We'd start this important announcement with "Hey there, Upper East Siders", but it's pretty clear that every zip code is anxiously awaiting any bit of news regarding the fictional, but oh so scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite. Yes, they're finally here, the first on-set photos from the high-budget reboot of Gossip Girl for HBO Max. Shot on the steps of the Met, the gaggle of stylish Constance-St. Jude's students are already inspiring entire fan accounts with their modern, edgier takes on the show's classic prep school uniforms and bold beauty looks.
But the photo’s viral spread and ensuing excitement about the show is about more than just some (admittedly very cool-looking) pink hair. In stark contrast to the original, which regulated its only Black, brown, and LGBTQI+ regulars to either minor roles or supportive "outsiders" to further white characters' plotlines, this iteration of the generation-defining show is actually reflecting the diversity of New York City. And it's doing it with the help of the coolest cast since HBO's other hit show about hard-partying teenagers.
While the show doesn’t premiere ‘til 2021, we're already hooked. Here's a first look at the cast of HBO’s new Gossip Girl reboot:
Though the exact nature of her role has yet to be revealed, Jordan Alexander is already fielding chatter proclaiming her the series’ breakout star. While the singer-actress and her signature buzzcut were photographed on-set with a smokey eye, her Instagram aesthetic is an oasis of ultra-dewy minimalism starring skin luminous enough to make even Serena Van der Woodsen jealous.
We predict approximately six million fan accounts to pop up around Evan Mock, who might just be the coolest boy in the world. As if it weren’t enough for the Hawaiin-born Mock to be both a skateboarder, photographer, and actor, he’s also a rising figure in the fashion world. Frank Ocean caught notice of his signature pink hair through a video filmed at a skatepark, and the rest is history.
Emily Alyn Lind
With a platinum Debbie Harry chop and a penchant for artfully smeared eyeshadow and lipstick, Emily Lind is an It Girl for the Gen Z era who never seems to take herself too seriously. Her shaggy locks and "Keane eyes" have drawn comparison to another Zoomer icon, Lily-Rose Depp, but her creative approach to beauty makes it apparent that Lind is more interested in starting trends than following them.
Whitney Peak brings with her a legion of fans dedicated to both her stylish stint on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and her Instagram, on which Peak chronicles her daily outfits and full, lush curls. Peak’s popular for treating her fans and followers like besties, hosting q-and-a sessions discussing favorite Gossip Girl fan theories and conspiracies. In the Met steps photo, it’s worth noting that she’s costumed far more conservatively than the other girls—a clue about her character, maybe?
Gossip Girl may be her first starring role, but it’s clear that Zión Moreno was made for a show like this one. The 27-year-old El Paso native is a beauty chameleon, frequently experimenting with blonde wigs, glittery eyeshadow, mod eyeliner, and cottagecore softness all with ease.
As someone astutely pointed out in his Instagram comments, Thomas Doherty has the kind of face that wouldn’t seem out of place in either medieval Britain or the steps of the Met. But despite such a classic look, Doherty never plays it safe. The Scottish actor is known for playfully documenting his ever-changing hair and colorful nail polish, but his GG character seems to be keeping things simple.
This version of Gossip Girl is supposed to be more of a continuation of the universe than an all-out reboot, which means, as Whitney Peak actually explained on her q-and-a, that there is technically no Blair and no Serena. But the instant the cast photo surfaced, with Savannah Smith in the corner with a long, glamorous side part, tweed jacket, and platform Gucci loafers, it was clear that she would be assuming the iconic queen bee spot. In real life, Smith is a college student and free spirit who loves being among nature as much as she loves a bold red lip.
Despite huge roles in other cult classic teen shows like Pretty Little Liars, it seems like Eli Brown prefers to let his work and influences speak for themselves. A scarce Instagram presence (power move, honestly) shows shots of Jim Morrison and Joni Mitchell with just a few of Brown himself. Despite his own aura of mystery, Brown has been pretty forthcoming about his Gossip Girl character, describing him as “a really good guy.” Lonely Boy, is that you?