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'Gossip Girl' star Thomas Doherty kicks off Season 2, reveals his dream cameo in original series

[The story below includes spoilers for Season 2 of HBO Max gossip Girl.


Thomas Doherty Not interested in critics’ comments on HBO MaxGossip Girl remake.

Instead, he focused on bringing his best work to the role of Max Wolfe and doing the job he was hired to do. That’s not to say getting into a show that’s culturally iconic and influential to millions isn’t “nervous.”

Max Wolfe is turning over in the second season of the reboot new leaves. A one-time “pansexual playboy” is ready to settle down — with his two best friends. The season kicks off with the trio of Max, Aki (Evan Mock) and Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind), aka the Triad. In the first five episodes, fans got a glimpse of the obstacles the trio faced as they figured out how to maintain their relationship, which was fun for Doherty.

Season 2 of The Joshua Safran Show was the first time viewers saw Max tear down his walls, despite how “scary” it was for him. “He’s very open, very, very vulnerable, and you can see that struggle with the comfort that Audrey and Aki have,” the actor told The Hollywood Reporter . “It kind of triggers him, almost like his walls want to go up on their own, but he’s trying to keep them down.”

In the first half of the season During the first half, Max did his best to make Aki and Audrey as comfortable as possible in their relationship, albeit at a “huge cost”” to him and his sense of identification, but the second half saw a breaking point reached, Doherty teases.

“He does care about them and wants it to work,” he explained. “[But] I think giving, giving, Giving and compromising your relationship is dangerous. ”

In conversation with THR, Doherty went on to open up about Max’s season The arc, why it’s important for the trio to face obstacles together, and why he wants to be a part of the reboot. The actor also reveals his (L-R) Evan Mock, Thomas Doherty, Emily Alyn Lind in HBO's 'Gossip Girl'dream Gossip Girl cameo and his remake inspiration from the original series.

Talk to me about Max’s journey so far this season and what we can expect for the second half of the season.

I mean, it was really fun going into season two, and then we got to see Max and all of his walls come down for the first time. We ended season one and he decided he was going to make this commitment, which It was really scary for Max because he was almost playing the role of Max. It was the first time he was at ease. He was very open and very, very vulnerable and you could see what he had with Audrey and Aki It’s that struggle between comfort and comfort. It kind of touches him, almost like his walls want to go up on their own, but he’s trying to hold them down, hold them down.

For the next five episodes, I’m guessing you’re just seeing this battle with his walls and trying to appease the people he loves and cares about and trying to promote an environment that makes them feel comfortable and works for everyone. But I think it’s at the expense of Max and his own sense of identity. Every action has a reaction, and I think you’ll see that reaction.

Max has struggled this season with a major character. He wanted to open up about his relationship with Aki and Audrey, started things, but didn’t realize at first that they were afraid to come out, but it wasn’t because of him. Then in the first There is a really beautiful scene in the episode where Luna reminds Max what it was like for him before he came out. Why do you think it was important to have that scene start the season?

In the context of Max, he is a very free, free-thinking person who expresses himself sexually. He was raised in a family in which, Being part of the LGBT community is the norm. He has two dads, so it’s not a big deal for him, it’s hard for him to understand, like people can’t just be themselves and be free and open and embrace themselves. He obviously Forget about Aki’s father, forget about his character, forget about how reserved he is. So, it’s just a good reminder. It’s important to give Max that perspective so he doesn’t run away from his freedom, thought free thought and try to project it To get into a relationship and force the relationship or force the person in the relationship to be something they are not or something he wants them to be.

Evan Mock, Thomas Doherty, Emily Alyn Lind to Star in HBO’s “Gossip Girl” Barbara Nitek/HBO Max (L-R) Emily Alyn Lind and Thomas Doherty in HBO's 'Gossip Girl' (L-R) Emily Alyn Lind and Thomas Doherty in HBO's 'Gossip Girl' (L-R) Emily Alyn Lind and Thomas Doherty in HBO's 'Gossip Girl'

In the second episode, we see Max trying to keep exaggerating his role as the first season’s “pansexual” Playboy” image, people no longer believe that the Max Wolfe may be taken away. He obviously doesn’t like it, but for Aki and Audrey’s sake, he’s keeping up appearances. What does this say about his feelings for them?

He really cares about them and wants it to work. This is how I said before how every action produces the opposite reaction. I think it’s dangerous to be in a relationship where you give, give, give, and compromise yourself for someone else’s insecurities or problems. It hits a breaking point over the next five episodes, and we really see that.

The scene where Max and Audrey follow Aki trying to figure out what he’s going to do has Major Chuck (Ed Westwick) and Blair (Leighton Meester) from the original series vibes. What was it like to mirror them in this way?

I think there are a lot of Easter eggs in it Gossip Girl, They’re either super obvious or a throwback to the original characters and other episodes. This is cool. It’s so cute. That’s great. I think that’s also important. The younger generation may not have seen the original, but for the older ones who grew up with it, I think seeing it is just fun and nostalgic.

Triads have had a tough time this season. It feels like with each episode, they’re facing new obstacles in their relationship and trying to figure out how to be together. Why do you think it’s important to show their struggles in this way?

You can’t just build relationships over good times. You’ll have to see if it stands the test of time. Going through challenges, trials, and tribulations is important for relationships because it shows that we can get through it together. You also learn a lot about other people when you are in specific situations and circumstances. Everyone can put on a brave face, but I think when the going gets tough, people show their true colors and who they are.


Emily Alyn Lind and Thomas Doherty on HBO’s “Gossip Girl” Barbara Nitke/HBO Max Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass in 'Gossip Girl'

Back to your audition, what made Do you want to be part of the reboot? Brown’s part, for Obie, I remember being like, “No, it’s not like this. It’s not for me.” But then I read Max, and I thought, “Yeah, that’s me.” I’m not sure I Would like to do that because I don’t want it to be part of The CW, but the fact that it’s part of HBO Max is really, really cool. This is Gossip Girl, you know. It’s so influential and iconic culturally and socially, and being able to film in New York and meet some really cool people. There are a lot of factors, and Josh [Safran] and I talked a lot about the character, about Max and his journey, where he came from and where he could go.

As you said, Gossip Girl is culturally important component. Did you feel any pressure to be involved in this reboot that might have a lot of fans but also might have some criticism?

All I can do is work and do my best. I don’t really care about the critics because, of course I mean, I always say there’s nothing scarier than the power of nostalgia. People won’t like it, so I try to avoid it, as best I can. There’s always going to be people who don’t like your stuff or don’t like your stuff, or whatever, but I try not to let that get to me, which is why I’m acting in the first place. I was influenced, consciously or not. I mean, it’s nerve-wracking to be in the shoes of someone who has had such an impact on the lives of millions of people.

Did you get any inspiration from the original series?

You need to understand the tone. So, when you play the role, you automatically end up adopting some. I talk to Josh a lot, and I know Max is a bit like Chuck, but I want him to have a thick skin. I want to make him lighter. I wish he wasn’t zany, but more light-hearted, full of life with Max, and not a bit like Chuck. Ed’s Chuck is a little bit darker, which is great, but I just wish it was different in some ways. So, I kind of agreed and I’m glad I did. I like the dynamics of it. It gives me the freedom to play more games. I remember I had a teacher who was very enthusiastic and versatile. He always said, “It’s a play because you can play it!” Whenever I play a character, I always think about that, just remember it’s a game. It’s important to inject as much nuance as possible into whatever you’re doing.


Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl Courtesy of Everett Collection

What is your dream arc for Max during the reboot?

I never really thought about this. I try to take it season by season. As we get older, as they grow up, I think it’s just a natural evolution, a natural discovery, and those big moments in life that every teenager has. I mean, nothing special. I think it’s important to get them and get these moments and get these changes, but nothing more specific than that. I trust screenwriters.

Who is your dream Gossip Girl cameo?

I think it’s Ed. In fact, I was with him two weeks ago and he’s a very, very sweet guy. I think that would be fun, or [Leighton]. I really liked her character in the original.

Interview edited for length and clarity.

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