Gossip Girl was a hugely popular teen TV series about a group of privileged high school students and their insanely complicated relationships. The show first aired on The CW in 2007 and ran for six seasons before finally coming to an end in 2012 — much to the dismay of it’s fans.
Gossip Girl introduced the world to some of the most memorable characters that have ever appeared on TV, but what have the actors and actresses who played these characters been doing since the show ended? It’s been several years, and while some stars have continued to soak up the limelight, others have forged different careers, or simply quit to focus on family. Check out the gallery below to see what your favorite members of Manhattan’s elite are up to today…
Character: Blair Waldorf
Leighton Meester took on the role of the “Queen B” of the Upper East Side, Blair Waldorf, when she was 21-years-old. Although she had made appearances (and only a handful of recurring roles) prior to her portrayal of Miss Blair, she did a great job tackling the complex character. As a strong, independent and outspoken character, Leighton Meester nailed it.
Leighton Meester Now:
Everyone already knows that Leighton was great on the show, but she has continued to prove that she’s a talented actress in the years that followed. Like many of her costars, Meester has enjoyed a successful career in Hollywood and starred in several films in 2014. She then seemed to pull away from acting to focus on her solo music career. Her debut album was called Heartstrings. However, in 2017, she returned to the small screen with her role in the series, Making History.
Brains, beauty, and talent, this girl really does have it all, including a great man in her life. Meester married Adam Brody in 2014, and the pair appears to be very happy.
Chace Crawford Then:
Character: Nate Archibald
Chace Crawford played the role of Nate Archibald, who was considered to be the golden boy of the Upper East Side: handsome, funny and friendly, he was a character that everyone liked. And he was one of the older actors on the show, starting when he was aged 22. At the time, most people didn’t really know who Chace Crawford even was.
Chace Crawford Now:
While Crawford may have started out on Gossip Girl being relatively unknown, no one can forget his cute face and talent nowadays. He has continued to work in several movies and TV series since Gossip Girl finished filming, but he is nowhere near as big a star as some of his former co-stars. He does, however, have three movies in post-production (Nighthawks, Riptide and All About Nina) set for release in 2018 — so he’s clearly not doing too bad for himself!
Taylor Momsen Then:
Character: Jenny Humphrey
Taylor Momsen started acting as a kid (you may remember her as Cindy Lou in the 2000 film, How the Grinch Stole Christmas), but when she joined the cast of Gossip Girl at age 14, she had a much more adult role. She starred as Jenny Humphrey, a social climber who worshipped Blair Waldorf, and went from being a sweet, fresh-faced teenager, to a bit of a bad girl. When she left the show on her own accord, she seemed to become a little like the later version of her character.
Taylor Momsen Now:
Momsen is now 24, can you believe it? Since she finished filming the role of Humphrey, she quit acting completely to pursue her one true love, singing — you’ll start to notice a pattern here with these former Gossip Girl stars and what they’ve been up to since the show ended. Momsen is the lead singer of the band, The Pretty Reckless and they released their debut album in 2010. She also became a lot edgier and adopted a DGAF attitude, which seems to be the real her.
Connor Paolo Then:
Character: Eric van der Woodsen
Connor Paolo joined the cast at age 20 to play the role of Serena’s younger brother, Eric van der Woodsen. At first he was just a troubled character in a mental hospital after self-harming. He eventually grew into his own and became a lot more multi-dimensional.
Connor Paolo Now:
Ten years after the show first aired, Paolo is still an actor having had one of his biggest roles as Declan Porter in the TV series Revenge (straight after his Gossip Girl fame). He has also appeared in several other series including Business Doing Pleasure. And, just look at him, he’s matured and become a really handsome man!
Penn Badgley Then:
Character: Dan Humphrey
Penn Badgley was already a well-known actor when he first joined the cast of Gossip Girl. He’d been in The Young and the Restless as well as The Bedford Diaries. Also, remember his character in John Tucker Must Die? Swoon. But most people remember him as playing this Brooklyn boy with a very, very big secret.
Penn Badgley Now:
Since filming finished, Badgley hasn’t quite kept up with the level of fame as his co-stars. He’s only appeared in a handful of films and series, and that’s because he decided to leave the acting world to focus on his musical career. He is the frontman of the indie band, MOTHXR — so he’s a multi-talented guy who can sing and act… not to mention he’s really good-looking.
He’s also a married man, and in 2017, he and girlfriend Domino Kirke exchanged vows at a Brooklyn courthouse.
Ed Westwick Then:
Character: Chuck Bass
Ed Westwick‘s Gossip Girl character was undeniably one of the most loved people on the show — despite his problematic tendencies. Fans went crazy for this bad boy and were constantly rooting for him to end up with love interest Blair Waldorf. But when Westwick joined the cast at age 20, he was relatively unknown.
Ed Westwick Now:
Since filming for the hit series came to an end, Westwick continued to work in the entertainment industry. Some of his credits including Romeo & Juliet, Billionaire Ransom, Snatch, and White Gold and now he’s a relatively well-known actor. However, he recently was accused by three different women of sexual assault and rape and is currently being investigated by authorities. All of his current projects have been halted.
Jessica Szohr Then:
Character: Vanessa Abrams
How can we forget Jessica Szohr? She was 22 when she joined the show, and had less acting experience than most of her co-stars. However, no one could have guessed because she was superb in the role of Vanessa Abrams, a character who was a passionate filmmaker with good morals and political aspirations. Interestingly, during filming, Szohr dated fellow actor and co-star, Ed Westwick.
Jessica Szohr Now:
Nowadays, Szhor is not with Westwick, and has, for two years, been linked to boyfriend, Scotty McKnight. And while all is well in her romantic life, her professional life is not bad either. Szohr has appeared in movies like Two Night Stand, The Internship, and Ted 2, as well as several popular series, which includes the HBO hit, Shameless. She came under fire after publicly defending Ed after the allegations were made against him.
Character: Serena van der Woodsen
When Gossip Girl first aired, Blake Lively was already a well-known actress with several film credits under her belt. She starred as Serena van der Woodsen, the “it” girl from the Upper East Side who seemed to have it all. One of the most memorable storylines for this character was her relationship with Dan Humphrey, played by Penn Badgley, who Lively later admitted to secretly dating IRL while the two were filming.
Blake Lively Now:
Lively was 25 when filming wrapped, and has continued to steadily work in the entertainment industry. Some of her most recent films including The Shallows and Cafe Society. She didn’t end up marrying her co-star, Penn Badgley, but she did marry Ryan Reynolds in 2012, and the pair share two children.
Michelle Trachtenberg Then:
Character: Georgina Sparks
Michelle Trachtenberg landed her big break when she was ten, long before her role in Gossip Girl. Many knew her as Buffy’s little sister, Dawn in the hit show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or from her roles in movies like Harriet the Spy and Ice Princess.
Yet even Trachtenberg’s huge fanbase may have liked her less when she took on the role of one of the most unpopular characters of the series, Georgina Sparks. Trachtenberg was completely believable as Sparks, the bad girl who returns from boarding school to shake things up on the UES.
Michelle Trachtenberg Now:
It’s not too surprising that Trachtenberg would continue to steadily work in the film industry after Gossip Girl wrapped. However, she does seem to have stepped away from the limelight in the last couple of years and hasn’t shared much about what she’s been doing. Come back, Michelle, we miss you.
Kelly Rutherford Then:
Character: Lily van der Woodsen
If you thought Kelly Rutherford looked familiar when watching Gossip Girl, that’s probably because she starred in several popular TV shows prior to her role as Lily van der Woodsen (mother to Serena and Eric). These included Melrose Place, Homefront, and Generations.
Kelly Rutherford Now:
Lily was a chararacter who had a lot of complicated relationships, mostly with Rufus Humphrey, and Rutherford’s personal life was no different. She reportedly divorced from her husband Daniel Giersch in 2010, and followed was a bitter custody battle.
Rutherford has continued to appear in series and films but has had very few major roles since her time on GG. And she reportedly filed for bankruptcy in 2013 — so she’s been through a worse time financially than her character ever experiences.
Matthew Settle Then:
Character: Rufus Humphrey
Matthew Settle joined the Gossip Girl as character Rufus Humphrey (the father of Dan and Jenny) in 2007, but he got his first acting gig way back in 1996 with the TV movie, Shaughnessy. On the show, he had an on-again off-again relationship with Lily van der Woodsen but was, ultimately, a pretty good guy.
Matthew Settle Now:
Settle has gone on to work on several movies including Marshall’s Miracle and Love Sick Love. In his personal life, Settle, unfortunately, went through a divorce from his wife, actress Naama Nativ Settle. However, he found love again with girlfriend, Maria Alfonsin, and the pair have two children together. Settle also has a daughter from his previous relationship.
Oh, and it’s worth noting that he has aged quite gracefully!
Margaret Colin Then:
Character: Eleanor Waldorf
At 54-years-old, Margaret Colin was one of the oldest actors to join the cast of Gossip Girl. She took on the role of Eleanor Waldorf, Blair’s fashion designer mother — and this definitely wasn’t her first role on the small screen. During the ’80s and ’90s, Colin secured many roles on TV and in movies, including The Edge of Night and Sibs. Margaret was not in the pilot episode but was recast when the actor originally playing Blair’s mom was thought to be too young to have a daughter in high school.
Margaret Colin Now:
Colin still looks great for her age. She’s still working in the film industry and has managed to secure a constant stream of jobs (some much smaller than others). Her more notable roles of late include her role as Jane McCabe in the comedy series, Veep, and as Linda Wozniak in Shades of Blue.
Katie Cassidy Then:
Character: Juliet Sharp
Katie Cassidy (who is the daughter of actor and singer David Cassidy) took on the role of Juliet Sharp, who first appeared in the fourth season of Gossip Girl. She wasn’t exactly a fan-favorite, considering she was hell-bent on getting revenge on Serena and all. Prior to her role on the show, Katie had been working in Hollywood for eight years. Her first ever role was an appearance in an episode of TV series The Division. There are perks to having a parent in the industry!
Katie Cassidy Now:
Nowadays, you would have probably seen Katie on the TV series, Vixen. She then reprised her role as Laurel Lance/Black Siren in the TV movie, Vixen: The Movie, and then later played the same character in Arrow (she appeared in over 121 episodes). Yeah, she definitely has not disappeared from the limelight!
Earlier in 2017, Katie announced that she was engaged to boyfriend, Matthew Rodgers. Congrats to the happy couple!
Zuzanna Szadkowski Then:
Character: Dorota Kishlovsky
Zuzanna Szadkowski is a Polish-American actress who was virtually unknown (apart from less than a handful of appearances) before she took on the role of Dorota Kishlovsky. Kishlovsky is the Waldorf’s maid, but she also acts as a mother figure to Blair whose actual mother is a little MIA. She was always on-hand to give her advice and help her through her problems and the two actually have a pretty sweet friendship.
Zuzanna Szadkowski Now:
Szadkowski has not had too many big recurring roles since Gossip Girl, but she has had steady work. She has appeared in many popular TV series, including HBO’s Girls, The Good Wife, and her longest recurring role was as Nurse Pell in The Knick. Still, she’s remembered fondly by most because of her role as Kishlovsky!
Kristen Bell Then:
Character: The Voice of Gossip Girl
Kristen Bell knew she wanted to be in the TV adaptation of the Gossip Girl book series, but was a bit too old to play any of the characters. (Not that it usually matters when it comes to teen TV shows, but still.) She did come in for cameo in the final episode, though, which all die-hard GG fans knew was a special moment.
Kristen Bell Now:
Kristen’s always been a star — with or without Gossip Girl — and she’s still one of the most memorable faces in Hollywood. She reprised her role as Veronica Mars for the movie followup to the TV series, but her most popular voice role since being *spoiler alert* Dan Humphrey’s cyber-ego was as Anna in the Disney hit, Frozen.
She also married Dax Shepard in 2013, and the two emulate #couplegoals with their adorable children.