Taylor Momsen recently opened up to her TV brother, Penn Badgley, about her decision to leave Gossip Girl and pursue music.
On Wednesday’s episode of Badgley’s Podcast: “pod crushed” Momsen explained that she’s always been more attracted to music than acting, and confirmed that she asked to be fired from the popular CW series about stylish teenagers living scandalous lives in New York City.
Momsen, 30, and Badgley, 36, played sibling duo Jenny and Dan Humphrey on Gossip Girl, which ran for six seasons from 2007 to 2012.
Acting “was a childhood thing that I got sucked into when I was two years old,” Momsen told Badgley and his co-hosts Nava Kavelin and Sophie Ansari. “I didn’t make my own decisions back then. And once I was of an age where I could make my own decision, it was literally like a click. I don’t know exactly what happened. But it’s like I woke up one morning and said, “Wait a minute.” I don’t have to do this… other job. I can just play in my band, go on tour and write songs.’”
“Granted, [it’s] “It’s a bit more complicated getting out of a TV show,” she added, revealing that the show’s writers and producers supported her by creating a void that allowed her to stop work on Gossip Girl without her to break contract.
“They said, ‘Well, we can’t let you out of your deal. “But we can remove you from the show so you can tour,” she said.
When producers warned her that she couldn’t “star in anything else” until her contract expired, the rock musician was undeterred.
“I said, ‘That’s fine. “That’s not what I’m trying to do,” she recalls. “They really allowed me to achieve my dream. … For that I am eternally grateful and grateful to them.”
The longtime lead singer of rock band Pretty Reckless was 13 when the first season of Gossip Girl premiered and 17 when she was asked to leave the regular series.
Rumor has it that Momsen was considered a diva behind the scenes at the time. But even then, the teenage actress was vocal about her passion for music and dedication to her band.
“I have the ability to shape my life the way I want to shape it and live my life the way I want to live it,” she recalled.
“I don’t know exactly what triggered that click, but it took a moment and it was like a lightbulb turning on and I uprooted and changed my entire life overnight.”
Momsen – who played little Cindy Lou Who opposite Jim Carrey in 2000’s ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ – was significantly younger than many of her ‘Gossip Girl’ actresses. During the podcast episode, she reflected on how isolated she felt growing up – first as a “Grinch girl” at school and later as the misfit on the set of “Gossip Girl.”
“I was alone a lot,” she told Badgley.
“I didn’t have a clique of my own. I didn’t suit you. … Music became a comfort for me in which to find myself, to express myself and feel good in.”