The Pretty Reckless frontwoman, who began acting as a child, explained that the 2000s CW series' writers and producers helped her exit the show in its third season after she had an epiphany about her career.
"[Acting] was a childhood thing that I got put into at 2 years old. I wasn't making my own choices then," she revealed on a recent episode of her former GG costar Penn Badgley's Podcrushed podcast with SiriusXM. "Literally, as soon as I got to an age where I could make my own decisions, it was like a click… I woke up one morning and went, 'Wait a second. I don't have to do this? I don't have to do this other job? I can just play in my band and tour and write songs? I can just do that?'"
Cw Network/Kobal/Shutterstock Penn Badgley and Taylor Momsen on the original 'Gossip Girl'
Momsen did acknowledge, however, that it was "a little more complicated to get out of a television show" than simply walking away, but that the answer was ultimately yes. "You can just do that," she added. "'I have the ability to create my life how I want to live it…' It was like a light bulb went off."
"I uprooted and changed my life overnight," she continued, noting that the decision to pivot to music came with parameters. "[Production] went, 'Well, we can't let you out of your deal, but we can write you out of the show so you can go on tour. You can't act in anything else, though.'"
Momsen said she was "fine" with the deal: "They really allowed me to follow my dream, and I'm forever grateful and thankful to them for that."
The actress starred as Jenny Humphrey, the younger sister of Badgley's character Dan, in the first three seasons of the beloved show. In addition to her days on Gossip Girl, Momsen recalled her experience working alongside Jim Carrey in the 2000 holiday film How the Grinch Stole Christmas and how her classmates teased her mercilessly about the role.
"Every time I would start a new school or go somewhere else, I don't even think the kids knew my name. I was just Grinch Girl," she said. "Not even the character name [Cindy Lou Who], just Grinch Girl. I got used to it, but it was alienating."
Listen to Momsen talk about Gossip Girl in the podcast above.
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