Gossip Girl has returned to our screens, and in this reboot of the teen drama, Thomas Doherty and Evan Mock play socialite teenagers attending a prestigious private school. Doherty plays flirtatious and immoral Max Wolfe, while Mock plays peacemaker Aki Menzies. Along with the other core characters, their turbulent social lives are what drive the drama of the series. But were their own growing up years just as stormy? Yahoo Lifestyle SEA talked to the pair about their school years, social media, and playing wealthy students on screen.
"I just went to a public school in Scotland, and [Gossip Girl] is nothing like it at all," said Doherty of his school years. "And I think this is testament to how much social media has changed how young people operate and work, and I just missed the social media thing, and it's amazing."
"I look at sixteen-year-olds now, and I cringe," the Scottish actor laughed. "It's completely unrelatable."
"Back with the original [Gossip Girl], [social media] wasn't really there, it didn't really exist," the 26-year-old said. But for this sequel series, it's been integrated in a way that's more genuine.
"It has completely engulfed us," said Mock, who was homeschooled his whole life.
"I've never put on a school uniform, ever," he said of his experiences.
The half-Filipino actor went on to share that "this has been quite the experience of high school drama, because I've never dealt with high school drama, at a school at least."
Mock shared more about his Hawaiian upbringing, explaining that his great grandparents came to Hawaii to work in sugarcane fields, back when it was a big producer of sugarcane. In fact, "there are more Filipinos than Hawaiians in Hawaii, now," said Mock. "When I think about Filipino culture, I think about the food and chicken fighting."
Who would they ship on Gossip Girl?
The pair went on to talk about their characters on the show — and who they'd ship them with.
"I think he just wants a finger in every pie," said Doherty of his character Max. In the show, Max is involved in a web of sexual — and possibly romantic — relationships with several characters.
Mock joked that "I'm 57 years old, so I don't know what 'ship' means." But the 24-year-old shared that "my character right now, he doesn't know what he wants. So I couldn't give you an answer."
In Gossip Girl, Mock's character, bi-curious Aki, is in the process of exploring his identity.
But after some thought, Mock went for the most practical option. "For a viewer watching, I would be super down for Obie. It's got to be Obie. He's the richest, come on! I'm securing my life right here!"
Obie is played by Eli Brown on the show, and he's the resident nice guy — who also happens to be extremely wealthy.
Challenges on Gossip Girl
Doherty and Mock also talked about their experiences on the set of Gossip Girl.
"For me, the biggest challenge was definitely the accent," said Doherty. His character speaks with an American accent on the show, and the Scotland-born actor spoke with his natural Scottish accent in the interview.
"When I'm on set, I want to be really present and really focused with what I'm doing, and it's really hard because you're thinking about two things at once."
For Mock, it's been a learning experience. "It's easier to kind of relate as you film more episodes."
New episodes of Gossip Girl are out on HBO GO every Thursday.
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