Gossip Girl Secrets Revealed

Gossip Girl Secrets Revealed
Neilson Barnard/Getty

03/24/2008 AT 12:00 AM EDT

At the Gossip Girl panel discussion for the 25th Annual William S. Paley TV Festival, cast members Blake Lively, Chace Crawford, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Ed Westwick, and Taylor Momsen spoke to fans -- and to PEOPLE -- about their characters and their real lives. Here are the most interesting revelations:

• Blake is a "Guitar Hero" fanatic: "I'm obsessed with 'Guitar Hero,'" she says. "I like to go to tournaments in Brooklyn and cover myself in fake tattoos because then I look like a real rock star."

• Penn is an actual guitar hero: Jimi Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary" and Incubus tunes are his specialty.

• In real life, Chace says he would actually date a couple of Gossip Girl's female characters. "Of all the characters, maybe Lily van der Woodsen!" he says, of who he'd be interested in. "Or probably Vanessa. I don't know. I think Vanessa's pretty cool."



• She may be the voice of the mysterious Gossip Girl but Kristen Bell will not be making an appearance on the show, according to executive producer Josh Schwartz.

• Leighton dyed her hair from blonde to brown to get the role as Blair Waldorf.

• The show has a sandwich named after it. "On the pilot I eat a grilled cheese with truffle oil and apparently a bunch of came into the Palace Hotel requesting it, so they put it on the menu," Blake tells PEOPLE. "It was named the Gossip Girl Grilled Cheese Sandwich, which was a mouthful, so we changed it to the Gossip Grill and then a hyphen, and it says, 'You know you love it!' And it's one of the best sandwiches I've ever had in my life. It's incredible so it's really exciting to have named such a delicious sandwich."

• Blake isn't a very good prankster. "She's always joking around because her pranks are elaborate and they never work out," Penn tells PEOPLE. "They always implode on themselves because there's too much going on."

• But Penn was able to prank Blake: "I actually recently texted her from a set phone, and we'd been getting calls from fans, so a lot of us have had to change our numbers. I have. She has. And I just texted her from a phone number that she didn't know, and I was like, 'Oh my God, you're Serena!' And I did it for a whole day before she realized that it was me and she'd been telling me, 'God, somebody got my number again. I'm going to have to change it.'"

• Little Jenny Humphrey is growing up fast. Not only is she going head to head with Blair, but she may be getting a love interest of her own. "He's a new character. Older guy, of course. She's not going to go for a younger guy! She's trying to be queen bee."

• When she's on set, Kelly Rutherford, who plays Lily van der Woodsen, is often mistaken by the paparazzi for one of her younger costars. "I'm like, 'It's not worth it. I'm the mom! I'm the mom! Don't kill yourself."

Nan Zhang, who plays Kati Farkas, one of Blair's cronies, might not be back next season. She went back to school at Brown to continue her studies in molecular biology.

Jessica Szohr, who plays Dan's friend Vanessa, was cast when she showed up to a barbecue at Josh Schwartz's house as a guest of one of his friends. Josh and another executive producer thought she was perfect for the role. --Jenny SundelNeilson Barnard/Getty

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