In a new interview with Porter, Leighton said that while she valued her experiences on the show, it wasn't the healthiest place for her to grow up in.
“I was young when I started Gossip Girl. A lot more people were suddenly around and I was being looked at,” she said. “If you don’t have the right perspective, you could definitely be confused by people being that nice to you or judging you for behavior that’s typical of a 20, 21 year old…making mistakes but having to make them very publicly. I’m not haunted by that time, but it’s been interesting and helpful for me to look at it and examine it as an adult and go, ‘I don’t know if it was the healthiest environment.’”
Leighton explained how she, and the rest of the cast and crew, filmed for 16 hours a day, five days a week, for six years!
“I would get there at 5 a.m. and leave at 8 p.m.; a lot of days I didn’t see the sun," she said.
But it wasn't the hours that got to her, more so the age that she got thrown into it all.
“Everyone has their own journey, especially in their early 20s, when they’re just figuring out who they are," she told Porter. "Because of the success of that show, I was put in a place where that journey was sped up. I had to figure it out quickly and with not a completely developed mind to discern between what’s real and what’s not, who I can trust and who I can’t. I got really lucky and was able to very early on find and stay friends with people who are true.”
But of course, the show still means a lot to her. She explained how Gossip Girl was "very special…filled with challenges that have nothing to do with [Gossip Girl] and also sometimes things that did have something to do with it."
“But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s sort of a time capsule," Leighton continued. A lot of the questions that come from it are: ‘Do you miss it?’ ‘Did you love what you wore?’ And I understand that, but—and I say this with nothing but love—it is like saying, ‘High school was an amazing time for you, do you wish you could go back?’ And the truth is, it was so special and such a unique, amazing experience, but no, I wouldn’t wanna go back to it, I was a kid!”
As for her cast mates, like Blake Lively who played her BFF Serena Van Der Woodsen, she's super keen! “Of course. I’m open to anything that’s good, that’s interesting, and that sort of feels necessary.… I imagine we all would [consider it]. I can’t speak for everyone else, but we all owe so much to this show, and I think that it would be silly not to acknowledge that," she told Vanity Fair.
Make it happen girls.