HomeWorld NewsTaylor Momsen Says It Was ‘Complicated’ Asking to Leave ‘Gossip Girl’
Taylor Momsen Says It Was ‘Complicated’ Asking to Leave ‘Gossip Girl’
September 6, 2023
Lil J was “banned” from Manhattan by Blair Waldorf, but Taylor Momsen left Gossip Girl during season 4 on her own accord.
“[Acting] was a childhood thing that I got put into at 2 years old. I wasn’t making my own choices then. Literally, as soon as I got to an age where I could make my own decisions, it was like a click,” Momsen, 30, said during the Wednesday, September 6, episode of former TV sibling Penn Badgley’s “Podcrushed” podcast. “I woke up one morning and went, ‘Wait a second. I don’t have to do this? I don’t have to do this other job? I can just play in my band and tour and write songs? I can just do that?’”
She continued: “Granted, a little more complicated to get out of a television show than that, but the answer was yes. Like, you can just do that. I have the ability to create my life how I want to live it. … It was like a light bulb went off.”
Momsen, who rose to fame playing Cindy Lou Who in 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, landed the role of Dan Humphrey’s (Badgley) younger sister at the age of 12. She was billed as a series regular for four seasons, but made less appearances during season 4 after Momsen’s Jenny went to live full-time with her mom in upstate New York after an affair with Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick). In real life, Momsen officially departed the drama in season 5 to go on tour with her Pretty Reckless band, in which she still serves as the lead singer.
“I uprooted and changed my life overnight,” she recalled of wanting to leave Gossip Girl behind. “[Production] went, ‘Well, we can’t let you out of your deal, but we can write you out of the show, so you can go on tour. You can’t act in anything else, though.’”
Momsen — who explained that music always gave her “solace” to find herself when she struggled to fit in at school and on set — proclaimed to the TV executives that their terms were “fine” because she “wasn’t trying” to pursue more acting jobs. “They really allowed me to follow my dream, and I’m forever grateful and thankful to them for that,” she added.
“I just remember our scenes being really nice because there was an actual family vibe,” Badgley gushed during the podcast interview. “Especially as a father now — I have a 14-year-old and a 2-and-a-half-year-old — so, like, [Taylor’s] presence brought what I get now as a father … which is when you bring in children, it just brings something very positive to a space.”
All good things must come to an end, even when it comes to TV. Over the years, many television stars have suddenly left their roles — while others have been cut from a series without much notice. Anna Faris announced in September 2020 that she was leaving CBS’ Mom after starring as the lead character […]
Badgley — who shares son James with wife Domino Kirkeand coparents her eldest son from a previous marriage — added that he tried to be “really mature” and “honest” while working with a teenaged Momsen. The “Light Me Up” singer concurred, noting that they “always had fun” on set.
“By the end, we didn’t really work together,” Badgley added. “You were off doing crazy [story lines].”
After Momsen pointed out that she was “off being a drug dealer” — referring to her brief friendship with Agnes Andrews (Willa Holland) in season 2 — during her later seasons, it caught Badgley off-guard.
You have successfully subscribed.
“You were a drug dealer?” Badgley quipped, as Momsen pointed out that she’s “never” watched Gossip Girl back. “That sounds kind of familiar. [Were] you a mule? … Oh, Jenny Humphrey, you burned bright like a meteor.”