Fans of the Gossip Girl book series know that there are already some big differences between the tomes and The CW TV series they inspired, and a GG producer tells EW.com it’s intentional, and it’s going to continue.
Gossip Girls producer and writer Stephanie Savage on why the notoriously large-chested Jenny Humphrey of the GG books is considerably less well-endowed in the series: “We made a point of not writing Jenny’s large chest into the script because we just felt we would be saddling–quite literally–a young actress with something that would prove to be difficult over time,” Savage says. “When we met Taylor (Momsen, who plays Jenny), we just felt she was so interesting, and she brought another layer to Jenny in the way that she had a kind of intelligence and danger to her, in addition to being na ve and sweet and wanting to be a part of this world. You also felt like she could go All About Eve on Blair’s a– any moment.” Savage on why the Humphreys live in a hipster Brooklyn neighborhood instead of the Upper West Side, where they live in the novels:“We felt that for the vast majority of Americans, the difference between the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side was a little bit too subtle to try to grasp. So we talked about making them a downtown family, and then we were like, you know, the new downtown is Brooklyn, so we put them there.”
Savage on making Serena’s brother Eric younger than he is in the books: “We wanted to have a better reason for Serena to come home from boarding school. In the book, she comes home just because she . . . gets kicked out . . . we wanted her to be a sympathetic heroine, and having her help someone in her family felt like that was a good place to start.”
For the sake of storylines, the series will continue to make changes from the books, but that doesn’t mean certain things, like Serena’s past as a party girl in the books, will be glossed over.
“We’re definitely going to show some flashbacks to old Serena. You’ll actually see the first of those in our Thanksgiving episode,” Savage teases. “We want to have fun with that, but we also wanted to be careful–it was really important to us that the Serena who came back from boarding school had had some kind of an epiphany, that she understood it was wrong to sleep with her best friend’s boyfriend, and she was really going to make an effort to try and be different.”
What do you think, GG book fans: Do you like the kinder, gentler Serena? And for those who haven’t read the books, would you rather see Jenny Humphreys sport some Russ Meyers-like cleavage? –Kimberly Potts
Photo: THE CW