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Gossip Girl Boss Talks Bringing Back Those Original Characters in Episode 10: 'Just Being With Them Was a Joy'

TVLine
TVLine
 2021-12-02
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Gossip Girl celebrated the fifth night of Hanukkah by blessing us with the biggest reunion of characters from the original series yet.

In a well-intended effort to boost her mother’s fashion career, Audrey finagled a pair of invitations to a Hanukkah dinner with a Council of Fashion Designers of America board member — also known as Eleanor Waldorf.

Not only did Margaret Colin reprise her role as Blair’s mother, but viewers were also reunited with Wallace Shawn as Cyrus Rose, Zuzanna Szadkowski as Dorota Kishlovsky and Aaron Schwartz as Dorota’s husband Vanya.

“Just being with them was a joy, because they themselves are icons as humans, and as their characters,” showrunner Joshua Safran tells TVLine, adding that he reached out to Szadkowski first “and it was just a hop, skip and a jump to the rest of them. Being there to watch them was a joy, writing for them was a joy and making Margaret speak Yiddish was a joy.”

Actually, there’s a funny story about that last one: “I don’t know how it happened, but there were only three Jews on set that day,” Safran recalls. “Wally’s not Jewish, even though Cyrus is. The three Jews on set were me, [co-executive producer] April Blair and my assistant.” Since none of the actors were Jewish, “we had to lead everyone in the prayer. So when you hear the prayer in the episode, it’s actually us singing. It was the Hanukkah episode with no Jews.”

Though Leighton Meester didn’t appear in the episode, we did learn a few more fun facts about what Blair is up to today. For example, Eleanor retired from the business side of Waldorf Designs last year, leaving the company to her daughter, who apparently spends much of her time in Paris. We also learned that Cyrus’ son Aaron has gone on to great success, with his work being hung in the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Of course, there is one thing Safran would have done differently about this episode — if only it had been possible.

“The thing that’s saddest to me was that we had to strike the Waldorf penthouse at the end of the first Gossip Girl ,” he laments. “To rebuild it just for this sequence would have been cost prohibitive, so we had to come up with a reason for why they aren’t living there anymore. It would have been great.”

OK, let’s talk: How excited were you to see these characters back in the world of Gossip Girl ? And how does this episode stack up against TVLine’s favorite Hanukkah episodes of TV? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.

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