Five years of playing American bad boy “Chuck Bass” on “Gossip Girl” have made British actor Ed Westwick one of the biggest names on US television. Talk Asia sits down with the 24-year-old to discuss the popularity of the show, how he nearly missed out on his career-making role and he shares his experiences of working with some Hollywood’s biggest names.
“Gossip Girl”is shot on location in the heart of New York City and is based on a popular series of young-adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar that explore the lives of a group of privileged adolescents. The show’s popularity has seen its stars become idols across the globe. But for Westwick, a problem with his working visa nearly saw the actor dropped from the show before it even started. He recalls how he felt as his nervously waited for the go-ahead.
“I don’t think I allowed myself to panic too much, because if I would have done, I don’t know, the whole world would have crumbled down around me. Fortunately what happened is I had a fantastic immigration lawyer, who met me in Toronto, which is apparently the place you go to get quickie visas!”
Born and bred in the U.K., Westwick’s first acting role was in the 2006 British film “Breaking and Entering” directed by the late Anthony Mingella. He says the experience was invaluable and exciting.
“All of a sudden you are 17-years old and you find yourself on this film set with an Oscar winning director, and film stars like Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Ray Winstone and Robin Wright Penn. And it was just like this is pretty cool, everyone is super nice and it’s fantastic. And you’re just like, wow, this is great. It’s summer and I’m 17, turning 18 on set, and they bought me an iPod for my birthday.”
The 24-year old is also a singer in the band “The Filthy Youth” but has had to put his musical aspirations on hold after moving to New York. But Westwick won’t rule out a musical career in the future. “We get inspired for films through music. You only have to look at Quentin Tarantino, who said that whenever he is having an idea for a film what he does is he will go through his record collection… I don’t feel like anyone should have any reservations about pursuing one art form just because they are established in an another.”
Highlights of Ed Westwick’s interview with TALK ASIA will be available online at http://www.cnn.com/talkasia after the first airing.
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