Warning: This article contains spoilers about the Thursday, Dec. 2 episodes of Gossip Girl.
Well, Upper East Siders, was that Gossip Girl finale chaotic enough for you?
After a season of rampant gossip, scandalous hookups, and 1,000 enviable fits, the first season of the HBO Max reboot came to a close at a New Year's Eve blowout party with, of course, a cliffhanger ending.
The final episode saw the gang gather upstate at Aki's (Evan Mock) dad's Hudson estate to bring in the new year, sip on champagne, and — if you're Julien (Jordan Alexander), Luna (Zión Moreno) and Monet (Savannah Lee Smith) — take down a nemesis. While the girls schemed to reveal Obie's (Eli Brown) new girlfriend Grace as a nasty drunk (thereby making him realize Julien is actually the girl for him), Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind) and Aki tried to convince a wary Max (Thomas Doherty) that they truly want him to be an equal third in their relationship. Elsewhere, Zoya (Whitney Peak) just really wanted to leave and head back to the city to party with her new friends — and who can blame her, when there was a framed photo of Donald Trump in that home?
The final moments of the finale were where things got truly chaotic, however. Having sent Obie off to be with Grace, and Zoya back to the city to party with friends, Julien reached out to Gossip Girl to strike a deal. She offered the Instagram account everything she knows about everyone she knows (though not all of it will be true). Julien had one condition: that GG "go hard until there's nothing left" while she makes it her mission to stop the anonymous account before it ruins them all. (Seems kinda conflicting, but hey!) In the dying seconds, Gossip Girl (by way of Kate Keller, played by Tavi Gevinson) accepted the deal with a condition of her own and... of course, we didn't get to find out what that was. But Jules accepted it, so we're sure mutual destruction is imminent.
Karolina Wojtasik/HBO Max Jordan Alexander
Since season 2 seems as unattainable as Julien's closet right now, we chatted with actress Jordan Alexander about her character's viral moments and cancelations, what Monet would look like as Julien's season 2 arch-enemy, and what the heck Gossip Girl might be up to next.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, we definitely want to talk about the finale, but just to throw it back to the beginning a little, I'm wondering what you thought when you found out Gossip Girl was going to be a group of teachers at Constance Billard this time?
JORDAN ALEXANDER: Yeah, I loved that. I love how they changed it from the last one. It's such a group of incredible creatives and they're always figuring out new things to do, so I think it makes total sense. I was really shocked, but I was also like, yeahhhh. You haven't done that so let's definitely do that. I feel like it leaves it open because they could do anything. I'm always amazed by their creativity and what they come up with.
It also makes the stakes really high. If those teachers are caught, they're losing their jobs and who knows what else. Their freedom? They're messing with some high profile people.
Right. All the jail memes don't appear to be getting to them.
Gotta send them directly to the Gossip Girl account. So, over the course of the season, we've seen Julien go through some big ups and downs — most notably, discovering her dad is a predator. She really does seem to be trying to do the work and better herself, but she slips up a lot. As an actress, would you rather see her as her best or worst self?
I feel like both are on the table just because going through something so challenging like that could open your eyes and make you think that you want to be better and do better, or it could just make you really angry and a lot worse. Both are understandable. I feel like it would be really fun and realistic to do almost both, like she's trying — which is kind of like her character anyway — and then just totally backslide, and then try again, but then totally backslide. I feel like that's very accurate for humans; most of us are trying, but it doesn't stop us from failing.
I talked to showrunner Joshua Safran last week and he said that he asked you if you wanted to know the Davis (Luke Kirby) twist back when you were filming episode two and you said yes. How shocking was that when you find out?
I mean, that's an understatement of what happened. [Laughs.] I was totally twisting his arm, like, tell meeee. He's the king of teasing things out, but they were like, "Yeah, something insane happens." And I'm like, "What?!" So I made them tell me and I was so shocked. I think it's an incredible plot line, but I was also deeply saddened because I love Luke Kirby, who plays my dad in the show. Amy, the makeup artist, and I were so upset. We were like, "No, no! This must be a mistake." But then we were like, "No, that's the way it should go down." It's sad because he [Kirby] is amazing.
Karolina Wojtasik/HBO Max
Right, it was maybe even harder to watch because he's a likable character.
It works that he's charming, right? Because I think there's this perception that predators are very much going to look like predators on the surface and that is not even remotely true. They can be charming. They can be funny. They can be nice. They can give you a ride home and nothing can happen, but it doesn't stop them from doing that one incident or those other incidents somewhere else.
Right, exactly. Were those intense, emotional scenes with Luke where Julien's confronting him draining to shoot?
Yeah, it was really, really draining because I wanted to authentically portray the drama and the level of intensity and so it was in my body too, like all the muscles are clenching. It was a whole body experience and we did a lot — which I'm down for because it's always good to have lots of material to choose from — but that crying scene, where I slide down the wall, we did that, like, 10 times.
Do you feel like there's a chance for a family reconciliation with Davis down the road? Do we know if Luke's coming back?
Luke, I want back. Davis... I mean, Julien is kind of a tough cookie to just cut her dad off like that. Obviously, that's what you would want to do, but that must be so complicated and weird and f----d up. But I don't know, she seemed pretty solid in her resolve so, we'll see.
Okay, let's talk about the finale. First off, how much fun was it to get out of the city and film Upstate together? I'm assuming all of that snow was CG?
Yeah, it was like August or something. But it looks so incredible. I even love how they colored it. It's this different setting. It was incredible to be Upstate. We had so much fun, just, like, running around in the hotel room after, and being in that massive, crazy old house. It was really cool.
It seems like you guys are a tight-knit group?
Honestly, yes. I love going to work and seeing those girls every day. It's a great time. I feel very protective over them and also just really love and respect them a lot.
Love to hear that. So, by episode's end, Obie has gone after Grace, after telling Julien that they need to get to know other people. Do you hold out hope for them? And do you, personally, want them to get back together?
I wonder, right, because I feel like when you've been together for such a long time, almost everything that could have happened did happen. So it kind of makes sense that, if it's not working, it probably won't work because otherwise it would have worked for all those years. I guess you never know what the future has to hold and people do change and they become something they weren't before, and sometimes that's the cause for new connection. I think they maybe should take some space because it just does not seem to be clicking.
One of the big cliffhangers was Monet stepping away from Julien. How big a threat and nemesis do you think she's going to be moving forward?
Lethaaaaaaal. I don't even know because it's going to be so interesting to find out whether or not Julien is even fighting back. Is she rolling over? No, no, no, no, she's not rolling over. That end scene was very much a power stance. So, okay, yeah, I think it's going to be insane and amazing to just watch these powerhouse heightened characters just go at it.
Karolina Wojtasik/HBO Max
Speaking of that final moment between Julien and Gossip Girl, what did you think of Phase Two, where GG just released all the tips she'd ever gotten?
I was like, where do we go from here? Because obviously no one's going to give any more tips or maybe they will, maybe everyone will forget and just do it again. Gosh, that's so interesting. I think about stuff like that a lot: there's so much in our societies or between people that you feel like you have to keep secret and it's like, what if you didn't? Or we were forced to share?
It would be chaotic but maybe we would be better for it...
Yeah! You're just honest and then it just is what it is. Nobody has to go tiptoeing around anything. I don't know...
Potentially brutal, but maybe better in the long run. Anyway, that final moment where Julien tells Gossip Girl she's going to send her everything she knows, some true, some not, and tells her, "it's time for chaos" was so dramatic. Was it a blast to film?
Oh my gosh. All of the artists there, making the tableaus and pouring drinks in their mouths and dancing. It was so incredible. There was a lot of really great energy in the room.
What do you think Julien's end goal is with Gossip Girl? Does she want to be forced to reckon with who she is, or does she want to lean into the worst parts of herself?
Or does she think that maybe she just is a bad person? I was wondering that. Maybe those were her last good deeds...or maybe she's just going to insulate the people close to her from it now, and then completely build a wall. Zoya was like, "Why do you care what everyone else thinks, but not care about what the people close to you think?" So maybe she'll do that and then just be a bitch to everyone else.
I don't expect you to share it, but do you know what Gossip Girl's one condition is? Have you been told?
Okay, so, I've seen the last episode, like, three times now looking for clues and every time I'm like, what is it? I'll probably just twist Josh again and get it out of him. But, no, I genuinely don't know, but it's kind of exciting because I'm like, "What? Whaaaaat? What does she want?! What does Kate want?"
Karolina Wojtasik/HBO Max
Honestly, that's a great question. Kate is kind of a bizarre character and her reasons for doing all this cannot be as pure as she thinks or says.
I LOVE her and Tavi Gevinson is incredible. Kate Keller, honestly, is one of my favorite characters. Her comedic timing is incredible. I just find her to just be so punny.
If you could play another character on the show, would it be Kate then?
I would love, love to play Kate Keller. I love to play like a neurotic character. Julien is a different kind of neurotic character, but the type of neurotic that Kate is, is just so fascinating to me.
Totally. Looking back at the full season, what is your favorite Julien fit?
Actually the green swimsuit/lounge outfit that I wore in episode 12. It's sparkly and I love anything sparkly and it was just so beautiful. I loved wearing it.
Karolina Wojtasik/HBO Max
It must be such a joy to go to work every day and be like, what am I wearing today?
Honestly, I keep just being like, is this real? Is this really real?
So cool. Looking forward to season 2, what do you want to see happen for Julien?
Honestly, chaos. I want the chaos. Let's see messy, let's see passed out, let's see bad decisions. I feel like that will be fun to play and it will also be fun to watch. A train wreck — sorry, R.I.P. Julien.
Well, maybe she lets loose, but is still in control in some way...
Like a train wreck and she's the captain? Yeah.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.