Behind the Scenes with ... Gossip Girl

updated 04/07/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/07/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Spotted on Manhattan's Upper East Side: the cast of the CW's Gossip Girl finally going back to work! Reuniting after the writers' strike, the cast and crew of the drama about rich New York City teens (new episodes return April 21) exchanged hugs and hellos. "It was like the first day back at school," says Chace Crawford. As paparazzi and fans thronged their shoots, they invited PEOPLE inside their trailers and sets for a private tour.

HOW THE CAST BONDS

They hang out even when they're not working. Crawford, 22, and Ed Westwick, 20, are roommates, and Penn Badgley, 21, joined them on a trip to London during their break. A favorite pastime? Game nights at each other's apartments. "You'd think we'd be sick of each other," says Leighton Meester, 21. "But we have so much fun."

THAT REAL-LIFE GOSSIP ...

The group won't dish about Crawford's dates with Carrie Underwood or rumors that Blake Lively, 20, and Badgley are a couple. Crawford's strategy? "Not reading the blogs." Only Westwick will talk about love. "Who is the most flirtatious? Definitely me!" says the single actor. "I'm a devil."

YOU LOOK FABULOUS!

"Everybody comments on each other's clothes. You have to say 'cute' five times when you enter the set!" says Meester. The guys? "We talk about stupid movies and girls," says Crawford.

THE NEXT BIG DRAMA

It's true—in coming episodes, a key character will reveal that he or she is gay. The news "will shake up a family and break up a couple," says executive producer Stephanie Savage.

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