Who says nice girls finish last? Gossip Girl's Jessica Szohr is a small-town gal, but she's hitting it big in the city!
SHE plays a Brooklyn bohemian who's way out of her element in the world of rich Manhattan private schoolers on the hit show Gossip Girl. And Jessica Szohr, who hails from Menomonee Falls, Wisc., says her small-town roots actually help her relate to her character. "My friends were nothing like these kids that grew up on the Upper East Side," she reveals in Ocean Drive magazine's March issue. "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 that assure me people certainly do."
While Jessica, 23, isn't exactly a wide-eyed, fresh-off-the bus Midwesterner anymore-- she was a model at age 5 and moved to L.A. after high school to pursue modeling as a career -- she is relatively new to acting. "Most people say it was a specific actor or film that drove them into the business, but that wasn't the case for me," she admits. "When I moved to LA. I decided to try an acting class... I did one scene, and it changed my life. I thought, 'If acting can make me feel like this, that's all I want to do.'" She landed small parts on CSI: Miami and My Wife and Kids and a recurring role on the short-lived series What About Brian before getting her big break as Vanessa on Gossip Girl. "The show has blown up so much." says Jessica. But she doesn't want to play the nice girl forever. "It would be very fun to play someone totally different," she says. But for now, she's enjoying life in the Big Apple, where the show is filmed. "There's such an energy to New York City. I go to museums and hear bands all the time. I love to just wear my iPod, walk around Central Park and get carried away." And don't forget Madison Square Garden. Jess! Though she's keeping the relationship on the down-low, Jessica was spotted locking lips with costar Ed Westwick during a N.Y. Knicks game in February!