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'Gossip Girl' executive producer Joshua Safran dishes on Blake and Leonardo's unusual dating habits back when 'Gossip Girl' was filmed which somehow influenced the content on the show.
Back when Blake Lively was starring on The CW's "Gossip Girl", she enjoyed a short romance with Leonardo DiCaprio. In a new interview with Vanity Fair to mark the 10th anniversary of the show, executive producer Joshua Safran dishes on some of the on-set antics, including Blake's weird way to keep in touch with her then-boyfriend.
"We learned a lot from Blake," Joshua says. "When I think about shooting the L.A. episodes, Blake was dating [Leonardo] at the time, and she had this thing where she had a doll that she took photos of that she sent to Leo. Blake was way ahead of the curve. It was pre-Instagram. She was documenting her life in photographs in a way that people were not yet doing."
Blake and Leonardo were only dating for five months back in 2011. Prior to that, Blake was dating her "Gossip Girl" co-star Penn Badgley for three years until they broke up in mid-September 2010. They kept their relationship hidden from the public eye and their split hidden from the crew.
"The shocking thing was, I found out on the set of the season 2 finale that Blake and Penn had broken up months before," Joshua says. "They kept the breakup hidden from the crew, which you could never do now. I don't even know how they did it. They kept it from everybody which is a testament to how good they are as actors. Because they did not want their personal drama to relate to the show."
Blake now realizes that the show's execs were thrilled that her personal live received as much attention as it was. "Stepping back from it, I can see it," she says. "But I remember there was one point where we were just afraid of how our personal lives overlapping our work life could be perceived by our bosses. [But then] we were like, 'Oh no, that's exactly what they want.' They wanted us all to date. They wanted us all to wear the same clothes that we're wearing on the show. They wanted that, because then it fed their whole narrative. People could buy into this world."
While "Gossip Girl" has now become a big part of her life, Blake reveals that she almost turned down the role of Serena, because she had decided to quit acting at the time. "I said, 'No, I want to go to college. Thank you, though.' Then they said, 'O.K., you can go to Columbia [University] 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,' " she recalls.
That arrangement never worked though. She says with a laugh, "When they say, 'We promise, but we can't put it in writing,' there's a reason they can't put it in writing." She adds, "But no, the show didn't slow down. It just got more and more."