Josh Safran on Not Knowing Gossip Girl’s Identity: “It Was Better For All of Us”
The day the earth stood still — AKA December 17, 2012, when Gossip Girl’s identity was revealed as the whole show came tumbling to a stop — is one we’ve mainly blocked out of our heads, with a little help from our dear friend Xanax. But just as we were shocked when Dan(Penn Badgley) was revealed as GG (if this is a spoiler for you, you are tragically behind the times), so was a certain former showrunner.
From the second episode of the series through the end of Season 5, Josh Safran was one of the BMOUES (figure it out). But just because he was running that town didn’t mean he knew all its secrets. “I did not [know],” Josh told blog Give Me My Remote about the hidden identity. “Over the years it shifted, but I think where they landed was absolutely the right place to go.”
Although Co-EP Stephanie Savage stipulated that Dan was always Gossip Girl, Josh seems to be a little less on board with that idea. “For a while, I thought it was Eric. We all thought it was Eric. But I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but I think it would have worked. But then Connor Paolo (Eric) wasn’t on the show anymore.” Yep, that would be a problem. We hear the internet in the Hamptons is not ideal... (That’s a Revenge joke, k?)
We can’t even imagine how tough it must have been to write about a show when you don’t know the secret your audience also, um, doesn’t know. But Josh has a different perspective on crafting a show around an elephant in the loft. He says of the process, “I actually think it was better for all of us because it freed us up story-wise. I think if we had known, we would have gotten a little too suspended and wouldn’t have been able to do some of the plot stuff we were able to.” Careful show combers would beg to differ, but all’s well that ends.