Gossip Girl star Thomas Doherty in Season 2, Dream Cameo From Original – The Hollywood Reporter

[The following story includes spoilers from season two of HBO Max’s Gossip Girl.]

Thomas Doherty Doesn’t Care What Critics Say About HBO Max Gossip Girl rework, do it again.

Instead, he focused on getting the best out of Max Wolfe and doing the job he was hired to do. That is not to say that entering a program that is culturally iconic and affects millions of people is not “stressful”.

In the second part of the reboot, Max Wolfe is turning a new page. The once “all-sex player” is ready to settle down – with his two best friends. The season kicks off with Max, Aki (Evan Mock) and Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind) in a dedicated trio, aka trilogy. Throughout the first five episodes, fans can get a glimpse of the hurdles all three face as they seek to make their relationship work, which is very exciting for Doherty.

Season two of the Joshua Safran show was the first time audiences saw Max tear down his walls, despite how “scary” it was for him. The actor said: “He is very open and very, very vulnerable, and you can see the kind of struggle he has with the comfort that Audrey and Aki have. hollywood reporter. “It excites him, and it’s almost like his walls want to automatically go up, but he’s trying to keep them down.”

During the first half of the season, Max is doing his best to make Aki and Audrey feel as comfortable as possible in their relationship, even though it comes at a “big cost” for him and his sense of self. about his identity, but the second half saw that hit a breaking point, Doherty teased.

He really cares about them and wants it to work, he explains. “[But] I think it’s dangerous to be in a relationship where you enjoy giving, giving, giving, and compromising yourself for the sake of someone else’s insecurities or problems.

In a conversation with THR, Doherty continues to be open about Max’s arc this season, why it’s important for the three to face obstacles together, and why he wants to be a part of the reboot. The actor also revealed his dream Gossip Girl cameo and what inspiration he drew from the original series for the remake.

Talk to me a bit about Max’s journey so far this season and what we can expect from the second half of the season.

I mean, it’s been a lot of fun going into this second season, and then we see Max with all of his walls down for the first time. We were away from season one when he decided he was going to make this commitment and it was really scary for Max because he lived his life almost playing the character of Max. This is the first time he broke his wall. He’s very open and very, very vulnerable, and you can see the kind of struggle he has with the comfort that Audrey and Aki have. It excites him, and it’s almost like his walls want to go up on their own, but he’s trying to hold them down, keep them down.

Over the next five episodes, I guess you just have to watch this battle against his walls and try to appease the people he loves and cares about, while also trying to facilitate a favorable environment. school in which they feel comfortable and that will work for everyone. But I feel like it costs Max and his sense of identity dearly. Every action has a reaction and I think you will see that reaction.

Max has been working towards a major character line this season. He starts things off by wanting to go public with his relationship with Aki and Audrey and doesn’t realize at first that they’re scared to go public, but it’s not because of him. Then there’s a really nice scene in episode one where Luna reminds Max of how he was feeling before he showed up. Why do you think it’s important to have that scene start the season?

In Max’s situation, he is a very liberal, open-minded person who always expresses himself in a sexy way. He was raised in a home where being part of the LGBT community was just the norm. He has two fathers, and so it’s not a big deal to him, and he struggles to understand that nearly everyone can’t just be themselves and just be free, open and honest. accept who they are. It is clear that he has forgotten Aki’s father, what kind of person he is and how conservative he is. So it’s just a nice reminder. It’s important to give Max that perspective, so that he doesn’t run into his free-spirited way of thinking and try to project that onto the relationship and force the relationship or force the other people. the person in the relationship becomes something they are not. or something he wants them to be.

(LR) Evan Mock, Thomas Doherty, Emily Alyn Lind in HBO's 'Gossip Girl'

Evan Mock, Thomas Doherty, Emily Alyn Lind in HBO’s ‘Gossip Girl’

Barbara Nike/HBO Max

In episode two, we see Max trying to keep his appearance as the “lust maniac” of season one to make people think that the Max Wolfe could be arrested. He clearly doesn’t like it but continues to show up for Aki and Audrey’s sake. What does that say about his feelings for them?

He really cares about them and wants it to work. That’s what I said before about every action has an opposite reaction. I think it’s dangerous to be in a relationship where you enjoy giving, giving, giving, and compromising yourself for the sake of someone else’s problems or insecurities. It hits its breaking point in the next five episodes and we’ll definitely see that.

The scenes where Max and Audrey follow Aki around to find out what he’s up to have created the vibes of Major Chuck (Ed Westwick) and Blair (Leighton Meester) from the original series. How is it like mirroring them that way?

I feel like there are so many little Easter eggs in Gossip Girl, either they are too obvious or are kind of offensive to the original characters and other episodes. It’s great. It is cute. It’s beautiful. I think it’s also important. The younger generation may not have seen the original, but for the older people who grew up with it, I think it’s interesting and nostalgic for them to watch it.

The trio hasn’t really been easy this season. It seems like in every episode, they are facing a new hurdle in their relationship and trying to find a way to be together. Why do you think it’s important to show their struggles that way?

You can’t just base a relationship on a good time. You have to see if it can stand the test of time. It’s important for relationships to overcome trials, tribulations, and tribulations because it shows we can get through anything together. You also learn a lot about other people when you are in certain situations and circumstances. Everyone can put on a brave face, but I think when times are tough, that’s when people show their true nature and their true self.

(LR) Emily Alyn Lind and Thomas Doherty in HBO's 'Gossip Girl'

Emily Alyn Lind and Thomas Doherty in HBO’s ‘Gossip Girl’

Barbara Nike/HBO Max

Going back to your audition, what made you want to be part of the reboot?

Well, I originally went for Eli [Brown’s] part, to Obie, and I remember saying, “No, it’s not like that. This is not for me.” But then I read Max, and I was like, “Yeah, this is me.” I’m not sure if I want to do that because I don’t want it to be part of The CW, but the fact that it’s part of HBO Max is really cool. Its Gossip Girl, You know. It was very influential and iconic culturally and socially, and to be able to film in New York and meet some really interesting people. There are a lot of factors, and I talked to Josh [Safran] a lot about the character, about Max, and his journey, where he came from and where he could go.

As you say, Gossip Girl is a big part of culture. Do you feel any pressure to be a part of this reboot that will likely have a lot of fans but also some critics?

All I can do is work and do the best I can. I really don’t care about the critics because, of course, I mean, I always say that there’s nothing scarier than the power of nostalgia. People won’t like it, so I try to stay away and just do the best job I can. There will always be people who don’t like your stuff or like your stuff, or whatever, but I try not to let that influence me, and that’s why I got into acting right away. from the beginning. I was consciously or unconsciously affected by it. I mean, it’s nerve-wracking to step into the shoes of people who have had such a big impact on the lives of millions.

Are you inspired by the original series in any way?

You have to understand the tune. So you automatically accept a number when you role play. I talked to Josh a lot, and I knew Max was Chuck’s role model, but I wanted him to be cheeky. I want him to be gentler. I wanted him to be, not funny, just lighter and have that energy with Max, as opposed to being a bit like Chuck. Ed played the black Chuck a bit more, which is great, but I just wish it was different in some way. So I went with that, and I’m glad I did. I like the dynamics of it. It gives me the freedom to play more. I remember I had a teacher, and he was so enthusiastic and colorful. He always said, “It’s called a play because you play!” And I always think about that whenever I play characters, to remember that this is a play. It’s important to add as much nuance as possible to whatever you’re doing.

Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass in 'Gossip Girl'

Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass in ‘Gossip Girl’

Courtesy of Everett Collection

What is your dream arc for Max during the reboot?

I never really thought about that. I try to take it every season. As we get older and as they grow older, I think it’s just natural evolution, the natural discovery that every teenager has, the big moments in life. I mean, nothing specific. I think it’s important to get them and get these moments and get these changes, but nothing more concrete than that. I trust writers.

Who will be your dream Gossip Girl guests?

I thought. I actually was with him two weeks ago, and he’s such a lovely, lovely guy. I think that would be fun, or [Leighton]. I really liked her character in the original.

Interview edited for length and clarity.

new episode of Gossip Girl hit HBO Max every Thursday.

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