To Become the Torturer, Michelle Trachtenberg Had to Be the Tortured

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Newest Gossip Girl cast member Michelle Trachtenberg really knows what she's doing as evil, conniving underminer Georgina Sparks. As it turns out, the 22-year-old is drawing on her own painful teen experience: The Harriet the Spy star was, she told us last night at the launch party for Gen Art's Styles International Design Competition, "tortured" by her classmates at her L.A. private school. "Everyone knew who I was, and a lot of people resented that, so I actually had quite a difficult school experience," she said. "I cannot say that I have any childhood school friends." Really? We can't imagine why not. They were obviously just jealous, we said. So, how was she tortured?

"Calling the principal on me, saying this and that," she said. "The poor principal was like, 'I know it's not true.' I'm like, 'I know!'" Oh, well at least the principal was on her side. That always endears kids to classmates. "I remember my freshman year in high school walking through the halls and someone was like [meathead voice] 'HARRIET!'" she went on. "I'm like, 'Dude, that means you watched it. Like, you saw it. So actually, who's, like, the loser calling out Harriet?'" Anyway, she's totally over it now. "Now I'm like, um, yeah, I look hot in a little black dress, so … whatchoo got?" Ha! Fame and hotness are the best revenge, right? But then Michelle grew thoughtful. "I wouldn't necessarily say revenge," she mused. "I think it's appreciation of where I am and knowing that they — sort of rising above. I know that's really weird, but it's sort of like a phoenix thing if everyone tries to burn you down, you're still going to rise above it." —Darrell Hartman

Related: Michelle Trachtenberg Is Totally A Method Actor