Gina Boyd/Startraks; Christopher Peterson/BuzzFoto
People Staff
October 03, 2008 12:00 AM

Dan who? There’s a new guy in town and Serena kissing him! The latest development on Gossip Girl is sure to have the entire Upper East Side buzzing. After all, Serena’s liplock with the mystery man was caught on a JumboTron in Times Square.

Here’s the scoop: John Patrick Amedori is set to appear in several episodes of the scandalous CW show (the first airs Oct. 27) as Aaron Rose, a new beau for Blake Lively‘s Serena van der Woodsen. The Maryland native, 21, talked to PEOPLE about his new role, kissing Blake (he’s friends with her real-life boyfriend Penn Badgley!) and being in the middle of the the paparazzi-fan swirl called Gossip Girl. — Jennifer Wren

Tell us about your character, Aaron Rose. He’s definitely a part of that Upper East Side world. I think he’s got a lot of money. But he chooses not to be around that. He probably lives on the Lower East Side or in Greenwich Village.

How does he get involved with Serena?He has an art show at Dan’s father’s gallery. Serena goes to see Dan. He takes notice of her and remembers her from camp. She doesn’t remember him at first. That’s pretty much how they start talking.

There are pictures of you kissing Blake Lively in Times Square with everyone watching. What was that like?It was crazy. At first, I think Blake and me were nervous. When I walk in front of the camera, I kind of just block everything out and it’s just Blake and me doing the scene. Then you realize our faces are as large as possible on this JumboTron and then reality sets in.

Was that the characters’ first kiss?That was the first on-camera kiss for the relationship.

What did you do to prepare?I chewed gum.

Is fresh breath a priority?Absolutely.

What was it like meeting the cast for the first time?I’ve known Penn Badgley for a few years. We used to audition against each other. We have mutual friends and we used to hang out a bit. It was kind of a reunion and just catching up. In that sense, it was more comfortable to be around new . Everyone’s really nice, really cool. They don’t make me feel like an outsider, which is fortunate for me.

Were you nervous kissing Blake, whose real-life boyfriend is Penn?Yeah, a little bit. It’s work and Penn and Blake have had to kiss other on the show. They’re pretty much used to it now, knowing that it’s work. There wasn’t really anything really awkward. We just knew it was work and we had to do it.

Have you had a chance to bond with the cast off set?Yeah, absolutely.

What kind of things have you been able to do offset?Penn, Blake and I went out and got some food, walked around Manhattan’s lower west side, talked and hung out.

Did you get a taste of how the Gossip Girl frenzy — how they deal with with the fans and paparazzi?Just a little bit. When we shoot on location, it’s an interesting sight. It’s something I’m definitely not familiar with. They don’t hassle me. They only hassle Blake, and Penn and others. They’re really, really good about it. It’s definitely an experience.

What else can you tell us about where Serena and Aaron’s relationship is going?I think they both start to fall kind of hard for each other. Gina Boyd/Startraks; Christopher Peterson/BuzzFoto

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