October 22, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Penn Badgley talks about girlfriend Blake Lively and “Gossip Girl”

By Fred Topel

HollywoodNews.com: Gossip Girl returns for its fourth season on The CW September 13. Its leading man, Penn Badgley, has a movie coming out the 17th called Easy A. While he was promoting the film, Badgley filled us in on the new drama coming this fall, and talked about his real life girlfriend, co-star Blake Lively too.

Q: What’s new on Gossip Girl this season?

Penn Badgley: We’ve done six so we’ve been back for a while. I can’t say much but there is baby on the way.

Q: For whom?

PB: I can’t say. I can’t say but Georgina’s back. There’s a brush with death in the beginning.

Q: The very first episode back?

PB: Yeah, first couple I think.

Q: For you or someone else?

PB: I can’t say. Trust me, if I could tell you, I’d just lay it all out.

Q: What about the romantic situation?  You’re involved with so many women.

PB: Oh God, yeah. Let’s see, it’s hard to keep track. Like honestly it’s so all over the place and convoluted. It’s what you come to expect but heightened even. Paris is obviously gorgeous. I was not in Paris but I’ve seen some of the stuff and it’s.

Q: How much will we feel Paris in the show?

PB: The first three episodes so it’s a good welcome back.

Q: But I mean, you know, as far as in the body of the show, will the viewers really notice this is somewhere else?

PB: Oh no they were shooting.  I mean that’s why they went there, they took advantage of it. If they’re going to spend their money on it, they’re going to milk it for all its worth so you see Paris in a very gorgeous way.

Q: What is the theme to this season?

PB: Sex, love, and money. I don’t know.  That’s kind of roughly for every season.

Q: What do you love about your character?

PB: I think, at his best, he’s a really great guy. He’s a special guy. He has a heart, he has a soul, which not all of the characters quite do. Dan is thrust into the middle of the rumor mill and forced to deal with it and therefore often times have lapses in judgment and is far too judgmental himself. You know, he’s a bit hypocritical. In fact he’s very hypocritical.

Q: This is the fourth year on Gossip Girl now. How has that grown and changed for you?

PB: In a lot of ways. In the beginning, every now and then when I’d remember what it was like coming to New York in the beginning, it’s still incredibly special but I remember then it just being such and exotic experience.  Now what’s amazing is that we’ve all taken it in stride and we love the experience and we’re comfortable with it and we’re looking for other ways to stretch and step outside of our comfort zones. At least I know creatively that’s what I’m looking for and in every role now hopefully I’ll been doing then.

Q: What impact has Gossip Girl had one your life? Besides your profile for work, you also met your girlfriend on the show.

PB: Yeah, it definitely has affected my life. It has decreased privacy I suppose but privacy is not a commodity until you don’t have it, really.  So that’s almost irrelevant anyway but for every undesirable latent affect that being on the show has had, there’s a million other great things about it. So it has changed my life maybe in some ways that are unexpected and hard to cope with sometimes,  but for the most part, its been a wealth of opportunity. I mean I’ve been able to do films. I get to live in New York and I’m not a starving student.  I get to be surrounded by beautiful women and date one.

Q: How hard is it to maintain a relationship with someone you work with?

PB: You know, we’ve been able to make it work very easily.  That’s not an issue somehow. I mean we manage to, I think, because the lifestyles we lead. We’ll spend some time apart, we’ll spend two months out of the year apart when we’re both doing two separate projects which makes us appreciate one another. Our lifestyles sort of cultivate the environment for making things work, I think. We’re both experiencing success.  There’s zero competition or jealousy, which if I was sitting on the couch eating popcorn and she was off making The Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds I’d be like, “Wait a second! Wait a second!” But you know, we’re both in really wonderful positions.

Q: Well, besides working together, how do you maintain a relationship when you’re both so busy?

PB: Honestly, we do have something unique and special. We’re both experiencing the same kind of thing, we’re going through this experience together which is important for us. We’re both going through something that we otherwise wouldn’t really have a partner throughout. It’s an experience that you kind of need somebody by your side who really understands it. Or at least it helps to have that. So you know, we do find a good balance. It’s honestly not difficult at all.

Q: What good and bad things have come with fame?

PB: The good things are, in a world where everyone’s too busy to treat anyone with respect, you actually are given it. Whether it’s wanted or not, this is another thing but you’re given this sort of treatment that everyone deserves so that’s a nice thing. I mean you don’t have to wait for tables. You can get in anywhere which is the way that everyone should be. You shouldn’t have to do that. It’s kind of absurd thing to do, so you’re treated well and it’s a wonderful thing to experience. I mean I know I’m very fortunate and there’s money and there’s attention. Everybody needs attention. I mean if you handle it well it really just is an amazing thing to be experiencing but there’s the bad side and that’s the side that’s so come hither and then you get caught in this web and it’s easy to kind of go in that direction and kind of get lost in it and overindulge, but even then that can be very fun as long as you don’t do it for too long.

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About Fred Topel

Fred Topel has been an entertainment journalist in Los Angeles since 1999, for websites like Daily Radar, About.com, Crave Online and Sci Fi Wire. Follow his celebrity encounters on Twitter @FredTopel.

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