While Blair Waldorf couldn’t get enough gossip on the CW drama, Meester couldn’t be more against it.

“I’ve never lived for gossip, but I get it. It’s only human to want a little bit of something that’s bad for you, whether it’s chocolate or alcohol or a piece of juicy gossip,” she shares.

“But, like anything, gossip in excess can become increasingly addictive.”

“To some extent, gossip is pleasurable for the very same reasons we enjoy watching movies and TV – it’s a fantasy of sorts, a close-up look at someone else’s life. But it’s important not to get too caught up in what’s said about you – especially if it’s coming from people you don’t know, because they only see one small side, the side you choose to present,” she says.

“It can be really hard on women, particularly for women in the public eye. You might begin to nitpick your looks or your personality. That’s why it’s essential to surround yourself with a warm, nonjudgmental circle.”

Life has definitely changed for Meester since Gossip Girl ended in 2012 – she married Adam Brody in 2014, and welcomed daughter Arlo Day a year later – but she wouldn’t change a minute of her experience on the show.

“I started Gossip Girl 10 years ago when I was 20, and I’m 30 now. I loved doing it, and now I’m doing something else that I love, and something new that’s a little bit more my taste as a 30-year-old, something I’ve grown into.”

Leighton Meester