Matthew Settle, who plays Badgley's father, talks about the on-set romance

By Jeffrey Slonim
May 14, 2008 11:05 AM
Jason Kempin/WireImage; NATIONAL PHOTO GROUP

Before Penn Badgley and Blake Lively were outed as a couple (see PEOPLE’s exclusive pics here), Matthew Settle, who plays Penn Badgley’s TV dad on Gossip Girl helped to keep gossip about the relationship between the young lovers a secret.

But now that the cat is out of the bag, he says, “I think it’s nice.”

Settle offered fatherly insight about Badgley and Lively on his way into the Entertainment Weekly upfront party at The Bowery Hotel in New York on May 13. (The new couple also attended.)

When asked if he had advice for his TV son, Settle answered, “In real life, Penn rolls with the punches better than anybody … I don’t think he needs any advice.”

About keeping the relationship a secret before it was revealed, Penn’s TV Dad said, “you can prod and pry, but you don’t want to be too intrusive. I made my own assumptions,” he said. “But I didn’t want to talk about it, to get involved.”

Now that the news is out, Settle believes America will react positively. “I think people are going to love them as a couple,” he said. “They’re a very hot couple. They look good together. And I think they’re good for each other, so why not?”

Settle’s date at the event was his wife, Israeli born actress Naama Nativ, also an actress, who said that she plays “one of Adam [Sandler’s] Israeli girlfriends in his new film, You Don’t Mess with The Zohan.

But Settle and Nativ have a solid bond. Married for two years, Settle said that he met Nativ, “in Los Angeles through friends.”