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Gossip Doesn't Bother "Gossip Girl" Star

Leighton Meester is the star of a TV drama about gossip, but in real life she says she doesn't pay much attention to what other people have to say about her.

"I don't (deal with gossip)," Meester tells Teen magazine. "This comes from maturing and growing up, but I've learned to let things roll off my back. If people say negative things, I could care less. But I let it give me a boost of confidence if they're saying nice things. If the press says anything, I see it as a plus because at least people are paying attention and watching the show."

The star of the new hit series "Gossip Girl," appears on the cover of the spring 2008 issue of Teen and is featured in a five page 1980s inspired fashion spread.

Photos: Celebrity Circuit
Meester discusses her character, life on set and off, and puts in her two cents on her suspicions of the identity of "Gossip Girl." The hit series is narrated by an unseen character, voiced by Kristen Bell, who uses an online blog to gossip about a group of friends at a New York City private school and create drama in their idyllic Upper East Side lives.

In the show, which premiered last September, Meester plays Blair Waldorf, the popular New York girl that everyone wants to be with the handsome boyfriend, Nate, played by Chace Crawford, that everyone wants to have. The show revolves around the teenage issues of Blair and her socialite friends.

Meester says her relationship between herself and her on screen persona works both ways. "I feel like I'm becoming more like her and she's becoming more like me. She's young and vulnerable, but also smart and feisty. She's pretty funny and very strong-willed. Then there are other things I don't relate to and I feel like she'll grow out of, like her insecurities and self-doubt."

Although the identity of "Gossip Girl" is unknown, any one of the characters in the ensemble cast with nine lead roles have a dark side. As for who is starting all the problems in her character's life, Meester said, "I have my suspicions....If I had to guess, I was thinking it could be Chuck. He seems just evil enough to say those things."

Actor Ed Westwick plays Chuck, the best friend to Blair's boyfriend Nate. Chuck is initially portrayed as a tough guy who doesn't mind putting others down if it benefits him. That is until he falls in love with the one girl he shouldn't, Blair.

Although she wasn't well known until "Gossip Girl," Meester, turning 22 in April, has been in the spotlight for nearly a decade.

She moved to New York City with her family at age 11 and began a modeling career with Wilhemina. She had her first acting role at age 14 on an episode of "Law and Order."
Since then she has fostered her acting career making guest appearances on "CSI: Miami," "8 Simple Rules," and "House," in addition to having reoccurring roles on "7th Heaven," "Veronica Mars," "24," and "Entourage."

She appeared in the films "Hangman's Curse," in 2003 as well as "Flourish," "Drive-Thru" and "Inside" in 2006.

Her upcoming films include "The Beautiful Ordinary" and "Dead of Night."

By Abigail Albair

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