From the sneak peeks I’ve seen, Julien is extremely well versed in fashion—those cast photos on the Met steps just drove me wild. But you can tell that Julien and several of the other characters are wearing really current fashion and designers. Julien is wearing knee-high Schutz boots with her Constance Billard uniform, and there’s that stunning Christopher John Rogers gown. How do you think these styling elements reflect Julien’s power of influence? Does it mean she’s literally a fashion influencer?
That is the vibe. Julien has just such a natural air about her that she’s become almost like an accidental influencer. Like, she just happens. She’s also extraordinarily wealthy and well-connected. So you know, there’s that, but she just has this natural vibe to her, where things that she gravitates toward just happen to become super trendy, or maybe the way that she’s presenting it, people really emulate that. That’s her whole vibe. She’s just one of those people. She’s an It girl. Whatever it is, whatever she does, that’s the thing.
Almost in an older-school, Serena van der Woodsen kind of way. But Serena was less aware of her power, and Julien seems to have a little bit more control over this influence. Again, just from the photos I’ve seen. I could be extrapolating down a totally different path.
No, she’s savvy. She’s savvy. She knows how to apply herself. She knows that she has that natural, raw element to her. And then, she can see how to capitalise on that, which is like the calculating element of Julien. It is naturally just within her. But she’s also very aware of how to utilise that [and] how to wield her power and how to create the world that she wants to live in.
What about your personal style? How do you see that as similar to or different from Julien’s?
I’m really, really, really comfort-based like 90% of the time. I am literally wearing snow pants right now. Basically, I don’t like to be cold. My whole fashion is based on whether it’s cold, but I like being really extra. And I think that Julien likes being really extra, too, so when I am doing that, I feel like we have similarities, and then when I’m bumming around, wearing sweatpants like 90% of the time, that’s not very Julien. Julien would not be wearing sweatpants during COVID—she’d still have a look. Well, maybe she’d be wearing sweatpants, but it would be a ’fit. She would have meticulously crafted this sweatpant outfit. It’d be a thing.
I know you’re also a singer-songwriter, and several of your co-stars are also multi-talented. When you’re off-camera, does the cast share any of their other talents?
Totally. I know that Eli [Brown] and Tavi [Gevinson] have similar music tastes, and they’re interested in making music together. Emily is always doing musical things because she’s amazing. We went on a Thanksgiving trip upstate and made a song together, which was so cute. Emily played the ukulele, and we all went around the table adding a lyric. It was really fun.
That’s so fun. So this might be just my weird fantasy, but given all the musical talents on the cast, do you think there’s potential for a future fantasy musical episode? Or is that just a weird teen drama trope you think is passé?
I feel like I want everybody’s imagination to live. I don’t know where that would fit into Gossip Girl, but also, you never know. I think that all of us will be pursuing our musical endeavors, so there will be no shortage of it, even if it doesn’t manifest itself on the show.
Now that you know New York City a bit better, is there a particular neighborhood or a borough that you, Jordan, identify with most as opposed to Julien’s posh Upper East Side digs?
Bushwick, yeah! What do you like about Bushwick?
Well, recently, I was reading in the park by my house, and then I heard some music, and I walked over to see what it was, and it was this pop-up drag performance/trans visibility celebration. And it was so beautiful. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, yes! Anywhere this type of stuff is happening, put me there, please.” So I feel like I’m in the right spot.
That brings me to my next question. You’re a proud activist for the LGBTQIA+ community. Given that social media has made activism and awareness so much more visible than it was a decade ago, do you see these values reflected in the new era of Gossip Girl?
Yeah, I do. I definitely do. I think that we have come a very long way, and we continue to have a long way to go. That’s the thing about progress: It’s a continuation. You don’t arrive at a destination. I mean, maybe we would, and then that’s utopia, but we are constantly pushing. You know what I mean? Maybe gays are more accepted. Okay, cool. Now, it’s time to ride for our trans brothers and sisters and our trans siblings because it’s not just that we got in the door. It’s like, “Okay, now everybody else come on through.” So yeah, I feel like this is a set that is placed in the now, and there’s still progress to be made. But I feel like we’re in a good spot.
The reveal of the cast, slowly announcing who had joined, and the beautiful group pictures illuminate that this era of Gossip Girl will reflect the diversity and values that are more mainstream, almost a decade later. For such an influential TV show, it feels like a really big step, so I’m glad that, as a member of the cast, you feel that’s authentic to the storytelling as well.
I genuinely feel like a big effort is being made, and I’m happy about that. It’s wonderful.
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