Gossip Girl Preview: Will Chuck and Blair Reunite? Ed Westwick Teases the Juicy “Climax”

Gossip Girl Preview: Will Chuck and Blair Reunite? Ed Westwick Teases the Juicy “Climax”
by Megan Cherkezian, TVGuide.com

For all the Gossip Girl fans out there, it comes down to tonight’s episode (9 pm/ET, CW). We’ve seen the steamy romps, heard all the secrets and wondered who will prevail in this cat-and-mouse game. So to get some inside scoop, TVGuide.com caught up with British native Ed Westwick, who plays GG’s most evil Upper East Sider, Chuck. Will Chuck win Blair in the end? Westwick couldn’t spill all the beans, but he gave us some insight into the many layers of this twisted group of friends… and enemies.

TVGuide.com: I’m loving the show. It’s totally addictive.
Ed Westwick: That’s fantastic, I’m really glad to hear it.

TVGuide.com: Now, I’ve actually already seen this week’s episode….
Westwick: Oh, have you? A sneak preview, huh?

TVGuide.com: Yeah. I thought it was the best one!
Westwick: It feels like it’s kind of the climax almost, because everything is boiled up and it’s ready to explode. There’s the tiff that happens between Nate and Chuck. Blair has her breakdown…. S–t hits the fan, so to speak.

TVGuide.com: Blair’s world basically gets turned upside down. She’s really the focus.
Westwick: Yeah, I think what everyone got from the previous episodes is that she’s a control freak and has this hold on every aspect in her life — it appears that way. In this [episode], everything is ripped away from her. (Spoiler alert) Things are totally out of her control and she really struggles to deal with it and Serena comes to her rescue and persuades her to stay.

TVGuide.com: Do you think Nate and Chuck will reconcile someday?
Westwick: I have no idea. Who knows what angle the writers will [take], whenever they come back. I’m incredibly excited to see what happens. There is that relationship and that history of two best friends, and there’s always that possibility of getting back together, but Chuck [hasn’t] really done a light thing [by sleeping with Blair].

TVGuide.com: What do you love about playing Chuck?
Westwick: Well, it’s the multiple layers, it has to be. He has this dark side that has this interesting angle because the other characters are a nicer bunch, and Chuck has this demonic, evil side. But we saw in later episodes that he does help other people out and then goes back to his old ways with the whole love affair with Blair. He’s actually in love with her, he thinks he’s found the one. I think we’ve only seen a small part of what he is.

TVGuide.com: It’s nice that we do see a vulnerable, softer side of him when it comes to Blair.
Westwick: It was needed. It’s good to mix it up.

TVGuide.com: To let him show his feelings and jealousy.
Westwick: It’s just made him more interesting and helps the storyline.

TVGuide.com: Would you like to see Chuck and Blair reunite at some point?
Westwick: Maybe. You know, they always say opposites attract, but in this case they’re very much the same. The extent of her attraction toward him is not as much as his attraction for her. To put two characters like Chuck and Blair together and to see them go at it and see what they fire up can definitely provide very, very good entertainment.

TVGuide.com: Do you get recognized a lot now?
Westwick: I’m actually at home in London and I have been recognized here, which is strange. But in New York, I’ve had people come up to me and tell me how much they enjoy the show, which is great because it means people are watching and it means you’re doing your job well. It’s great to be a part of something that is successful. The show hasn’t even hit here yet, but people know already.

TVGuide.com: Do you guys all hang out off-set?
Westwick: We do. For me, especially, moving to the U.S. and not really having any friends, I relied on getting on with the rest of the cast and people I met through them. I was open to making friends, and luckily, I work with a great bunch of people and we really hit it off — there’s definitely lifelong friendships being formed.

TVGuide.com: So after this week’s ep, the strike cut us off. Have you been out to the picket lines at all?
Westwick: I have not. We finished in December, so I’ve been enjoying the holidays. It’s all you can do at a time like this. It’s one of those times that can be frustrating because the show’s been picking up momentum, but you have to get on with it — see friends, family, go on a vacation — and look forward to going back to work when people are ready. It’s nothing to worry about.

One Tree Hill Premiere Tonight!

The CW’s One Tree Hill: Reasons You Should Visit!

The when: Tuesdays at 9pm/ET, with a two-hour season premiere airing Jan. 8

Why watch?: This fun soap follows the lives of two basketball-loving half brothers and their group of friends in the town of Tree Hill, North Carolina. But the negative press the show often gets from critics is undeserved. OK, so it’s not the most subtle show, and you’re not going to find complicated plot twists. But the dialogue and the plots move along at a snappy pace — the characters are engaging and the show’s never boring. Sure, there are some unbelievable elements (too-cool jobs, dating members of real bands), but that’s typical of any soap. For the most part, OTH doesn’t take itself too seriously and the focus is primarily on relationships and friendships. When it does tackle a meaningful topic (such as a school shooting), it does so really well, and it carries the ramifications through several episodes.

Who’s who: Soulful Lucas narrates the beginning and ending of each episode. A heart condition put an end to his basketball days, so he’s turned to writing. His half brother Nathan is a reformed bad boy who was the star of his high school’s basketball team. He’s married to Lucas’ best friend Haley, a straight-A good girl who left a promising singing career. Lucas’ ex-girlfriend Peyton also has a love for music, but her expertise is behind the scenes. Her best friend is Brooke, a former party girl who had the ingenuity to start her own clothing line while still in high school.

What’s next: As the fourth season ended last June, the gang graduated from high school. This season picks up four years later, skipping the college years. The “kids” are now all in their early twenties, and we’ll find out if they continued down the paths they headed. Did Lucas get his novel published? Was Nathan able to shine brightly despite playing basketball at a very small school? Did his marriage to Haley survive the pressures of college and young parenthood? Did Peyton find success in the L.A. music biz? Did Brooke grow as a designer through her fashion studies? Is Dan still in jail?

Say what?!: The show is filmed on location in North Carolina, with Wilmington standing in for the titular town. The name One Tree Hill is borrowed from the U2 song “One Tree Hill.”

What do you say? Tree Hill fans, tell others why this show should be bragged about instead of bashed! — Jennifer Sankowski

One Tree Hill Preview: Sophia Bush Teases Flashbacks, Shocking Changes and More
by Megan Cherkezian

It’s finally here. For One Tree Hill fans, the much-anticipated Season 5 airs tonight with a special two-hour premiere (8 pm/ET, CW). Along with a significant jump ahead in time, we’ll see some rocky relationships, emotional turmoil and new faces, but many questions loom. Will there be a proposal? Will they all return home? And where did the strike make its cut? Sophia Bush talked with TVGuide.com about the upcoming twists and turns of the Tree Hill gang and why skipping the college years might just save this show.

TVGuide.com: I’m so excited for the premiere; we’re four years ahead now.
Sophia Bush: I really am, too. It’s one of the neater things we’ve ever gotten to do, and I know it’s reinvigorated the actors and the writing staff. Nobody wants to see the college years. I think you run out of interesting storylines.

TVGuide.com: Will this keep the show going, unlike some other teen dramas that attempted the college years?
Bush: Well, what’s very advantageous to us is that it gives us a lot of leeway with creating new obstacles for all these characters. It’s only been four years. Nobody is completely set when they’re just getting out of college. You’re still so young and learning so much about yourself. Your twenties are such informative years, and in some sense these kids are so grown up but in other [ways], you really get to see the kids you left at graduation at the end of Season 4.

TVGuide.com: Will we find out something about the past four years in any of the episodes?
Bush: Some are just present-day, but we have some really incredible flashback sections in other episodes that lead you through where everyone’s been. It gives the audience a little bit of a puzzle.

TVGuide.com: Will it be Lost-style flashbacks, where you just get a minute or two of the past?
Bush: It really depends on the episode. Most of them are not that enormous, but there are definitely moments where we’ve really taken the liberty to show you what happened two years ago.

TVGuide.com: What will be the most shocking change for fans in the two-hour premiere?
Bush: Where Nathan and Haley are. It’s very different, and you get to really witness the reality of a marriage and its complications rather than the puppy love of teenage years. It’s very powerful. They have a baby who’s now 4 years old, and it’s interesting to see what the emotional issues of that commitment can be. It’s also pretty incredible for me to take Brooke from being that cheer captain, happy-go-lucky girl who kept all her emotional issues underneath to this mogul in the fashion world. She [has] this life that everybody would assume is perfect, but she’s still dealing with a lot of the things she dealt with in high school. It’s interesting for me to build this character who still feels really lost. She’s got her life together, and everybody else is having issues. There’s one episode that’s only one evening with everybody out at a bar. Brooke sits at the bar all night and everybody keeps coming up to her and asking advice. They’re all going to her for help, but she needs help as well. No matter how together you think someone may be, it doesn’t mean they don’t have their own set of problems.

TVGuide.com: Does she have a new love interest?
Bush: Eventually, but it’s pretty wild, I have not had to kiss anybody in 12 episodes.

TVGuide.com: Which is very unlike Brooke.
Bush: Yeah, she’s keeping them waiting. But the guy playing my love interest, Joe Manganiello, is just wonderful and was a really great addition to our cast. We have the best guest stars we have ever had on our show. You’ll [see] Joe as my love interest; Robbie Jones [Nathan and Haley’s son], who just lights up our set, he’s an amazing kid. Michaela McManus is an addition this year, she is just stellar, and Lisa Goldstein is the girl playing my assistant — I just want to hug her!

TVGuide.com: So in all the commercials we’ve seen, it looks like Lucas proposes to Peyton…. What can you tell me about that?
Bush: I can’t give that away.

TVGuide.com: Will the whole gang find themselves all back together at some point?
Bush: It’s interesting to see who comes back home, who visits home and who never left home.

TVGuide.com: Of the 12 episodes, is the last one a cliff-hanger?
Bush: The last episode we shot was our 100th episode. It was such a milestone, and it’s wild to think that so few shows get there. But it was very bittersweet — we didn’t stop shooting because the show is finished, we stopped shooting because of the strike. So it was just another episode, and then all of a sudden we had to go home. It was definitely not a finale in any way, shape or form.

TVGuide.com: Well, even though fans would be watching if there weren’t a strike, the return certainly comes at a good time for TV viewers. Maybe you’ll get some more people addicted to the Tree Hill gang.
Bush: They wanted to do it this way so we wouldn’t have to keep taking all these long breaks, so it’s worked out to our advantage because at least for the people who watch our show, we can put something new out there. And that’s a good feeling.

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