Leighton Meester is very pretty, but there’s something else happening when you look at her. She has apple cheeks, a moon-sliver smile, and deep liquid eyes that seem to have been poured straight into her skull with a baby-doll dropper. When the Grimm Brothers wrote of Snow White’s forest-bound beauty, they’d probably just seen Leighton’s ancestral twin.
Fun facts about Leighton Meester: Her middle name is Marissa. She modeled for Sofia Coppola when the director was an aspiring fashion photographer. She invited her real friends to play her “fake” friends on the Cobra Starship video, Good Girls Go Bad. She is not afraid of neon. She is the new(ish) face of Lovestruck, the latest perfume by Vera Wang.
It’s this last bit that brings us together with our two-time cover girl again. We sat with the 25-year-old on a couch at Manhattan’s James Hotel and got the scoop of Leighton’s latest adventures.
When did you first meet Vera Wang? I met her at a fashion show last Fashion Week, almost a year ago. It was a big Vogue thing for Fashion’s Night Out… All the designers were showing a bunch of their stuff, and it was outside; they had a huge performance and it was very fun. I saw Vera from across the way, and she was gesturing to me, “I wanna talk to you!” I was like, “What?! Me?!” And then two days later, I got a call about Lovestruck and of course I was very excited. It’s wonderful.
How did you feel the first time you smelled the perfume? I was really happy, because I was dying to work with Vera, and obviously I was very happy that it’s a beautiful scent. Like, “Thank goodness!” But I really think the thing that was most amazing for me was the idea behind [Lovestruck] and the whole Romeo and Juliet story that was the concept for the shoot. And then Vera herself, who’s just the most amazing woman…
Tonight, Vera told us that Lovestruck wasn’t always about loving the right guy. Then she told us to party on. She’s kind of funny. Oh, just kind of?! Vera Wang hilarious. She’s hilarious and she is very down to earth, and she’s just lovely.
You shot this campaign in the dead of winter, in a strapless dress. And you don’t look like you’re going to die – not even in the paparazzi outtakes. How?! It was a mixture of excitement, and maybe a bit of denial. And mostly it was just that everyone was so kind, and I was just up in my on little world. I was up on a balcony pretty much all by myself the whole day, so it was very peaceful up there. And they were blasting heaters at me and bringing me hot tea constantly. I was jumping around so it really wasn’t bad. But actually, when I looked down, everyone was in parkas, so they were obviously freezing. Maybe because I was higher up it was less cold up there? Or maybe I’m just, yeah… I was in denial. That’s all.
That dress was Vera Wang couture. Did you keep it? No, but that’s okay. I got to wear it all day, and there are so many photos, so it’s done; I’ve worn it all the way!
What beauty tips have you learned from the Gossip Girl set? Well I get my hair and make-up done pretty much everyday, so I definitely have paid attention! I think the best tips are more about skincare and, sort of, skin health- taking off all your make up, being meticulous about that. I think being healthy on the inside is a big part of it. As far as actual make-up, my philosophy is just a little bit goes a long way, and I think that’s good enough for me. My make-up artist is an artist when he does my make-up. I’m definitely not as knowledgeable, by any means. So what I do is minimal, because I can’t pretend I know how to pull complicated beauty looks off on my own.
What’s on your iPod? Oh my gosh, everything! Somebody asked me that the other day; I was like, “you don’t want me to go there.” They started scrolling through my music, got halfway through the “a” songs, and were like, “this is too much.”
What’s new on there? I’ve been getting really in to Led Zeppelin! I know that I’m years late, but I was listening to the Robert Plant/ Alison Krauss album, Raising Sand. I was obsessed with it, so my friend was like, “You should really listen to everything by Led Zeppelin.” So now I’m obsessed.
What’s your favorite historical period? God, I love the 1500s in England! I love the time of Henry VIII, the stories behind all his marriages, and how crazy that time was. And sort of that whole era- even though it’s sort of depressing, it’s like Protestant vs Catholic, like that whole thing, but I love it. I also love the Roman times- Ancient Rome- I think that’s really fascinating and very cool. I definitely wouldn’t want to live in any other time but now though. I like running water and that kind of thing!
In your opinion, who is Blair Waldorf’s soul mate? I mean, you have to watch this season because it all gets crazy. She is getting married to the Prince… I mean, she’s planing her marriage, she’s getting married. So she is planning all that, and there is somebody pregnant, so there’s all kinds of drama with that. And of course, Chuck is still in her life, but not in that [romantic] way because she’s engaged. And then there’s Dan and that relationship and what happens with that. I don’t know, there’s all kinds of things happening. I love obviously working with all of [the male actors]. But for Blair… I think Blair deserves a Prince, don’t you?
Totally. The thing about The Prince is he hasn’t really done anything deceitful or betraying to Blair, unlike everyone else in her life… I think he’s a really good guy. So I like that for her!
–FARAN KRENTCIL — nylongmag.com