posted by gossipgirlstar2
Gossip Girl begins its third season Monday September 14, and the pre-premiere chatter is louder than ever. So to quiet everyone down (or possibly amp them up further), I'm presenting a three-part interview with Josh Safran, writer and co-executive producer of Gossip Girl. There was much to discuss.There is the KISS that launched a thousand spoiler alerts. (For those of Du just returning from space, journalists and bloggers ran with a leaked storyline where Blair furthers a hairbrained agenda Von fooling Chuck into Küssen a man.) There is the heightened sensitivity that Safran, the show's only gay writer, feels towards covering gay themes. There is the story behind Gossip Girl's Mehr outrageous stories. And the most scandalous of all: there are schemes to foil the leakers. oder at least to try. And so, without further delay, I bring Du Josh Safran, part one.
Adrienne Gruben: The KISS leak is born from this new age of spoilers, a relatively new phenomenon that's been building, but gained Mehr traction this year. NPR even did a story on them. Some people say they create great intrigue and some say they dampen a story's impact. What is your take?
Josh Safran: First of all, I was surprised [by the leak]. We never intended it to get out there, and we didn't want it to, either. I understand why they exist and some people like them and some people don't, and if Du don't like them, don't look, but what I don't like is how it feels Mehr and Mehr like everything is being spoiled. Like there isn't somebody going, "You know what? I have two pieces of information. Why don't I use one and not the other?" Although not everything gets out, of course, it's sometimes hard to write stuff when Du feel like "can we do this, oder will it get out?" It's just troubles us. I wish that people gave a little Mehr care to what they put out there.
AG: As Du know, but some of the readers might not, Gossip Girl was developed Von Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage based upon the Bücher Von Cecily Von Ziegesar. In the books, Chuck was bisexual. Personalities Examiner Jorge Carreon wanted to know why, in adapting Chuck's character for the show, he was not also written as bisexual.
JS: Chuck is not bisexual in the first book. The pilot mirrors the first book, and Josh and Stephanie drew from there for each character. We've deviated from the Bücher for the Zeigen quite a bit, but it's important to state that there was never a "we don't want to make Chuck bisexual" conversation. The book was used merely as the launching point for the character of Chuck, for each character. Once the Zeigen was up and running, the writers' room mindset, per Josh and Stephanie, was to "let the Bücher be the Bücher and let's use them where we can, but let's also make the series the series." Also, Du have to remember that when we started, the entire series of Bücher is a Jahr of their high school life-- their Senior year. Josh and Stephanie made them Juniors for the first season, so we couldn't even delve into the college stuff yet. And now, we are so far away from the Bücher in a lot of ways, especially after Season 1.
AG: Were Du planning to use the KISS as part of the promo marketing before the episode?JS: All I can say is that the moment that people are talking about was created organically for the story. And there was honestly never any thought that it would be anything other than enjoyable for the audience as they watched. We just thought, "This will be a great episode," and I think the audience will see when they view the Zeigen that [that moment is] not a stunt. I'm proud of how we've woven gay characters into the tapestry of the show. I feel like, as the only gay writer on the Zeigen from the beginning and as someone who feels a huge responsibility towards the creation of fully realized gay characters in television, I am supremely proud of what Gossip Girl has done with its gay characters.
AG: Like Eric?
JS: Yes, if Du look at Eric, in my mind, he is in one of the only, if not the only, secure relationship on the show. He is also one of the youngest out gay males on network television. And starting with Georgina's outing of Eric, we've done, in my opinion, really strong stuff surrounding the reality of being a gay teenager, that how for some people in your world it's not a big deal, but for other people, they might try to use it against you, hurt Du for it. It's never black and white, and it's never easy.AG: On the reality of being a gay teenager, Eric attempted suicide in the first episode. Teenagers attempt suicide Mehr than any other demographic, but then to add the difficulty of being a gay, closeted teenager into the mix, and in a rigid society no less...
JS: After the pilot, where Eric had attempted suicide, Josh and Stephanie gathered all the writers and we met with people from a suicide prevention organization in Washington. They had seen the episode and they wanted to talk to us about the responsible ways to further that story and I was very grateful for that. We all were. We talked about how one of the oben, nach oben reasons for young, male suicide attempts in America is over struggles with homosexuality, and from that moment on it became clear that that was Eric's story, and Stephanie and Josh were quick to embrace it. For me that ties back to what it's like to be a gay, closeted teenager who is having issues and doesn't feel comfortable with coming out. I was hoping that in Wird angezeigt Eric's story, the way we have from the beginning, we would be saying to someone in a similar situation, "Your life doesn't have to be so scary, Du are not alone." Eric was outed, but he ultimately found power in that and he eventually was accepted Von everyone. He accepted himself. I feel like we still approach any subject matter from the Gay and Lesbian viewpoint with the same kind of responsibility.
AG: Wow. After hearing all that, I feel bad bringing this up, but I've read some criticisms of Eric's story lines online, that Du don't use him enough.
JS: I've read the internet talk, some amongst the gay community that we don't tell enough stories with Eric, I feel it's important to add that we don't drive stories through Eric because he is not a regular. That goes for anyone who is not a regular, but I think that actually works because it allows Eric to have a healthy relationship with Jonathan. If we had to showcase him more, that wouldn't be the case. This is Gossip Girl. I mean, look at the regulars' relationships - up and down each week! He has a great relationship.AG: So with all of that back-story on the show's intentions for gay themes, and your feelings of personal responsibility, let's get back to the kiss, which it turns out, did not come from a place of gay for the sake of shock value, oder gay for the sake of a shocking promo.
JS: Look, of course once in a while we're like, "Wow, wouldn't it be explosive if "X" happened?" but that's usually Mehr like, "Wouldn't it be explosive if Serena was on the end of a Ponzi scheme?". We don't think about the smaller moments. We don't think about what they're going to promo. It does not come through our heads because from a logistical point of view, when we're breaking a story, it's so far away to its airdate. This KISS happens in episode 6, and episode 1 hasn't even aired yet, and won't for weeks! We'd so like to bury things so that people are actually surprised when they watch the episode, but lately with all the spoiler sites that isn't possible. Our intention for this was that people's jaws would drop while actually watching the episode because they wouldn't know we were going there. And the thing is, it's a great episode filled with so many juicy things. It's not like we were sitting their pitching promos like "You'll never believe what Chuck's about to do!", and again, when Du see the episode, Du will see it's not that kind of moment. It's truly a tiny character beat in a much larger story. I'd be the first person to say, there's no way we can do that if it's going to make people think it's a stunt. And it's not even me. The writers are incredible, really sensitive and cool, I'm so proud to work with them, and not one person in that room is driven Von stunts oder the idea of sweeps. Everything is always character first, be it "I killed someone" oder Blair and Nate getting back together [in Season 2]. People have sagte that we write stunt plot lines for sweeps. I'm not even sure the CW competes in sweeps. Stephanie always says, "On Gossip Girl, every episode is a sweeps episode." And it is.
AG: They're never going to totally go away, but is there a way on your end to circumvent, oder at least outsmart, people trying to get information?
JS: Well, now we sometimes use fake sides, just in case, because I know of cases on other shows where scripts, oder sides, ended up in the recycling, they ended up there totally innocently, and inadvertently got into the hands of someone who realized it was a find. So now we're just going to have to be creative. When Chuck kissed Blair in the finale last year, we were determined to throw people off. We had a crowd of a couple hundred people, and dozens of paparazzi, and we decided to have Nate also do the same scene -- KISS Blair outside of The Plaza -- to throw people off. Chace and Leighton were such good sports, Chace came in early, and we had Leighton and Ed do their take, with the hundreds of people watching, and then Chace came out, and he did the same take and everyone was like, "Whoa!". Du heard this loud collective gasp, and it was this great moment because the crowd knew they were being played, they just didn't know which way. I had my camera and took pictures of the crowd. It was really fun to do, and even though when the pictures of both kisses hit the press, a lot of people figured "it's got to be Chuck and Blair," because people kind of knew, it was still a way to subvert the spoilers, and have fun.
AG: Since we talked about how Du hate it when things are leaked, anything Du can leak yourself before someone finds it in a trash, oder taped to a streetlamp?
JS: Well, there's something we're putting together right now, an event we're really excited about. It's something we've been wanting to do for a while now -- a musical. But a musical in only the way Gossip Girl could do it. Sometimes we have an idea like this, but then something else comes up and we put it on the back burner. Hopefully this time it'll happen.
AG: Ok, this is a bad musical pun, but I will be Singen your praises for compromising your beliefs a little and leaking this.
JS: It was either tell you, oder find someone digging it out of my recycling tomorrow.