The new generation of Upper East Siders who’ll be replacing Blake Lively and Leighton Meester in HBO Max’s highly anticipated Gossip Girl reboot is beginning to take shape. (Though unfortunately, it's not as inclusive as we'd been led to expect.) As of this week, it looks like the original CW series’s narrator, Kristen Bell, will be joined almost entirely by new faces. In fact, the reboot’s core trio—Emily Alyn Lind, Eli Brown, and Whitney Peak—hadn’t even hit their teens when Gossip Girl first aired. Get to know the newly minted Upper East Siders, who’ll be joined by the High Fidelity breakout Thomas Doherty and the OG style blogger Tavi Gevinson, here.
Tavi Gevinson was all of 16 years old when the sixth and final season of the original CW Gossip Girl aired its finale. The show even predates her blog Style Rookie, which was originally what launched her to fame. All the same, Gevinson’s blogger beginnings—not to mention her encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture—make her a perfect fit for the series. Now 23, the writer has since pivoted to Broadway, in between doing cameos on shows like Scream Queens and sharing her best Elizabeth Holmes and Gigi Hadid impressions on Instagram.
It’s been a big year for Gevinson and Adam Chanler-Berat. The pair also star in Assassins, an upcoming Broadway play about what motivates people who try to assassinate presidents. (Chaler-Berat plays John Hinckley Jr., an American man who attempted to murder Ronald Reagan in 1981.) The 33-year-old actor, who is a proud Elizabeth Warren supporter, made his off-Broadway debut back in 2008, and occasionally makes cameos on shows like The Good Wife and Veep.
Whitney Peak made her feature-film debut in 2017, alongside Idris Elba and Jessica Chastain in Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game. The 17-year-old, who was born in Uganda and raised in Canada, also plays the enigmatic Judith in Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina—a role that seems likely to grow much more prominent next season.
Eli Brown has some experience as a TV series regular: Last year, he played Dylan Walker in Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars sequel—a role that also marked his first-ever acting job. The 20-year-old actor, who also makes music, is from Eugene, Oregon. According to a PLL fan site, his favorite junk food is jalapeño chips.
Born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Zión Moreno was 19 when she signed with the powerhouse modeling agencies Wilhelmina and Elite. Moreno, who is transgender, has since shifted her focus to acting, and recently appeared on TNT’s Claws.
If the past few months are any indication, 2020 is Thomas Doherty’s breakout year. The 25-year-old, who was born and raised in Scotland, is fresh off of establishing himself as a heartthrob on Hulu’s High Fidelity, which saw him play one of Zoë Kravitz’s many paramours. Last year, he also landed a coveted TV costar: Helen Mirren, whom he acted alongside in HBO’s Catherine the Great. He had already established himself as a mainstay of the Disney Channel: He played the son of Captain Hook in the popular Descendants franchise.
Of the cast that’s been announced so far, Johnathan Fernandez is most certainly the crew’s vet. The Brooklyn-born 46-year-old is a writer, actor, producer, comedian, and longtime active member of the Writer’s Guild of America. He’s also previously starred on a number of TV series, including Lethal Weapon, and will join Jared Leto in the Spider-verse film Morbius later this year.
Emily Alyn Lind
Emily Alyn Lind was Gossip Girl’s first confirmed series regular, and there are still more details about her role than the rest of them put together. The 17-year-old native New Yorker will play Audrey, a high schooler in a committed relationship who’s starting to miss being single. Lind was 6 when she made her onscreen debut, as a younger version of Dakota Fanning's character in the Secret Life of Bees. She’s currently filming the sequel to The Babysitters, a Netflix horror film with Bella Thorne.
So far, Jason Gotay has stuck almost entirely to the stage, appearing in Broadway productions like Bring It On, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and Evita. He’ll also soon join Anna Kendrick on Love Life, another upcoming show on HBO Max.