‘Gossip Girl’ star Leighton Meester takes us on a trip out with the girls en route to Europe in the romantic comedy “Monte Carlo” with Selena Gomez, Katie Cassidy and Cory Monteith (Glee).
Grace (Gomez) is an ordinary girl who becomes an accidental princess when a summer trip to Paris turns into the fantasy of a lifetime. But Grace’s killjoy stepsister Meg (Leighton Meester) is involuntarily installed as chaperone by Grace’s mother. Grace and Emma, however, will not be deterred, and soon enough, the two friends, with Megan in tow, arrive in France. Scurried past famed landmarks by a hyperactive tour guide, and discouraged by their “luxury” accommodations and frequent tiffs, the trio’s spirits sag like the behinds of knit-panted American tourists.
Fortunes change, however, when Grace is mistaken for British socialite Cordelia Winthrop Scott. When the girls inadvertently take possession of Cordelia’s invitation to a ritzy charity ball in Monte Carlo, they seize the moment, they embark on a romantic adventure of yacht parties, polo matches and highly eligible bachelors.
Both girls see the presence of Meg (Meester) as an unwelcome intrusion – a fly in their sparkling glass of bubbly. Simply put, she’s never been known as the life of the party. “Meg recently lost her mother, and is still a bit traumatized over it. She’s somewhat excited to visit France, but not under these circumstances, and certainly not with these two girls,” explains Leighton Meester.
Q. You play Meg, Grace’s stepsister. What’s that character like?
A. Meg starts off very differently from the way she ends up. She’s kind of a dork, and she’s a little bit uptight. She recently lost her mother, which is a really difficult thing to go through and Meg’s finding it hard. Meg only goes on trip because her father pretty much forces her to.
Q. Could you relate to her?
A. Definitely! I hope I’m able to be a little more adventurous than she is at the start, but at least she’s willing and she has the potential inside her. Meg is a very practical character, and I’m totally impractical, but I admire that about her.
Q. What was the hardest scene to film?
A. Honestly, the only hard part has been the long days and the early starts. Everything else has been fun. When we were in Paris we had to start filming at 3AM so we could shoot on the Eiffel Tower when no one else was there. So although getting up that day was hard, having the whole of the Eiffel Tower to ourselves was an incredible experience! We also got to be in the Louvre by ourselves, which was amazing
Q. Meg doesn’t get on with Grace and Emma straight away. How long did it take you to get to know Selena and Katie?
A. Those two girls have been awesome. It’s been wonderful working with them. I knew Katie a little before, and she’s coming on Gossip Girl, which I’m so excited about. Because we’ve seen each other every day, we’ve become like a family. I think it says a lot if you can see the same people all the time and not get sick of them. I feel very protective of them both, and I think they feel the same about me.
Q. Is there any romantic gossip from the set?
A. There are some very, very cute boys in this movie, but as far as I know there isn’t any gossip. I’m really pleased with how they got cast - cute and talented is a great combination. I like them all.
Q. How do Meg’s outfits compare to those of the other characters you’ve played?
A. Honestly, I don’t think it matters if a character has high end or low end clothes as long as you feel like they’re definitely a part of that character’s wardrobe. In the film we’re all whisked away to Monte Carlo by accident, and we don’t get to bring many clothes with us. I’m in the same outfit for most of the film. There’s a fabulous gown I get to wear at the end. It’s beautiful, but it’s couture and really heavy. When we started filming the scene, I was so excited to wear it, but by the end my body was aching so much I would have been happy never to see it again!
Q. Have you had any time to go shopping?
A. Walking down the street here is like walking through a fashion magazine! It’s tricky to make the time, but I have gone to Gucci. I bought a really cute little purse, and a sweater from Celine as well. I’ve got some great souvenirs from this trip!
“Monte Carlo” opens July 1 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.