Leighton Meester Talks New Movie ‘The Weekend Away’ and ‘Euphoria’

Consider going for walks down the road in New York Town and viewing Leighton Meester. The actress, famed for her portrayal of the beloved Gossip Female character Blair Waldorf, not too long ago paid a check out to her aged stomping grounds, wherever her partner, Adam Brody—bred from comparable teen royalty on The O.C.—is capturing a new project. This time though, it was less Nairtinis and masked balls and more kid-pleasant things to do. As a married mom of two, “I’m trying to keep my eye out for the playgrounds,” Meester says with a chortle. “That’s genuinely what I’m looking for.” Perhaps in Manhattan, but the actress has also had her sights set on some fulfilling, age-suitable operate abroad.

Her hottest role is Beth, a 35-calendar year-previous with a 10-month aged who’s accused of killing her finest friend (Christina Wolfe) in the Netflix thriller The Weekend Absent, dependent on Sarah Alderson’s novel of the exact identify. Meester, also 35 many years old with a newish baby, was intrigued by the script for clear good reasons. “That was exactly me, by the moment,” she suggests. On a getaway to Croatia, Beth grapples with not only remaining divided from her youngster, but also “out-of-this-world, unbelievably dramatic and tragic suspense.” Right here, far more from Meester about her new movie, her ideas on the Gossip Girl reboot, and why she nonetheless hasn’t viewed Euphoria.

Why did now sense like the ideal time to return to the display screen?

When I wrapped Single Mothers and fathers on March 3 of 2020, I was expecting [and] going to have a baby, so I thought, I’ll consider a minor time off, and if the demonstrate comes back again, excellent. Then mid-March 2020 transpired. A little in excess of a year later, I felt like [The Weekend Away] was the suitable challenge, the suitable script⁠—I went to Croatia to film it, so that was not as well shabby [laughs]. And I felt like my youngest was aged adequate for me to be away from him during extensive capturing days. How I Met Your Father came all around sort of final-minute in the fall⁠. We have had a genuinely strange couple of many years as much as operate and scheduling [goes], plus obtaining a kid genuinely…shakes factors up [laughs].

What was it about this film that appealed to you so substantially?

I considered it was a truly exciting standpoint to inform the story: another person who’s likely by way of motherhood for the first time, who’s rediscovering herself and finding herself. And, of program, going through the out-of-this-planet, unbelievably remarkable and tragic suspense—that stuff was also incredibly pleasing to me, because I imagined it read through genuinely fascinating and enjoyable on the webpage.

Are you into real criminal offense? Were you a Serial fan?

I did love Serial—I in fact loved all them, even the non-murder types. I comprehend the desire in it, but I have turn into so incredibly delicate to it…I really don’t know if it is finding more mature or possessing kids or hormones, but I have to pace myself, since then I start off heading, “Someone’s in the home!” and it is much too terrifying. The amazing issue about this film is that there doesn’t seem to be a fantastic or terrible dude nothing’s that very clear. Even as suspicious purple herrings get exposed, you can see wherever someone could possibly shed their temper—there’s no justification, obviously—but there is a human factor to it. There isn’t just a monster lurking.

the weekend away leighton meester as beth in the weekend away cr ivan sardinetflix ©2022
Leighton Meester as Beth in The Weekend Absent.

Ivan SardiNetflix

There do feel to be some true-planet parallels. Amanda Knox comes to mind, for one particular.

I have listened to that comparison. Whilst it’s not totally parallel with that circumstance, wow does it place you in that headspace of, “What would I do if I definitely were being caught in a thriller, and this detail transpired, and I’m really positive I didn’t do it, but I do not know.” The other portion that I had a true connection with was staying countless numbers of miles away from your kid and feeling powerless and not absolutely steady like, “Well, at the very least I can go dwelling to my spouse and children at night time.” You’re trapped, and it is terrifying.

Did you truly feel a similar sense of guilt as Beth staying away from your daughter though filming?

Yeah, that doesn’t go absent. There is no quantity of banking several hours with a kid. I just used a complete weekend undertaking every thing with them, and now I gotta go to function all day they are like, “But you are not here now.” I really experienced to break up my young ones up throughout filming, so I stored my son, who was 10 months old at the time, and my daughter, who is 6, went with my spouse back again to the states in which he was functioning. That was the longest I have at any time been devoid of my daughter by far, but I couldn’t be divided from my son since he was nursing. The reuniting was heaven.

Have the roles you’ve gravitated in direction of improved because turning into a mother?

I believe anybody, specially an actor having older, will likely obtain the roles to be a lot more fascinating and exciting regardless of if they’re portraying a father or mother or not. As you get more mature, you really don’t just stand there, which is excellent.

the weekend away leighton meester as beth in the weekend away cr ivan sardinetflix ©2022
Leighton Meester in The Weekend Away.

Ivan SardiNetflix

Are you referring to ageism in Hollywood?

Yeah, surely. It is good to have an creativity and be like, “That individual who’s 35 could also be 40, or 30.” Let’s place people in distinct roles that are different ages, or from different backgrounds. I realize it and I’ve been there—there’s an obsession with youth. If you are undertaking it appropriate, with any luck , you get more mature. I truly feel like that is the stage. There’s a genuine dissidence involving what ladies say—“I sense far better as I get older I experience much more self-confident I sense significantly less insecure I really feel much more libido”—and but, media and culture is like, “No, you’re worthless now you are invisible.” We’ve gotta find some way to navigate that. I consider it’s obtaining better. Listen, I’m 35, and I believe which is younger and I also started off my occupation so younger and was on Television so younger and benefitted from that so youthful. At the time, I wasn’t conscious I was like, “I’ll be younger for good!” So coming to fully grasp that and how everyday living goes is intriguing. It is fascinating to have been in this small business for so extended.

What was your wildest weekend away?

When I bought married, my girlfriends decided to get me to dinner and brought out this sport where by I guess the object is, you get an remedy appropriate or wrong and you consume. There were being no actual principles, just “get drunk.” And I try to remember staying particularly [drunk]. The following morning, I just laid in bed and was like, “I need a bagel.”

There’s a unforgettable episode of Gossip Girl the place Blair performs a related video game at her bachelorette celebration.

I did not get arrested, fortunately. But I did [get arrested] when I was in my late teenagers or early twenties. Just before I moved to New York for operate, I was residing in a residence in L.A. with 3 or four roommates, and we threw get-togethers that would quite frequently get actually out of hand, and the cops arrived a couple of situations. One of the times, we experienced so quite a few people [that] it was likely to be not possible [to get out of], and they threatened us with a ticket, so we acquired a ticket, for the reason that what else could we do? We experienced some blowouts. I seem back again and I’m like, “Was it enjoyment? That was rather dim.” But it is fantastic to have had these occasions. [Laughs.]

leighton meester blair waldorf gossip girl
Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl.

Arnaldo MagnaniGetty Visuals

It was the identical developing up in New York.

Even if you are smoking a joint on the road [in New York] they’re like, “You’re below arrest!” I feel it is unique now. I was just in New York and I smelled a great deal of pot, so I feel like it could be a minor extra accepted.

Have you watched the Gossip Female reboot?

I have viewed it I believe it is great. I’m actually joyful for them acquiring a new way with it. It was these kinds of a…is it strange to get in touch with it iconic when you’re in it? It truly is so evergreen. Even now, youthful girls will occur up to me and I’m like, “Wow, you were not born when we began.” It’s exciting that it can go on to be some thing that suggests a large amount to even this era. And so the actuality that they can capture some of that magic even though producing it its have matter is pretty a feat and actually great.

What else have you binged? One particular of my favourite Inventing Anna memes is of Blair Waldorf flashing a recognizing grin, and the caption says she would’ve immediately been suspicious of Anna Delvey.

[Laughs.] That is actually humorous. I actually just started that demonstrate, due to the fact everyone has been inquiring me if I’m observing it. That and Euphoria. I really do not know if I can do that 1, while. Just ‘cause…wow. [Euphoria] isn’t the variety of display I grew up with.

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Individuals on Twitter have also been conversing a good deal about your collaboration with Cobra Starship for “Good Girls Go Undesirable.” Are you organizing to document songs yet again?

I really like that. That was a exciting time. I will proceed to make songs and write and sing—I’d like to execute soon, at some issue. I most likely will launch songs in this yr. I didn’t truly have an affinity for pop music as much as composing or accomplishing [goes], but it felt like that was what I was gonna do, so I just went with it. Then I was like, “Nope, this is not right.” So I finished up chopping ties with my label amicably, and I introduced an album in 2014 and toured with a a great deal distinct seem. So, [the new music is] type of an progressed edition of that sound. It still provides me chills to see stay theater we just went to see My Reasonable Lady at the Dolby Theatre, which was a genuinely awesome output, and I got psychological. It created me go, “I wanna do that yet again.”

This job interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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By Indana