The Wit and Wisdom of Penn Badgley

Penn Badgley

Photo: Getty Images

You may have noticed that your hard-laboring Daily Intel editors had a story in the print version of New York today, in which we shouted out to the world that Gossip Girl is the Greatest Show of Our Time, and we are not embarrassed to proclaim it. Well, as is the case when many bloggers write magazine articles, much of it was left on the cutting-room floor, including, specifically, many precious gems of brilliance from the mind of Penn Badgley, a.k.a. Dan Humphrey, the literary soul of the show. In honor of tonight’s grand return of new episodes of Gossip Girl, and in preparation for tomorrow’s triumphant revival of our famous episode recaps, we present to you Quotes From an Outsider:

On Beauty: “I don’t know what it is about me, um, probably that I am not quite as beautiful as Chace.”

On Gossip Girl’s Faults: “The Gossip Girl idea and ideologies, like, they sort of encourage this certain kind of like materialism and superficiality that isn’t, I would say, the best thing in the world.”

On His Male Fans: “A lot of times he’ll come up, you know, and it will just be a guy. And he’ll be like, ‘Yeah, dude, my wife loves the show. She’d be so excited if she knew I met you.’ And it’s always like, through his wife. And then a lot of times, as the night goes on, he’ll have a couple more drinks in him, he’ll be like, ‘Dude, you know what? I love the show too! I really do! I love it so much! Dude, I cannot believe…’ and he goes on about the story lines…”

On Female Fans: “[One day] I couldn’t find the Met, as odd as that sounds, I was walking around like 80th in Madison just in like regular clothing a hat and a scarf, and all of a sudden I hear [high-pitched chirping voice], ‘Dan! Dan! Dan! Dan! Dan!’ And all of a sudden I see a couple of schoolgirls. Literally, like, schoolgirls in like plaid skirts and collared shirts, and I was like, ‘Oh, hiii.’ … It was like sonar, ‘Dan! Dan! Dan!’ and then all of a sudden there were like 50 of them all wearing the plaid skirts. They came out from all these places. And they’re all screaming, ‘Dan!’ and there was just this glaze over their eyes. They looked like a deer who’d been bitten by a lion.”

On New York Private-School-Kid Fans: “You have, like, the girls that go to these schools and sort of live that life, and when they come up to you, there’s a certain entitlement. They almost act like we’re wasting their time when they come up to take pictures with us, and they give us a little bit of attitude. Like this 12-year-old came up to me, and she’s like, ‘Um, you’re Penn Badgley.” And I was like, ‘Yeah, how do you know that?’ And she was like, ‘Ummmmmmm everybody knows who you are? Gossip Girl?’ And she said it in this way like, ‘Wow, you’re disappointing.’ You know, like, ‘Shouldn’t you know that?”

On Reality: “Josh [Schwartz] is a very talented writer, Stephanie [Savage] is a very talented writer, but they are obviously also very smart business people as well. I mean if they were, you know, starving for art, they would be writing plays in New York but they are writing a TV show in L.A.”

On Celebrity: “I want to do film. I want to be an actor — I don’t want to be a celebrity. They are two different things, and people have forgotten that they are different. Because if you are one, you can be generally the other. Like if you are a celebrity, then anyone will let you be in a film or on a TV show, and if you’re an actor, chances are if you are successful, you are becoming a celebrity.”

On the Experience: As Dan Humphrey, “I almost feel like I’m removed sometimes from the Gossip Girl world. Not all the time but in certain situations. I walked in the trailer the other day, the makeup trailer, and there’s a bunch of new characters, like Penelope and Hazel. And they’re all there, like chattering about whatever it is, and I thought like, Wow, this show has become like this whole other thing. Like now we’re bringing on so many other characters and it’s this brand and people know they can use it, and it’s incredible to watch because it’s like this fusion of business and art and like creativity and commercial success. Josh and Stephanie do that well.”

Related: The Genius of Gossip Girl [NYM]

The Wit and Wisdom of Penn Badgley