All The Real Breakout Stars Of Gossip Girl

Photo: The CW/Photofest.
It might feel impossible, but we’re mere days away from the 10-year anniversary of the day Gossip Girl entered our lives. The CW classic premiered on September 19, 2007, which was basically a full decade ago. Since that fateful day, the iconic series launched major careers for its main cast: Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf), Blake Lively (Serena van der Woodsen), Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass), Chace Crawford (Nate Archibald), and Penn Badgley (Dan Humphrey).
While the fivesome went on the conquer the pop culture zeitgeist over six seasons, they weren't the only famous people to stand in front of the cameras of Gossip Girl. Yes, there were celebrity cameos from the likes of Tyra Banks, Ivanka Trump, Cyndi Lauper, and Real Housewives Of New York star Tinsley Mortimer. But, GG also featured tons of celebs who broke out long after they left the CW-ified Upper East Side behind.
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To see what we mean, we gathered all the current celebrities and TV stars who once upon a time appeared on Gossip Girl to cause trouble and lock lips with our favorite characters. Keep reading to find out who we’re talking about. And, yes, many of them were the ex-boyfriends of one Serena Van Der Woodsen (Lively).
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Armie Hammer

Look, guys, it’s officially time to make Armie Hammer happen. He’s tall, handsome, calls out bizarre gay panic tweets, stars in a movie that already has Oscar buzz, and he was in Gossip Girl. He is the celebrity leading man we deserve!

Hammer had a four-episode stint in season 4 of Gossip Girl as Gabriel Edwards, one of Serena’s love interests. Although Serena fell for Gabriel, she eventually finds out he scammed her, and the Upper East Side it-girl ends the entire relationship.
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Sebastian Stan

Serena really did get the best love interests. Stan popped up on Gossip Girl for years as Carter Baizen, Serena’s on-again-off-again boyfriend, Blair Waldorf’s sometimes-fling, general thorn in Chuck’s side, and one-time scammer of Nate Archibald. Stan got some truly juicy storylines over his 11 episodes on the UES.

After Stan’s big TV debut on Gossip Girl — which came a year after he starred in the perfect sexy-guys-can-be-witches-too supernatural drama The Covenant — the Romanian-born actor went on to lead the forgotten NBC drama Kings, wear weird costumes as Once Upon A Time’s Mad Hatter, and eventually become a superhero. As anyone who’s seen a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie lately can tell you, Stan plays Bucky Barnes, Captain America’s best friend, who is now the reformed villain the Winter Soldier.
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Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
Krysten Ritter

Sebastian Stan isn’t the only former Gossip Girl guest star to transform into a Marvel hero. Krysten Ritter also turned to the comic book life following her one-episode turn on GG as the flashback version of Carol Rhodes, Serena's aunt. Of course, we’re talking about Ritter’s perfect portrayal of Netflix drama Jessica Jones’s titular character, a crack private investigator dealing with serious PTSD issues.

Although Ritter appeared in lots of other big projects before playing Gossip's rebellious Carol, including recurring roles on Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars, her career took a serious turn for the better after hanging out with a young Lily (Rhodes) van der Woodsen (Brittany Snow). That same season she began a major arc on Breaking Bad, and subsequently went on to lead the wonderful Don’t Trust The B---- In Apartment 23 and the aforementioned fan-favorite JJ.
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Matt McGorry

Yes, that Matt McGorry has been hiding in plain sight during your Gossip Girl rewatch binges. During season 5 episode “Crazy, Cupid, Love,” McGorry filled the role of “Personal Shopper.”

Just one year later, McGorry would go from random background actor to starring in the breakout hit Orange Is The New Black. McGorry has since left OITNB and his character John Bennett behind. He spends most of his time starring in ABC’s Shondaland drama How To Get Away With Murder and being a woke male feminist.
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Meghann Fahy

Everyone needs their start, and The Bold Type star Meghann Fahy got hers on Gossip Girl. The actress’ first IMDb credit ever was on the CW classic as Devyn, a conspirator of Georgina Sparks (Michelle Trachtenberg) who plays Chuck, which we all know is nearly an impossible task.

Let’s all soak one of the first lines Fahy ever said on television: “Georgy and I go way back. The girl has an MBA in deviant behavior."

Gossip Girl, we never deserved you.
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Rachel Brosnahan

You might not know Rachel Brosnahan’s name off the top of your head right now, but you sure will soon. The actress will lead Amazon’s upcoming drama The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the next series from Gilmore Girls mastermind Amy Sherman-Palladino. For everyone who didn’t see the memorable pilot, Brosnahan plays the eponymous Midge Maisel, a 1950s housewife who decides to become a stand-up comedian after her husband shockingly ends their marriage.

Before Maisel, Brosnahan filled the role of “Girl” in Gossip Girl season 3 episode “It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World.”
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Caitlin Fitzgerald

Whenever cult favorite UnReal returns, the Bachelor Nation satire will feature its first “suitress,” with her own throng of handsome men vying for her attention. Yes it will basically just be the dark version of The Bachelorette. The lucky lady in the middle of all these attractive suitors will be a new character named Serena, played by Caitlin Fitzgerald.

Before Fitzgerald was able to get her Rachel Lindsay and JoJo Fletcher on, however, she was living in the same TV world with a very different Serena as Epperly Lawrence on Gossip Girl. The actress appeared on the teen soap for three episodes in season 4 as Blair’s internship supervisor at W magazine. As usual, Epperly fell into Blair-Chuck drama, but thankfully got out of the nonsense unscathed.
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Lady Gaga

Before Lady Gaga was playing any wood witches or hotel vampires on American Horror Story, she was doing her first scripted television appearance on Gossip Girl. The pop star had no actual lines during her debut in the aptly titled season 3 episode “The Last Days of Disco Stick,” but she did sing “Bad Romance” while surrounded by enough fog to set off a fire alarm and wearing a massive blonde wig. At the end she fell into a makeshift coffin, which was actually just a fallen ladder with a red sheet over it.

Oh, man, The Fame Monster era truly was a perfect time.
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