just feel like if it wasn’t for that, and I really appreciate Zion, that scene wouldn’t be as powerful as it is because I’m talking about a gay guy, but if If you’re lucky, the before and after are so monumental,” said the creator. “I really appreciate all the gay actors on this show again, they really add a lot.”
He concluded by saying that scene really showed Gossip Girl reboot in its entirety. “It’s not just porn,” he said. “It’s really about looking at gay issues.”
First two episodes of Gossip Girl are playing Now on HBO Max, there are new premieres every Thursday.