Today HBO Max released the first official trailer for its upcoming Gossip Girl reboot, offering excited viewers a look at the new cool crew of the Upper East Side’s private school scene.
But for loyal fanatics of the original CW show, no one could ever hold a candle to Blair Waldorf, Serena van der Woodsen and friends when it comes to rich kid drama.
While the curious are bound to tune in when the new series begins streaming on July 8, it’s the seven-season original — which premiered nearly 14 years ago on September 19, 2007 — that has earned teen TV icon status.
But what have its stars been up to since the series wrapped in 2012? They’ve certainly experienced ups and downs, with bumpy careers and, at times, even bumpier personal lives.
Here, FEMAIL looks at what the biggest cast members of the first season have gotten up to in the past decade and a half, and where they’ve been since the show came to an end.
Icon status: Gossip Girl premiered nearly 14 years ago on September 19, 2007
Up next! The reboot beings streaming on HBO Max on July 8, and the streaming service just released the first official trailer
Then and now: Blake Lively played It Girl Serena van der Woodsen (pictured left in 2007 and right in 2020)
Blake Lively (Serena van der Woodsen): How the show’s It Girl made her mark with big screen success – and found happiness as a married mom-of-three
It seems like ages ago that then-20-year-old Blake achieved almost overnight superstardom as wild child It Girl Serena.
Blake had already starred in Accepted and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by that time, but was on the verge of quitting the business to attend Columbia University when she was offered the part of Serena — and almost turned it down.
‘I said, “No, I want to go to college. Thank you, though,”‘ Blake, now 33, told Vanity Fair. ‘Then they said, “O.K., you can go to Columbia one day a week. After the first year [of the show], it’ll quiet down. Your life will go back to normal and you can start going to school. We can’t put it in writing, but we promise you can go.” So that’s why I said, “O.K. You know what? I’ll do this.”‘
Obviously, things never did ‘quiet down,’ and Blake became a huge star, nabbing side-roles in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, The Town, Savages, Hick, and Green Lantern — where she met her now-husband, Ryan Reynolds.
The two said ‘I do’ in June of 2012, and have had three daughters: six-year-old James, four-year-old Inez, and one-year-old Betty.
They do! She met her husband Ryan Reynolds on the set of the Green Lantern and the pair wed in 2012
All grown up! The couple now has three daughters: James, Ines, and Betty (James and Inez in 2016). They are known to be quite private about their kids
Movie star: She’s continued to act and had a starring role in the film Age of Adeline
Perfect timing: Blake, who almost didn’t accept the part of Serena because she wanted to attend college, never turned back — and has since starred in The Shallows
Bumps: Blake was spotlighted for her incredible maternity style during her pregnancies, but also experienced a professional flop with her artisanal lifestyle website Preserve
Since the Gossip Girl finale aired in December of 2012, Blake has also starred in The Age of Adaline and The Shallows, and had a hit with 2018’s A Simple Favor alongside Anna Kendrick.
Most recently, she starred in the 2020 film The Rhythm Section.
In addition to steady work on the silver screen, Blake’s also raking in big bucks with sponsorship deals. She’s been the face of Chanel and Gucci Premiere, and also served as a brand ambassador for L’Oréal Paris.
It hasn’t been all ups in her career, though. In 2014, Blake launched an artisan lifestyle website called Preserve, which flopped and was shuttered the next year.
In 2020, she and Ryan also faced renewed scrutiny for their wedding, which was held on a South Carolina plantation. Ryan ultimately apologized for both of them, telling Fast Company, they were ‘deeply and unreservedly sorry for’ for the mistake.
‘It’s impossible to reconcile,’ he said. ‘What we saw at the time was a wedding venue on Pinterest. What we saw after was a place built upon devastating tragedy.’
Transformation: Leighton Meester played Queen Bee Blair Waldorf (pictured left in 2007 and right in 2019)
So little! The cast has certainly grown up since the show premiered
Changing gears: Leighton went on to star with Adam Pally on the Fox comedy Making History
Stage and screen: She also tried her hand at Broadway with a role in Of Mice and Men
Mom time: She secretly wed Adam Brody in 2014. Their daughter Arlo turns six in August, and their son was born in September of 2020
Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf): Inside the very private personal life of actress who stole the spotlight as Gossip Girl’s queen bee
Leighton was 21 when she made her debut as Blair — though the star originally auditioned to play Serena, and needed to dye her blonde hair brown for the role of Constance’s Queen Bee.
She appeared in a few movies while the show aired, including The Roommate, Date Night, That’s My Boy, and Country Strong, and also released music. Her singles included Somebody to Love, our Love’s a Drug, and vocals for Cobra Starship’s Good Girls Go Bad.
She finally released her own album, Heartstrings, in 2014, and went on tour the following year.
The 35-year-old has continued to work steadily in Hollywood since Gossip Girl ended, too. In 2014, she starred with James Franco and Chris O’Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway, which earned her positive reviews.
And on the TV, she starred opposite Adam Pally in Fox’s Making History in 2017, and Single Parents from 2018 to 2020.
Though the star keeps very quiet about her personal life, in 2014 she married The OC’s Adam Brody, whom she met while filming the movie The Orange. They have a daughter named Arlo who turns six this August, and welcomed a son in September of 2020.
Lonely boy: Penn Badgely played Brooklynite Dan Humphrey (pictured left in 2007 and right in 2020)
Art imitating life: Then just 20, Penn ‘may not have liked it, but [his character] was the closest to who he was,’ according to a producer
Scruffy: Though his character embraced the Upper East Side lifestyle in many ways, it is clear than Penn has not
Penn Badgley (Dan Humphrey): From on-screen loner to Netflix’s hottest stalker
Penn, 34, apparently had a lot in common with his character — and apparently wasn’t crazy about the fame.
‘Penn didn’t like being on Gossip Girl, but… he was Dan. He may not have liked it, but [his character] was the closest to who he was,’ executive producer Joshua Safran told Vanity Fair.
When the show began, the then-20-year-old had already worked quite a bit, with roles on series like The Young and the Restless, Do Over, The Mountain, and The Bedford Diaries behind him.
He’d also had some experience playing a heartthrob in John Tucker Must Die, and had a similar role in Easy A opposite Emma Stone while GG was still on the air.
Despite his success, he feared he wouldn’t be able to break out from teen TV.
‘Maybe I was f***ing delusional to think that I wouldn’t get pigeonholed, because who’s to say that I’m still not? But I know who I am at the end of the day,’ he told Cosmopolitan.com in 2016.
Hit film: During the run of Gossip Girl, he starred opposite Emma Stone in Easy A
Rock ‘n roll: He continues to act but spends a lot of time on his band, Mothxr
Hipster couple: This year, he married Jemima Kirke’s sister Domino, who is a musician and a doula
For several years after show ended, he had lower-profile roles like in 2014’s Cymbeline and 2016’s The Paper Store
But soon he found another TV hit, starring as Joe Goldberg in You, a thriller that originally premiered on Lifetime in 2018.
It later moved to Netflix, where it became hugely popular, and later aired a second season that premiered in 2019. Season three is reportedly in the works.
Next, he’ll appear in Here Today with Sharon Stone, Tiffany Haddish, and Billy Crystal.
Like several of his co-stars, Penn has also had a wedding since Gossip Girl ended, though his was likely very different from his ex Blake’s Martha Stewart-approved affair.
In February of 2017, he married musician and doula Domino Kirke, who is the sister of actresses Jemima and Lola. They’d been dating since 2014, and their son was born in August 2020.
Heartthrob: Chace Crawford played good guy Nate Archibald (pictured left in 2007, right in 2019)
Fangirls: He earned instant heartthrob status on the show
Flashback: The 35-year-old actor is pictured with the cast in 2007
In the movies: He went on to appear in What to Expect When You’re Expecting with Anna Kendrick
Found love: He also starred on the show Blood & Oil and dated his co-star, Rebecca Rittenhouse, until 2018
Chace Crawford (Nate Archibald): Why has Gossip Girl’s troubled heartthrob has failed to find the same success elsewhere on-screen?
Like his co-stars, Chace, 35, took on a few extra gigs while Gossip Girl filmed, including voice work on Family Guy, the starring role in the movie Twelve, and a spot playing Anna Kendrick’s baby daddy in What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
He also found himself in a bit of hot water, getting arrest for marijuana possession in Texas. A year later, the charges against him were dismissed.
Since the show ended, he’s popped up in the films Eloise, Mountain Men, Rules Don’t Apply, Nighthawks, and Inheritance.
In 2015, he starred in the short-lived show Blood & Oil, and later in The Boys from 2019 to 2020.
However Chace has never managed to land himself the same kind of success that he experienced while starring in Gossip Girl, his name has yet to vanish from the spotlight altogether – and the renewed interest in the show as a result of the reboot has placed him firmly on the fame map once again.
As for romance, Chace has had his string of leading ladies, including Blood & Oil co-star Rebecca Rittenhouse did, whom he dated from 2015 to 2018 — though they were spotted together once again in early 2020.
Bad boy: Ed Westwick played Chuck Bass (pictured left in 2007, right in 2019)
The then-baby-faced actor played the on-again, off-again love of Blair Waldorf
Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass): The British bad boy whose career has been marred by behind-the-scenes scandals
Ed Westwick really lucked out with Gossip Girl.
After originally auditioning for Nate, Ed was given bad boy Chuck, instead — and the showrunners anxiously awaited for the British actor’s work visa to be approved so they could move forward. He had only been in the US for a month when he got the part.
The 33-year-old has continued to work post-Gossip Girl, playing Tybalt in a 2013 production of Romeo and Juliet and starring in eight episode of a show called Wicked City in 2015 and 12 episode of White Gold from 2017 to 2019.
He currently voices a character called Rick the Killer in the podcast The Bystanders.
Recently, he also made headlines with his starring role in the movie Me You Madness, in which he played opposite former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s wife Louise Linton.
New gig: After starring in the short-lived show Wicket City, he earned the lead in White Gold (pictured)
Recently, he also made headlines with his starring role in the movie Me You Madness, in which he played opposite former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s wife Louise Linton
Sidekick: He is currently dating model Jessica Serfaty
Ed has also faced serious allegations of rape and sexual assault since the show wrapped.
In November of 2017, three women — Kristina Cohen, Aurélie Wynn, and Rachel Eck— made accusations against him, with Cohen and Wynn claiming they were raped by the actor.
Ed denied the claims, saying on Instagram: ‘I have never forced myself in any manner, on any woman. I certainly have never committed rape.’
The office of the Los Angeles District Attorney ultimately announced that it would not charge the star, saying witnesses identified by the alleged victims were ‘not able to provide information that would enable the prosecution to prove either incident beyond a reasonable doubt.’
But the accusations alone were enough for Ed’s character to be recast in a BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence.
He is currently dating model Tamara Francesconi.
Not a little girl anymore: Taylor Momsen played Jenny Humphrey (pictured left in 2007 and right in 2019)
Most changed: She started the show at just 14 and was Dan’s sweet, innocent little sister
Ready to go… Midway through the show she began acting out, giving obscene interviews and performing in very little clothing with her band The Pretty Reckless (pictured in 2017)
No more acting: She was written off the show and focused her attention on her music
Taylor Momsen (Jenny Humphrey): How former child star who was written off the show turned her back on TV to forge a career as a wildchild rocker
Undoubtedly the most physically changed since the show’s premiere, Taylor was just 14 when she first played UES wannabe Little J.
Her transformation started while she was still on the show, and Jenny gradually took on some of Taylor’s real-life style — that is, until Taylor had enough and was written off.
She’d been acting out leading up to her exit, performing pants-less on TV, cursing and openly discussing masturbation in interviews, and working desperately to shed any good-girl image she might have had.
The 27-year-old hasn’t acted since — save for a cameo in the finale — and has instead focused her energy on her hard rock/post-grunge group, The Pretty Reckless, of which she is the singer.
The band has released several albums, and Taylor has kept busy touring.
But earlier this year, the star opened up about the ‘utterly dark hole of depression and substance abuse’ she lived through after the death of two friends in 2017 and 2018.
Too cool for school: She went on to tour the world with her band and put out albums
But earlier this year, the star opened up about the ‘utterly dark hole of depression and substance abuse’ she lived through after the death of two friends in 2017 and 2018
Music: Ultimately, though it was ‘music that saved me,’ she said — and her band put out this album, ‘Death by Rock and Roll’
First, in 2017, Soundgarden vocalist and guitarist Chris Cornell died at age 52 by suicide. She had been touring with Soundgarden at the time, and she considered the band one of her favorites ‘in the world’ — and the loss of Chris to be ‘devastating.’
‘It crushed me in a way that I can’t explain and I was not prepared for as a person,’ she told Metro.co.uk. ‘I wasn’t in a good place mentally to be public. I cancelled touring, I went home. I needed to attempt to process what had happened and kind of get my s**t together.’
She had just been starting to feel a bit better when her friend, record producer Kato Khandwala. doed in a motorcycle accident on April 25, 2018.
‘It was the nail in the coffin for me,’ said Taylor, saying that after that, she spiraled, and had a much harder time recovering from the back-to-back losses.
‘That was it, my life felt like it was over and I went very down to this utterly dark hole of depression and substance abuse and I was a mess,’ she revealed.
‘I was living in this hole of darkness that I was not sure I would ever get out of. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. I had kind of given up on life, I’d given up on everything at that point — I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make music again. I’d given up as a person. It was very dark.’
Ultimately, though it was ‘music that saved me,’ she said.
BFF: Jessica Szohr played Dan’s childhood friend, Vanessa Abrams (pictured left in 2007 and right in August 2017)
Acting on: She’s appeared on Complications (pictured), Twin Peaks, Shameless, and The Orville
Longterm boyfriend: As for her personal life, the 36-year-old actress has now been dating football player Scotty McKnight for six years
On the way! She candidly showed off pregnancy pictures last year
She’s here! In January, the couple welcomed a daughter named Bowie
Jessica Szohr (Vanessa Abrams)
Jessica left Gossip Girl before the show’s last season, coming back only for a quick cameo in the finale.
At the time, there was rumored on-set drama, with some sources reporting that Ed — whom Jessica dated and then split from — wanted her written off the show.
Since then, she’s appeared in The Internship, Ted 2, and the TV series Complications (2015), Kingdom (2015), Twin Peaks (2017), and Shameless (2017-2018).
Most recently, she starred in a season of The Orville.
As for her personal life, the 36-year-old actress has now been dating football player Scotty McKnight for six years, and in January they welcomed a daughter named Bowie.
Sparks flew: Michelle Trachtenberg played schemer Georgina Sparks (pictured left in 2009 and right in 2017)
After the show ended, the 35-year-old went on to appear in Guidance, The Scribbler, and five TV movies
Michelle Trachtenberg (Georgina Sparks)
Former child star Michelle was all grown up as scheming Georgina Sparks, a that role first offered to Mischa Barton. But before landing the role of the meddlesome troublemaker, the actress was best known for her roles in Harriet the Spy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
‘It’s awesome playing the bad girl,’ she told Entertainment Weekly at the time. ‘Dawn [from Buffy the Vampire Slayer] was a lovely nerd and Georgina is a b****. There’s no way around it. It’s in every fiber of her being. It’s so much fun to know that Georgina can kill you with a glance.”
Earlier this year, Michelle was one of many voices to speak out to denounce her former boss, Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon
The very busy actress pulled double duty during most of filming, also starring in 17 Again, acting in the TV series Mercy, and doing voice work for the cartoon Robot Chicken – which was created by her former Buffy co-star Seth Green.
After the show ended, the 35-year-old went on to appear in Guidance, The Scribbler, and five TV movies.
Most recently, she voiced Judy Reilly in the animated series Human Kind Of.
Earlier this year, Michelle was one of many voices to speak out to denounce her former boss, Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon.
Responding to public comments made by Buffy and Angel star Charisma Carpenter, Michelle wrote on Instagram: ‘We know what he did. Behind. The. Scenes.’
‘I am brave enough now as a 35 year old woman….To repost this,’ she went on, sharing a post from co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar. ‘Because. This must. Be known. As a teenager. With his not appropriate behavior….very. Not. Appropriate.
‘There was a rule, saying [Whedon] is not allowed in a room alone with Michelle again, she added, telling a fan: ‘I was subjected. To a lot.’
Drama mama: Kelly Rutherford played Serena’s mom, Lily van der Woodsen (pictured left in 2007 and right in 2017)
Kelly Rutherford (Lily van der Woodsen)
Melrose Place alum Kelly, 52, had a ton of TV experience before becoming Lily van der Woodsen Bass Humphrey Bass.
She’s been on Homefront, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., The Great Defender, Kindred: The Embraced, The District, Threat Matrix, E-Ring, and several TV movies before, at the age of 38, playing mom to two teenagers.
And while she has kept working since — with small roles in Reckless, Being Mary Jane, and Quantico — it’s her personal life that has earned the most headlines.
While pregnant with her second child in 2008, she filed from divorce from husband Daniel Giersch, and there’s been drama ever since. Giersch claimed Kelly didn’t tell him about the birth of their daughter, Helena, and she took out a temporary restraining order against him.
‘Daniel was subtly verbally abusive,’ she told Vanity Fair. ‘He was trying to alienate me from everyone in my life — my parents, my brother.’
Not leaving TV: She’s since appeared on Quantico and Being Mary Jane
Fighting for her kids: Her legal battles with her ex-husband over custody of their children, Hermes and Helena, have been in the headlines
When her ex’s US visa was revoked and he was deported — thanks in part to evidence about his business supplied by Kelly — so started an ongoing custody battle. Because Giersch could not enter the US (and was living in France and Monaco), Kelly had to travel there frequently to see her children.
A prolonged court battle repeatedly changed custody of the children, leading Kelly to file for bankruptcy in 2013.
Currently, Hermes and Helena live in Monaco with Giersch, while Kelly has visitation rights — but she hasn’t given up.
‘My children and I have lost years of dailiness. How do you get those years back?’ she said, adding: ‘There is no way I am not going to fight to get my children back.’
Brooklyn dad: Matthew Settle was only 38 when he started playing Rufus Humphrey, father to Dan and Jenny (pictured left in 2008 and right in 2015)
Family: He had a daughter during the show but split from the mother; he has since had another daughter with his new girlfriend
Matthew Settle (Rufus Humphrey)
Matthew, 51, already had a bunch of credits to his name when he signed on with the show, having appeared in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Band of Brothers, and a few episodes each of ER, The Practice, and Brothers and Sisters.
After playing Dan and Jenny’s dad, Matthew went on to star in the movies Marshall’s Miracle and Ouija.
He also grew his family. During his brief marriage while the show aired, he welcomed a daughter, Aven, who is now 12. In 2015, he had another baby girl with his girlfriend Maria Alfonsin.
The help: Zuzanna Szadkowski played Dorota, Blair’s maid (pictured left in 2009 and right in 2016)
Beloved: Dorota was a fan favorite and a mother figure to Blair
Since Gossip Girl, she’s appeared on The Knick and Girls
So sweet! According to Adam Brody, she and Leighton are best friends in real life
Zuzanna Szadkowski (Dorota)
As Blair’s beloved yet oft-abused maid Dorota, Zuzanna (now 42) became a quick fan favorite.
Unlike her character, Zuzanna doesn’t have a Polish accent, having moved to the US from Poland when she was three. Also unlike her character, Zuzanna is actually an Ivy Leaguer: She went to Barnard College at Columbia University and received her MFA from Harvard.
Since Gossip Girl ended, she’s appeared in several episodes of Girls and The Knick, and also popped up with cameos on The Good Wife and Elementary.
But the bit of trivia that’s most likely to please fans of the show is that Zuzanna has remained close with Leighton — in fact, Leighton’s husband Adam revealed in 2015 that they are ‘best friends.’
She’s next set to star in the Julian Fellowes HBO project The Gilded Age.