Think about strolling down the road in New York Metropolis and seeing Leighton Meester. The actress, well-known for her portrayal of the beloved Gossip Woman character Blair Waldorf, lately paid a go to to her previous stomping grounds, the place her husband, Adam Brody—bred from related teen royalty on The O.C.—is capturing a brand new venture. This time although, it was much less Nairtinis and masked balls and extra kid-friendly actions. As a married mom of two, “I’m holding my eye out for the playgrounds,” Meester says with fun. “That’s actually what I’m in search of.” Maybe in Manhattan, however the actress has additionally set her sights on some fulfilling, age-appropriate work.
Her newest position is Beth, a 35-year-old with a 10-month previous who’s accused of killing her greatest buddy (Christina Wolfe) within the Netflix thriller The Weekend Away, primarily based on Sarah Alderson’s novel of the identical title. Meester, additionally 35 years previous with a newish child, was intrigued by the script for apparent causes. “That was precisely me, by the minute,” she says. On a getaway to Croatia, Beth grapples with not solely being separated from her youngster, but additionally “out-of-this-world, unbelievably dramatic and tragic suspense.” Right here, extra from Meester about her new film, her ideas on the Gossip Woman reboot, and why she nonetheless hasn’t watched Euphoria.
What made now really feel like the best time to return to the display?
After I wrapped Single Dad and mom on March 3 of 2020, I used to be pregnant [and] going to have a child, so I believed, I’ll take a while off, and if the present comes again, nice. Then mid-March 2020 occurred. Slightly over a 12 months later, I felt like [The Weekend Away] was the best venture, the best script—I went to Croatia to movie it, in order that wasn’t too shabby [laughs]. And I felt like my youngest was sufficiently old for me to be away from him throughout lengthy capturing days. How I Met Your Father got here round form of last-minute within the fall. We’ve had a extremely bizarre couple of years so far as work and scheduling [goes], plus having a child actually…shakes issues up [laughs].
What was it about this film that appealed to you a lot?
I believed it was a extremely fascinating perspective to inform the story: somebody who’s going by motherhood for the primary time, who’s rediscovering herself and discovering herself. And, in fact, going by the out-of-this-world, unbelievably dramatic and tragic suspense—that stuff was additionally extremely interesting to me, as a result of I believed it learn actually thrilling and enjoyable on the web page.
Are you into true crime? Have been you a Serial fan?
I did love Serial—I really cherished all them, even the non-murder ones. I perceive the curiosity in it, however I’ve turn into so extremely delicate to it…I don’t know if it’s getting older or having children or hormones, however I’ve to tempo myself, as a result of then I begin going, “Somebody’s in the home!” and it’s too terrifying. The wonderful factor about this movie is that there doesn’t appear to be or unhealthy man; nothing’s that clear. Whilst suspicious pink herrings get revealed, you’ll be able to see the place any person may lose their mood—there’s no excuse, clearly—however there’s a human factor to it. There isn’t only a monster lurking.
There do appear to be some real-world parallels…Amanda Knox involves thoughts.
I’ve heard that comparability. Whereas it’s not completely parallel with that case, wow does it put you in that headspace of, “What would I do if I really had been caught in a thriller, and this factor occurred, and I’m fairly positive I didn’t do it, however I don’t know.” The opposite half that I had an actual reference to was being 1000’s of miles away out of your child and feeling powerless and never fully secure; like, “Properly, no less than I can go house to my household at night time.” You’re caught, and it’s scary.
Did you’re feeling an identical sense of guilt as Beth being away out of your daughter whereas filming?
Yeah, that doesn’t go away. There’s no quantity of banking hours with a child. I simply spent a complete weekend doing all the pieces with them, and now I gotta go to work all day; they’re like, “However you’re not right here now.” I really needed to break up my children up throughout filming, so I stored my son, who was 10 months previous on the time, and my daughter, who’s six, went with my husband again to the states the place he was working. That was the longest I’ve ever been with out my daughter by far, however I couldn’t be separated from my son as a result of he was nursing. The reuniting was heaven.
Have the roles you’ve gravitated in direction of modified since turning into a mother?
I feel anybody, particularly an actor getting older, will most likely discover the roles to be extra thrilling and fascinating no matter in the event that they’re portraying a mother or father or not. As you grow old, you don’t simply stand there, which is nice.
Are you referring to ageism in Hollywood?
Yeah, undoubtedly. It’s good to have an creativeness and be like, “That one that’s 35 may be 40, or 30.” Let’s put folks in numerous roles which can be totally different ages, or from totally different backgrounds. I perceive it and I’ve been there—there’s an obsession with youth. In case you’re doing it proper, hopefully you grow old. I really feel like that’s the level. There’s an actual dissidence between what girls say—“I really feel higher as I grow old; I really feel extra assured; I really feel much less insecure; I really feel extra libido”—and but, media and tradition is like, “No, you’re nugatory now; you’re invisible.” We’ve gotta discover some option to navigate that. I feel it’s getting higher. Hear, I’m 35, and I feel that’s younger; and I additionally began my profession so younger and was on TV so younger and benefitted from that so younger. On the time, I wasn’t conscious; I used to be like, “I’ll be younger perpetually!” So coming to grasp that and the way life goes is fascinating. It’s fascinating to have been on this enterprise for thus lengthy.
What was your wildest weekend away?
After I bought married, my girlfriends determined to take me to dinner and introduced out this sport the place I suppose the article is, you get a solution proper or fallacious and also you drink. There have been no actual guidelines, simply “get drunk.” And I bear in mind being extraordinarily [drunk]. The following morning, I simply laid in mattress and was like, “I want a bagel.”
There’s a memorable episode of Gossip Woman the place Blair performs an identical sport at her bachelorette occasion.
I didn’t get arrested, fortunately. However I did [get arrested] once I was in my late teenagers or early twenties. Earlier than I moved to New York for work, I used to be dwelling in a home in L.A. with three or 4 roommates, and we threw events that may fairly often get actually out of hand, and the cops got here a couple of instances. One of many instances, we had so many individuals [that] it was going to be not possible [to get out of], and so they threatened us with a ticket, so we bought a ticket, as a result of what else may we do? We had some blowouts. I look again and I’m like, “Was it enjoyable? That was fairly darkish.” Nevertheless it’s good to have had these instances. [Laughs.]
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It was the identical rising up in New York.
Even in the event you’re smoking a joint on the road [in New York] they’re like, “You’re underneath arrest!” I feel it’s totally different now. I used to be simply in New York and I smelled a variety of pot, so I really feel prefer it is perhaps a little bit extra accepted.
Have you ever watched the Gossip Woman reboot?
I’ve watched it; I feel it’s nice. I’m actually comfortable for them discovering a brand new manner with it. It was such a…is it bizarre to name it iconic whenever you’re in it? It truly is so evergreen. Nonetheless, younger girls will come as much as me and I’m like, “Wow, you weren’t born once we began.” It’s fascinating that it might probably proceed to be one thing meaning loads to even this era. And so the truth that they will seize a few of that magic whereas making it its personal factor is kind of a feat and actually cool.
What else have you ever binged? One in every of my favourite Inventing Anna memes is of Blair Waldorf, saying she would’ve instantly clocked Anna Delvey.
[Laughs.] That’s actually humorous. I really simply began that present, as a result of everybody has been asking me if I’m watching it. That and Euphoria. I don’t know if I can do this one, although. Simply ‘trigger…wow.
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Folks on Twitter have additionally been speaking about your collaboration with Cobra Starship for “Good Women Go Unhealthy.” Are you planning to report music once more?
I really like that. That was a enjoyable time. I’ll proceed to make music and write and sing—I’d wish to carry out quickly, sooner or later. I most likely will launch music inside this 12 months. I didn’t actually have an affinity for pop music so far as writing or performing [goes], but it surely felt like that was what I used to be gonna do, so I simply went with it. Then I used to be like, “Nope, this isn’t proper.” So I ended up slicing ties with my label amicably, and I launched an album in 2014 and toured with a a lot totally different sound. So, [the new music is] form of an developed model of that sound. It nonetheless provides me chills to see stay theater; we went to see My Honest Girl on the Dolby Theatre, which was a extremely wonderful manufacturing, and I bought emotional. It made me go, “I wanna do it once more.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.
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