Gossip Girl Creator Josh Safran Dishes On The Reboot, Kristen Bell, And Teases An Original Series Cameo

Having Kristen Bell narrating the series makes it actually feel real — like it’s in the same universe, even though we don’t have some of those original characters. Do you get to work with her at all? And what is that experience like?

Yeah, I mean, she’s the greatest. And I think if she had not wanted to do it, we would have just been like, okay, lets none of us do it. Because [the] first day her voiceover came in for the pilot because of the voiceover had been our [post] supervisor, who’s great at it, but it’s not Kristen Bell. The second you heard Kristen Bell, you’re like, ‘Oh, there’s the show,’ right? She is the show.

So, I think the best thing that happened was Kristen understood, because I don’t want to give away the spoiler, but Kristen understood. I know you’ve seen it, but I’m saying I don’t know when this is running. Kristen understood that it wasn’t Dan Humphrey writing “Gossip Girl.” And so, without even me having to talk to her about it, she called me, and she was like, “I should read this a little differently because it’s not Dan.” And I was like, “Yes, actually.” That’s totally… I wouldn’t have thought to give her that direction. She knows the character so much and knows the show so well. And so, it’s just awesome. And you can hear it. If you listen, it’s actually in there. You can hear the difference.

I love that. Might we see any familiar guests stars from the original series?

Yes. Yes. So, I didn’t want to immediately bring in series regulars from the original series, because, as you saw, the cast is so much bigger now that there wouldn’t be time to give them. Meaning if you want to see Blair [Waldorf], you want to see Blair have a whole story. You don’t want to see her have two scenes. So, there are supporting characters from the original cast that come back that maybe are happy to check in with, but you don’t need to spend the entire episode with. So, you’ll start to see the first one is in episode five.

Ooh, exciting!

“Gossip Girl” fans can tune into the new series on HBO Max beginning July 8. And if you’re rusty on your Upper East Side lingo, all episodes featuring the original crew are streaming on HBO Max now. 

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