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See Blake Lively + Ed Westwick Crush Their ‘Gossip Girl’ Auditions

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Gossip Girl may have ended its five-year run in December 2012 (with one of the least convincing reveals in television history), but audition tapes for two of the show’s main characters — Blake Lively‘s Serena van der Woodsen and Ed Westwick‘s Chuck Bass — are making their way around the Internet again.

In her audition tape, Lively acts out a scene from the series’ pilot episode in which Serena attempts to reconcile with Queen Bee (and her former BFF) Blake Waldorf, following Serena’s mysterious and sudden disappearance from Manhattan. Lively plays the part nearly identical to the way it ultimately appeared on TV — seeming equal parts earnest, guilty and annoyingly soft.

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Westick’s audition is similarly illuminating: He nails the part of the slimy, perpetually whispering Chuck Bass. Somehow, despite Chuck’s various storylines — including, but not limited to: Attempting to force himself on Jenny Humphrey and offering his (similarly gross) uncle Jack a night with his girlfriend, Blair, in exchange for control of his hotel — viewers found Bass undeniably charming and charismatic, due in part to Westwick’s delivery (I guess).

The best part of his audition tape is that the casting director couldn’t decide whether to make Bass American or English, so Westwick (who was born in London) says his lines twice, using both accents.

The CW’s casting director David Rapaport recently spoke with BuzzFeed about the process involved in hiring the actors for Gossip Girl. He said Lively was “literally the only person I could think of for Serena,” and that “it was all about beauty and glamour, but being approachable and Blake was the ultimate It Girl.”

When it came time to cast Westwick, Rapaport admitted, “It was a lot about the looks, so we had to balance that out with the guys and Ed Westwick wasn’t as traditionally handsome as Chace Crawford, but I found him much sexier and darker and edgier.”

Check out Blake Lively and Ed Westwick’s Gossip Girl auditions in the videos above.

Then + Now: The Cast of Gossip Girl

Next: Blake Lively to Shut Down Preserve Site

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