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Gossip Girl star gets a little bit country

Leighton Meester’s been enjoying the high fashions andcatty one-liners of <em>Gossip Girl</em>, now in its fourth season.

LOS ANGELES — 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 intention 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

That’s something that I really loved about her. She means well,
and she isn’t trying to hurt anybody, and she’s just trying to be
somebody. 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 naïve, 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 you might assume that, especially with
this sort of theme, like All About Eve, which I think is an
interesting dynamic -- showing two women in this industry and how
competitive and difficult it can be. 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.

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.

How did you handle shooting Country Strong and Gossip Girl at the
same time?

I didn’t really think ahout it at the time. I had a lot of
coffee. But you know, I just really wanted to do this movie. That’s
what I had in my heart. Every time I’d be on a plane in between, I’d be
thinking, 'How am I doing this? What am I doing?' And then [director]
Shana [Feste] would just make it all better.

After singing some country tunes for the movie, is it something you’d
consider 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.

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