12/09/2013 at 10:45 AM EST
From gossip to literature.
Former Gossip Girl
star Leighton Meester
will make her Broadway debut next year as a beautiful temptress in the revival of Of Mice and Men
Producers said Monday that Meester will join James Franco
and Chris O'Dowd in the story about an unlikely friendship between two migrant field workers in California during the Great Depression.
The story by John Steinbeck centers on big-dreaming George and the mentally challenged Lennie. Meester, who starred in the film Country Strong
, will play the wife of a ranch boss who fascinates Lennie – "she's purty," he tells his friend – and endangers their fates.
The play, which starts performances in March at the Longacre Theatre, has not been seen on Broadway in 40 years. Tony Award-winner Anna D. Shapiro will direct.