Blake Lively's audition tape is proof that she was always the perfect person to play Serena Van Woodsen on Gossip Girl.
Following news that CW execs wanted Ashley Olsen and Rumer Wills for the roles of Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf and Serena Van Woodsen, fans are going crazy over Blake's newly resurfaced audition tape. According to Us Weekly, Blake is acting out a scene from the pilot, which aired Sept. 19, 2007, in which she tries to make up with her BFF Blair (Leighton Meester).
In spite of the buzz, casting director David Rapaport told Buzzfeed, he always had Blake in mind for the role. "Blake Lively was literally the only person I could think of for Serena," he said. "I had seen her in Accepted [a 2006 comedy co-starring Justin Long] and at that time, there were no Lena Dunhams or Zooey Deschanels — it was all about beauty and glamour, but being approachable and Blake was the ultimate It Girl. I was terrified we wouldn't get her or they wouldn't like her because, honestly, the show lived and died on her and I had absolutely no other ideas. And I read so many people. I think at the end of the day, we tested Blake, Katie Cassidy, who is now on Arrow, and this girl who was [Serena] on the Gossip Girl books. Not even her face, just her legs. But it made sense."
And as if David knew we can't get enough of behind-the-scenes Gossip Girl info, he gave us more, adding, "Blake was the front-runner. We did a screen test with her and the note we got back was that she was 'sunny California' and they said, 'I don't think we'll buy her as an Upper East Side debutante.' And Josh said, 'Well, Mischa Barton is from New York and I sold her as a sunny California girl; there's no reason people won't.'"
"So, we did another screen test with Blake and all we did was straighten her hair to make her look a little more sophisticated, so to speak," he continued. "What's ironic is, in the pilot, she ends up having the wavy hair. From there on out, so much of the casting on Gossip Girl became about the hair because Leighton Meester is naturally blonde and the way we got her the job was we dyed her hair. Ultimately they were the best actors for it and brought something really special to their roles."
Agreed. There's no denying David and the execs made the right choices by choosing both of them, given that they gave epic performance after performance. We're so about to watch the show all over again.