Our inner Gossip Girl couldn’t help noticing yesterday at Rebecca Minkoff’s show that Chuck Bass’s new lady love, actress Tika Sumpter, had been seated right next to Ed Westwick’s actual ex, Jessica Szohr. Awkward! In reality, the girls looked like they’d never met; Szohr’s character Vanessa has been at her parents’ house in Vermont for the whole of Sumpter’s run on the show. And as Sumpter told us, her relationship with Westwick is strictly professional. “Like any sex scene, it’s very awkward and weird,” she said of her time spent making out with Westwick. “We make the scene happen the way it’s supposed to happen and then it’s over. But he’s a great guy. He always wants to run lines.” Sigh. Well, a gossip can dream.
Sumpter said she’s digging her character’s “sex like a man” philosophy. “I love that she can have one guy in the bathroom and another guy at the door and can be like, ‘Look, you can come back later, and if I feel like it, maybe.’” She also said come Monday, “you’re going to see how much she likes him and how much he likes her and how things kind of got really complicated.”
In real life, Sumpter is enjoying all the extra invites and attention. She sat front row at BCBG and will go to Alice + Olivia. Earlier this week, we spotted her among such serious actors as Jesse L. Martin, Billy Crudup, and Alec Baldwin at Second Stage Theatre’s All-Star Bowling Classic, where both Sumpter and Yaya DaCosta managed to break nails. “I bowled so badly,” Sumpter told us, “which is doubly sad because I used to be in a league when I was a kid.”
“Life has definitely changed,” she said. “People notice me more. That show is really, really popular!” (Sumpter’s most prominent credit before this was One Life to Live.) And while she’s spending her Valentine’s Day having a “single girl drinking party” with her friends, she has found that since joining the Gossip Girl cast, she’s been getting a lot more male attention. “I am getting asked out more!” she said. “Guys in my friends’ amazing friend circle suddenly started asking me out. I like to think it’s because of my personality. But it’s like some karmic explosion happened.”