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A little bit country

Leighton Meester on working with Gwynnie, the future of ‘Gossip Girl’ and singing in ‘Country Strong.’

Leighton Meester’s been enjoying the high fashions and catty one-liners of “Gossip Girl,” now in its fourth season. But with her recently announced intentions to leave the show when her contract is up, the 24-year-old actress and singer is busy cultivating a 2011 film roster — starting with “Country Strong,” featuring Meester as an upstart country singer nipping at the heels of a troubled, fresh-out-of-rehab superstar (Gwyneth Paltrow).

Your character, Chiles Stanton, is the butt of a lot of jokes in the movie.

I think she’s sassy and she’s sweet and she has a lot of good qualities, but a lot of her insecurities allow for other people to walk all over her a bit. And she’s very naive, which is not a part of my personality — or at least, not as much as I’d like it to be.

With Chiles being an up-and-comer, audiences might assume she’s going to do some backstabbing.

I think it’s silly and sort of sad that people do that. But I mean, obviously there is a threat between these two characters and rightfully so. But it’s just like being on set with Gwyneth. I’m never trying to be anything but just do well on my own. And she makes everyone better.

After singing some country tunes for the movie, is it something you’d consider for your next album?

You know, it definitely has inspired me in the way I write music and the way I play music and appreciate it. Doing this movie was a wonderful introduction and made me fall in love with that type of music, but I don’t necessarily know, you know? Actually, since the movie, it’s really inspired me to kind of go in a different direction. So between country and pop, I kind of go through the middle.

How much longer do you see “Gossip Girl” going?

We’re on contract for about six years, and we’re on our fourth year. And I’d love it to last as long as it’s good. The best part about it is they understand the schedule, so that they can let us off to do things. I mean, here I am doing this and not working in New York.

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