A small-town girl from Wisconsin, Jessica Szohr finds herself in the middle of Upper East Side, New York drama every week on 'Gossip Girl.' Szohr plays Brooklynite Vanessa, the girl from "the wrong side of the tracks." The actress sits down with Ocean Drive magazine to talk about the show.
Being "back" in high school again: "In my head, I'm always saying, 'Stop! Don't do that!' When you read the mistakes your character is supposed to make in a script, you know from your own life experience what the consequences are."
Her own high school experience: "It was very different from the world on the show, that's for sure. I'm from a very Midwest, family-oriented small town [Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin], and my friends were nothing like these kids that grew up on the Upper East Side. When I saw the pilot for Gossip Girl, I thought, There's no way anyone actually had lives like that in high school. Now, I have friends who assure me that people certainly do."
Her 'Gossip' character: She doesn't understand their world ... But she ends up really falling in love with the things that make them different. Vanessa doesn't change for other people. She says what she thinks, and that's a hard thing to do in high school ... I'm very defensive of Vanessa.... Inside, I do think she’s just a badass girl from Brooklyn."
The show's fashion: "Since I started working on the show, I've become much more aware of different designers; I had no idea who anyone was. The wardrobe team is amazing, so it's been a real education."