'Gossip Girl': Ed Westwick talks Chuck Bass and Season 4 live at TCA tour
Zap2it is on the scene at the Television Critics' Association with Westwick and executive producers Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, and Joshua Safran to get the scoop on the upcoming Season 4.
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4:25 p.m.: We get a first look at the season premiere. "Paris is burning, and Serena and Blair lit the match," Blair says.
4:26 p.m.: It's hard to recognize Ed Westwick with his chest covered up. We're used to his swath of chest hair creeping toward us.
4:28 p.m.: It was Stephanie Savage's lifelong dream to go to Paris to film. They presented Peter Roth with a sizzle reel -- complete with Kristen Bell on the voice-over and images of Paris. Paris' 20% tax credit helped. "The Greek economy collapsed, so that was a bonus for us," Savage says.
4:33 p.m.: Katie Cassidy has a "nice juicy arc" that's going to "raise a lot of trouble" and "turn everybody on their heads and stir the pot," Schwartz says.
4:35 p.m. - The first two episodes are set in Paris. People in New York were shooting episode 3 while they shot in Paris. The Paris episodes echo through the entire season.
4:36 p.m. - No surprise here, but lunch is better in France. "The craft service trailer is virtually empty, because French people do not snack," Savage says. "They smoke," Schwartz adds.
4:37 p.m. - "You will be seeing more of Georgina Sparks in more ways than one," Savage says.
4:38 p.m. - Regarding paparazzi photos spoiling things: "It's season four, and we're happy for the publicity," Schwartz says.
4:38 p.m. - Taylor Momsen will be back at some point in the first half of the season. They're creating tension while she's gone, and they'll bring her back with "as much drama as possible."
4:39 p.m. - According to Ed Westwick, Chuck is "deciding rather or not he wants to be Chuck Bass."
4:41 p.m. - "I quit my band for this show," Westwick says.
4:41 p.m. - Schwartz has experience with launching young actors' careers, and he and Stephanie are grateful that this cast still makes the show their priority.
4:42 p.m. - When Gossip Girl comes online this year, she will be "under construction" as she's adding some new features to her site and the way she uses technology. This year, they felt like they were falling behind the times, so now they're trying to get ahead of the technology curve again.
4:43 p.m. - They definitely know the way they want the series to end. "We know what the Island is," Schwartz says. "Manhattan."
4:46 p.m. - Josh says that the prequel made for a fun episode, which was always their worst case scenario.
4:46 p.m - "We're going to attempt to do a Chuck swap this year," Schwartz says of "Gossip Girl" and "Chuck."
4:49 p.m. - The team has been approached to create original "Gossip Girl" episodes just for China, where they're not even broadcast, but where more people watch online than in all of the U.S.
4:50 p.m. - Ed Westwick's mom called to let him know when Britain's airing of "Gossip Girl" caught up to the U.S.
4:51 p.m. - "I reminsce about many lovely summer holidays with my mother and my father [in Paris] as a youngster," Westwick says. "My French is still terrible."
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