It was bound to happen eventually. Like all good obsessives, the orbits we've created around Gossip Girl executive producers Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz have been shrinking and shrinking ever since we started recapping the show in September 2007. We interviewed both of them for our bodice-ripping cover story in April, but we didn't meet them in person until last night, when the pair appeared at the Apple store in Soho for a talk, and to celebrate the success of their show on iTunes.
We approached the evening with a little trepidation. A publicist had invited us (and saved us front-row seats!), but what if Josh and Stephanie thought we were stalkers?
Turns out, both of them were perfectly happy to meet us. Or polite, at the very least. Nobody got hugged or anything. But they were very gracious about our insane support, and we even chilled with Josh's mom! Other than that, it was pretty unremarkable. They're smaller in person. And neither of us peed ourselves or even tried to smell their hair. They did tell us (and later the audience, during a chat moderated by Jay McInerney) some secrets about the show. Of course, we wrote them down for you! Here's what we learned:
• The cast will, indeed, go to college next year. "One of the problems with 90210, for example, was that their stage was high school," Savage told us. "We feel like ours is New York." There are many colleges in New York, they explained, pointing out that the education element is not central to the show — they don't even have a classroom set. "And some of them won't go to school, let's be honest," Schwartz cracked.
• Even though Kelly Rutherford (a.k.a. Lily van der Woodsen) is newly pregnant, they won't be writing a baby into the script. "We'll write around it," Savage assured us.
• New York, and the Palace Hotel specifically, are great places to film — and are happy to embrace even a show that depicts underage drinking, drug use, and limo sex. "When we filmed The O.C., we couldn't even get a permit to fly a helicopter over the beach," Schwartz said. "We're grateful New York has lower standards."
• There will be (as one commenter pointed out) a new villain introduced soon: Jack Bass, uncle of Chuck! Dum Dum DUM!
• Our New York cover story (remember? "Best. Show. Ever."?) was part of how they knew they'd made it!
• Stephanie Savage is the cutest little thing!
• Savage and Schwartz loved Ed Westwick from the moment he came in to read (for the role of Nate!). "But he looks like a serial killer!" the network protested.
• Some of our beloved characters will be returning! "You might not have seen the last of Georgina Sparks," Schwartz told the crowd. "It's hard to imagine a boarding school for bad girls in Idaho would be able to hold her for long," Savage said.
• We are "older type media." That's what an audience member called us and Gawker (Awkwardly! We were sitting right next to her!) while asking whether our exhaustive coverage bothered them. They said they read it but they don't let it affect them. (Savage reads our recaps closely! And she wants you to know that Kim Ly IS a real Vietnamese name and it DOES mean "Golden Lion.")
• Jay McInerney knows a LOT about Gossip Girl. Seriously, he asked every question we could have thought of. It's partially because he was on the show, and partially because his daughter is obsessed. Also, Jay is funny. One of his last (quite correct) questions was: "How did Penn get published in The New Yorker when he was 18? I was 32…"
We didn't take our pictures with Josh and Stephanie because we thought if we published one of us all together on the blog, it would explode. But we did get to see a sneak preview of the next episode. And oh boy, is it gonna be good.