When we last saw her in Episode 4.5, Vanessa had fallen into yet another manipulative trap, this time Juliet’s, with the whole debacle over Serena’s cell phone. But after four seasons of getting manipulated, Jessica Szohr says it’s time for Vanessa to take control of her life.

“We're on our fourth season right now, so I've been playing Vanessa for awhile,” Szohr told Wetpaint at Desiron in NYC. “I talked to the writers in the beginning and said, ‘You know, she's always everyone's really good friend and always there, and she kind of gets shafted sometimes. So you guys have to give her an arc where she steps up and doesn't keep getting taken advantage of.’ And they did that, so we'll see how people respond to it.”

So what can we look forward to for Vanessa? “She tries to take someone down — with the help of a few others. It was interesting and fun, something very different for her.”

As an actor, Szohr says that being even a small part of the development process with the writers was exciting. “I wasn't so much, I just threw out the idea and said these are my thoughts. Everyone is such a wonderful team there; you always need every piece of the puzzle to make it work. The writers are always in L.A. so we don't really get to work with them or see them that often. But they took it and wrote that in there for a little bit, so we'll see how it works.”

After Blake Lively and Penn Badgley’s recent break-up, Szohr has remained mum about the mood on-set. “I don’t wanna talk about people’s personal life,” she says. “I just want my friends and my co-stars to be happy.”