As you may recall, the CW hit made waves on Sept. 19, 2007, following the popularity of the book series written Cecily von Ziegesar, quickly catapulting Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Ed Westwick, Chace Crawford and Penn Badgley to fame.
In honor of the major anniversary, Vanity Fair caught up with the cast and crew—including creators Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz as well as writer Joshua Safran—who revealed some surprising facts not even the show’s biggest fans may have known about.
“We learned a lot of lessons [on The O.C.] and its kind of crazy four-year run that we wanted to take and apply to something moving forward,” Schwartz said. “And we were really excited about doing something in New York.”
“We didn’t see a lot of other girls for Serena,” Schwartz said. “She has to be somebody that you believe would be sitting in the front row at Fashion Week eventually.”
3. But Lively Wasn’t So Sure: She wanted to get her degree. “I said, ‘No, I want to go to college. Thank you, though,'” Lively recalled. “Then they said, ‘OK, you can go to Columbia [University] one day a week. After the first year [of the show], it’ll quiet down. Your life will go back to normal and you can start going to school. We can’t put it in writing, but we promise you can go.’ So that’s why I said, ‘OK. You know what? I’ll do this.'”
She never ended up finishing college.
But her recollection doesn’t entirely match her actions at the time.
5. The Two Girls Couldn’t Have Been Any More Different: “Blake is very much in the moment. Blake knows what’s happening. She knows this movie’s coming out, this band is happening,” Safran recalled. “Leighton [on the other hand] was very removed and very quiet, and, after her scenes were done, she would wander the stage. I had this image of her just in these gorgeous dresses with a book in her hand, sort of a little bit out of focus out in the corners.”
6. And They Weren’t BFFs: “Blake and Leighton were not friends,” Safran continued. “They were friendly, but they were not friends like Serena and Blair. Yet the second they’d be on set together, it’s as if they were.”
“We had these girls coming up to us, and they were kind of freaking out about it: ‘Oh, we love the books.’ [Ed and I] kept looking at each other like, shit, man,” Crawford recalled.
Giovanni Rufino / The CW