MOVIELINE EXCLUSIVE: Gossip Girl's E.P. Stephanie Savage On the Deleted Vibrator Scene and Chuck Bass's Gay Kiss

GG585.jpg

Stephanie Savage is responsible for bringing us two of the most popular coming-of age series in the past decade, The O.C. and Gossip Girl. Set on the opposite coast as its Californian predecessor, Gossip Girl similarly navigates the social strata of its wealthy, close-knit neighborhood while its characters fumble over each romantic endeavor and pitfall of the privileged in their paths toward adulthood. On the heels of Gossip Girl's third season premiere last week, we spoke to co-creator Savage about keeping the Upper East Siders relatable for future generations, their impending transition to college and the provocative first season scene that needed to be reshot.

The cast advances to college this season. What pitfalls did Gossip Girl writers have to consciously avoid making that transition, since audiences sometimes have a hard time seeing these familiar characters in a completely different environment?

Right, well because [Gossip Girl co-creator] Josh Schwartz and I had done The O.C.'s transition into college previously, we tried to avoid those same pitfalls from the outset. Specifically, when we started Gossip Girl, even in season one, when most of our characters were high school juniors, we really tried to make the show not have high school as the franchise so that we wouldn't run into that problem when they graduated from high school. We always focused on making New York the franchise, not high school and high school was much more in the background.

We pride ourselves on never having had a single scene in a classroom. We don't have a classroom set. We've done high school stories that have been very much about the future, about getting into college, about the SATs. The one teacher character we had, slept with Dan Humphrey in a costume closet during the school play. To build a show that would move into the future more easily than creating a whole franchise around high school and then having to reinvent the show in season two or three, we also let our kids be juniors and then graduate in real time, rather than holding them back a couple years and having them be juniors three years in a row. [Laughs]

There's nothing worse than watching a character waste a decade on high school. Is there anything you can say about the upcoming Chuck Bass kiss with another guy that's been garnering a lot of buzz?

I'd just love for people to tune in and watch the episode. The kid in the smaller part [Neal Bledsoe] has a much bigger story. We had hoped that word of Chuck's kiss wouldn't even have leaked . We didn't want people to make more of a deal of it than the story does and we think that the actors and the characters...that it's a really cool story, the way it unfolds in the episode and we had hoped that people would have the fun of being surprised by it.

Right. In the season premiere, we saw Blair engaging in certain role-playing scenarios to please Chuck and to keep their relationship fresh. Will Chuck's gay kiss have anything to do with Blair finally reversing the role-playing for her enjoyment?

Actually, it is related to their game-playing.

GG585.jpg

Do the writers have any plans for any of the Gossip Girl main characters to experiment with other same-sex relationships?

We're always thinking about those relationships and where they might be headed and we're very open-minded and keep all of our options open.

I read an interview you gave while writing for the O.C., where you talked about Standards and Practices cutting the scene where Summer orgasms for the first time. Has Gossip Girl run into similar problems -- having to cut scenes that might seem too sexual?

We did have to reshoot something involving a vibrator in season one.

Can you go into any detail?

It was the first episode after the strike ("The Blair Bitch Project"), when Georgina was sending Serena some gifts that she thought were coming from Chuck and it turned out they were coming form Georgina, so we had to reshoot one of her gifts.

How do you toe the line with Gossip Girl by making it something really current but also something people can relate to ten years from now?

The way we try to do that is tell universal stories that everyone can relate to, that are those very iconic issues that we all wrestle with: loving someone who doesn't love us back, fighting with our best friend, figuring out our issues with our parents. Those things are really timeless and things that everybody goes through, and placing those kinds of stories and conflicts within a framework that feels extremely contemporary and of the moment [are what we hope to do]. So when it comes to fashion, music, the cultural references that people are making, that will feel hopefully feel very timely and of the moment, but the fundamental underlying stories are very timeless. ♦



Comments

Post a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s