Penn Badgley Interview -- JustJared.com Exclusive
Penn Badgley attends the Heineken-sponsored U.S. Open Player Party at NYC’s Skyline Studios on Friday (August 28). The 22-year-old Gossip Girl actor hung out in the VIP area with his on-screen dad Matthew Settle (pictured below) and his real-life wife Naama Nativ. Here’s JustJared.com exclusive interview with Penn:
PB: You’re Just Jared? I feel like I’m meeting a celebrity right now!
JJ: I’m just a blogger! Are you a big tennis fan?
PB: You’re so nice! Well, my dad was an avid player, so it’s in my world. (Hence the name Penn, a tennis brand.) I’ve always been aware of it and I’ve always kind of enjoyed it, but I haven’t watched it. In the past two or three years, I’ve started to watch.
JJ: Have you ever been to the US Open or Wimbledon?
PB: No! Every year we’ve been in New York shooting, I’ve wanted to go but I haven’t been able to because of the show. But now, this year, the final is on a Sunday so we’re gonna go!
(Click inside to read JustJared.com‘s exclusive interview with Penn Badgley…)
JJ: Are you working on anything besides Gossip Girl?
PB: Yeah, I’ve got The Stepfather coming out on October 16 – it’s like a thriller. It’s actually very good – I think you’re going to be surprised by how not bad it is.
No, I mean, most thrillers are so bad generally and this one is really surprisingly solid. And hopefully people will see that it’s not full of twists and turns and blood and gore it’s just a simpler, better movie.
JJ: What’s your character’s name?
PB: His name is Michael and he’s a reformed…for lack of a better word, f— up. He’s back at military school and he finds that his stepfather is suspicious.
JJ: During hiatus, you went to Thailand [with costar/girlfriend Blake Lively]. How did you like it?
PB: It was just incredible – the most amazing experience. I was just shocked by it because it was our cheaper alternative to Africa. I don’t know why we chose that. It was such a unique place. I really had no idea they had such a rich culture. I shouldn’t have assumed they didn’t, but for whatever reason, I’d never really thought much about Thailand and I was really surprised by the culture.
JJ: Did you bring home any souvenirs?
PB: Yeah, I got a lot of stuff for my dad, who is very spiritual, so I got him stuff from temples and took video of the temples, which are very special. The most spiritual thing we did was ride elephants. They are incredible creatures and I honestly wasn’t expecting it.
I was, like, “Oh, I’m gonna ride an elephant! This will be sort of terrifying and fun.” Because they’re enormous – but they’re unbelievably smart and communicative. I had a literal, physical feeling in my chest. It was religious, nearly – I’m not religious but it was unbelievable.
JJ: Blake told me they drew…
PB: They paint, man! It’s really mind-blowing. We paid $300 for six hours with our own elephant each. We rode them into the river, we bathed them in the river, got back on them, rode them into the jungle and painted!
JJ: Do you have your painting up in your bedroom now?
PB: Blake’s is beautiful. She has hers. Mine didn’t come out so well.
JJ: What did you get Blake for her birthday?
PB: I got her a painting from a Russian street artist.
JJ: Can I ask where she is tonight?
JJ: What is your schedule like for Gossip Girl this season?
PB: It’s always different, but whoever works on Friday works until, like, 2 in the morning, so it’s not as glamorous as you’d expect. You do work a lot.
JJ: Is your character [Dan Humphrey] dorming?
PB: No. I thought he was but he’s not. There’s a…well, I don’t want to give too much away…but I guess they’ve already given it away online and stuff. YOU’VE given it away [on your blog]! (laughs)
Dan has a little fling with Georgina. I don’t know what I can and can’t say, you know?
JJ: How was it kissing Hilary Duff?
PB: It’s such an unromantic experience! Not only is the crew surrounding us, but there’s a million f—in’ paparazzi – literally, every time we’d do it, we’d hear a machine gun shutter speed.
JJ: They caught every millisecond!
PB: Yeah, I can tell! It was very…it’s a job, you know what I mean?
JJ: How many Tic-Tacs did you take before kissing her?
PB: None. Naturally minty breath.