Ed Westwick and Leighton Meester
Last we saw Chuck Bass, he was so determined to bust up Blair's wedding (ah, young love) that he told some malevolent priest from Monaco that he'd revert back to his dastardly scheming ways to do it. Which isn't so much what Blair wants, but Ed Westwick would love it.
That's because over the past two seasons of Gossip Girl, Chuck has been re-made into the heart-on-his-sleeve Romeo of the Upper East Side. His reformed self is still rich and pretentious, but the amoral playboy who once traded Blair for a hotel is long gone. Even his last fling last season with Raina turned into real love (if you take Blair out of the equation).
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"I feel like the old Chuck was a playboy and that's what I would have loved to have been," Westwick told TVGuide.com at the CW winter TV preview earlier this month. The 24-year-old British actor laughed before adding, "Maybe I was?"
"That's like the fantasy for any young man, so it made him so much fun to play. Now he's like a lovesick puppy. It's like, dude!"
At the same time, Westwick says Chuck's turnaround makes narrative sense. "It's maturity. I've experienced it in my own life as well. I feel quite reformed," he said, smiling. "I bought an apartment so now I've got a mortgage to pay. I sit at home and drink tea and watch Planet Earth as opposed to other...activities."
"After everything Chuck's been through, I think there were some major wake-up calls and reality checks that kind of put him in a different place," Westwick continued. Being part of a torrid romance isn't so bad either. "I loved the scene where Chuck and Blair go off together in the back of that limo. Very Diana and Dodi. Quite eerie."
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Westwick refused to say whether or not reformed Chuck would go out the window during Tuesday's big wedding event (the show's 100th episode). Now teamed up with a shady member of the clergy, will Chuck's old self-sabotaging self reemerge to rid his world of Prince Louis via less-than-honorable means? Westwick would only say anything goes on Gossip Girl: "It'll never be too boring because any moment Chuck can bring it back."
Still, Westwick hasn't changed his tune about wanting to move on from the CW series. He infamously told Tatler magazine in early 2011 that Chuck no longer fascinated him. And when asked whether Gossip Girl should continue past Season 6 — which is when the main cast's contracts are up -- Westwick answered a resolute "no."
"We've done everything," he said. "I feel like I've done everything! But I don't write the show, so if they come up with something where I'm reading it and go, 'Oh wait! We can do this. He can fly!' then who knows."
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Meanwhile, ratings for the show have cooled -- the most recent episode, "The Father and the Bride," drew a series low 1.1 million viewers -- and like many of his cast mates, Westwick is eager to tackle new projects. He had a small role in Clint Eastwood 's J. Edgar, and will next month begin shooting a new take on Romeo and Juliet, adapted by Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes and co-starring Hailee Steinfeld. He's playing Tybalt, of course. ("You see more into Tybalt in Julian's version," Westwick said. "Instead of him being a straight villain and sort of the fascist that we know from the play, you get some depth. I can't wait to start filming. It's unreal.")
Gossip Girl fans shouldn't start fretting yet — Westwick is still locked in for next year should the show be renewed. "I do have a great time doing the show," he said. "It's in New York, which is sweet."
Do you feel like Gossip Girl's got more to give? Would you watch if Ed Westwick wasn't part of the cast? Tell us in the comments below.