Did Chuck Bass just get a wake-up call?
When Gossip Girl returns for Season 4, not only will the show trade in Manhattan for Paris, but Chuck Bass will be undergo a serious transformation following his near-death experience.
"I feel like I just need to go back to the drawing board completely in terms of him wanting to reconstruct his personality," Ed Westwick told TVGuide.com after a Television Critics Association panel Thursday. "The person he was up until that point just led to complete devastation. It's interesting to see him now rebuild and see which direction he's going to go."
When we last saw Chuck, Blair had rejected him, and he ran off to Europe where he was shot and left for dead in the final moments of Season 3. But Chuck is never single for long: Expect a new woman to enter his life and turn it upside down.
"[Clemence Poesy's] character has rescued Chuck and is the reason he's alive. I think he feels indebted to her, definitely. She shows him a side to life that he really likes and gives him the opportunity of being a new man," Westwick said. "I think Ms. Waldorf has his heart still, to a degree, but we'll see."
That love will be tested when Blair (Leighton Meester) and the new Chuck come face to face in Paris; Blair and Serena (Blake Lively) fled to the City of Lights for the summer at the end of last season.
"That very act in itself will have explosive consequences for the rest of the season," creator and executive producer Josh Schwartz said of Chuck and Blair's French rendezvous. "It will echo through the whole season. It sets in motion the entire season."
Traveling to Paris for the first two episodes of Season 4 — the gang will tour such landmarks such as the Eifel Tower, the Le Dejeuner Sur l'Herbe and the Musée d'Orsay — fulfills a lifelong dream of executive producer Stephanie Savage.
"We all felt that a trip to Paris kind of was the ultimate expression of the Gossip Girl world," Savage said. "It just felt like, 'You know what? This summer, I don't just want to hear a bunch of pipe in the actors' mouths about how much fun they had in Paris. I really want to show the audience that. So we all focused on making that happen."
So now that Gossip Girl has conquered Paris, where to next?
"When we came away from Paris... we were like, 'Tokyo.' Now that we feel like we've done it once, we're completely arrogant, and we're willing to take on all countries and insurmountable obstacles to get there," Savage said. "Trying to incorporate that international aspect to the show has been challenging, but we'd love to do more of it."