August 24, 2009 01:00 PM

Tattoos and a pompadour – this isn’t the Chace Crawford you’re used to.

The 24-year-old star of Gossip Girl and the upcoming Footloose remake adopts a tough-yet-stylish ’50s persona in new photos in the September issue of Interview magazine.

Going against type is refreshing for Crawford, who’s traditionally been cast in clean-cut roles, he says: “It’s good to switch things up. I did all of this stuff early, and they always wanted the same thing, the same look, the same deal, and I’d think, ‘That’s not what it’s about.’ ”

Chase Crawford in Interview

Crawford is branching out with his acting, playing a drug dealer in Twelve and getting his funk on with Footloose. The latter involves changing his physical type, too.

“I’m going to try to get shredded,” he says. “And my flexibility has already gone up like double. … There’s some kickboxing, some Muay Thai. And I’m learning fundamentals like breakdancing.”

So far, he tells the magazine, the Footloose preparations are going well. “I am confident because I knew I had rhythm – and I’m athletic,” Crawford says. “I know I have rhythm, I have it in my brain. And I’m a quick learner.”

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