The third season of Gossip Girl
, which began filming last month in New York, will include even more twists than the previous two, says Jessica Szohr
, who plays Vanessa on the CW show.
"It's like a new chapter in everyone's life," Szohr, 24, told PEOPLE Wednesday at a Charlotte Russe fashion event in New York. "We're all off to college, we're working. There's a lot of guest stars coming on, new relationships are formed."
In addition to Hilary Duff
, former Privileged
actress Joanna Garcia
will play a new love interest for heartthrob Chace Crawford
. Garcia plays a Texas socialite who rivals Crawford's Nate Archibald in wealth and status -- and she just might be off-limits.
"We have sort of a Romeo and Juliet
love story," Garcia tells PEOPLE.
While romances bloom on set during the new season, the off-screen romances between stars Blake Lively
and Penn Badgley
and Szohr and Ed Westwick
make the cast a tight-knit bunch. But Garcia said the close group has welcomed her with open arms.
"I was really nervous coming in," says Garcia, who is currently slated to appear in four episodes. "But they've been so warm and welcoming and lovely. It's been so nice. They've been making me feel like New York isn't such a big city."
Things won't bet getting so warm and fuzzy on screen, however, as Szohr says there are plenty of surprises in store.
"Someone ends up not being who they say they are," she reveals. "It's just lots of drama and crazy stuff."
Also crazy: Gossip Girl
's fans, who clamor to catch a glimpse of the hot young cast while they're shooting on location in the Big Apple.
"It's been nuts. I don't know what's happened over our break," Szorh says. "Coming back, none of us have ever seen it like how it's been. But it's a good thing. We're blessed to be working on a fun cool show with cool in New York." -- Kelsey WittenTell us: Are you excited for the new season? What are your predictions for the Upper East Side's bad boys and girls?