In a matter of minutes last week, Neal Bledsoe went from being a mostly unknown actor to the guy who made out with Ed Westwick on Gossip Girl. The headline-making kiss doesn’t air until Oct. 19, but Bledsoe — who plays a gay NYU alumni whom Blair pimps boyfriend Chuck out to — happily offered us a sneak preview of the can’t-miss episode (and broke some big career news in the process).
How has your life changed in the past week?
NEAL BLEDSOE: My mom is certainly a thousand times more proud of me. And it was my first experience with the paparazzi knowing my name, which was strange. I thought maybe Neil Diamond or Neil Sedaka was standing behind me.
Tell me about your character.
BLEDSOE: Initially I was supposed to play the dean of the freshman class. But then they hired a 28-year-old actor so that seemed like a little bit of a stretch. Now I play a lawyer who is a very well connected alumni at the university who has a hand in deciding who is going to give the famous freshman speech.
An honor you agree to extend to Blair in exchange for the kiss. Is it as simple as you just wanting to say you made out with the legendary Chuck Bass?
BLEDSOE: I will tell you this: I have a very unexpected and darker motivation about it.
Was shooting the kiss awkward?
BLEDSOE: No. We were both professionals about it. [It helped] that we got to know each other a little bit beforehand. And we certainly rehearsed it.
Rehearsed it? How many takes did you do?
BLEDSOE: [Laughs] More than a few.
How would you characterize the kiss? Steamy? A little peck?
BLEDSOE: I would characterize it as a nice kiss.
Complete this sentence: Ed Westwick kisses just like…
BLEDSOE: [Laughs] …he kisses just like Chuck Bass.
What did your girlfriend think?
BLEDSOE: She was happy I wasn’t kissing any of the girls on the show. She might’ve had some Blake Lively envy.
At what point in the process did you find out about the kiss?
BLEDSOE: There was an asterisk on the character breakdown that said, ‘Actor must kiss Ed Westwick in the episode.’
Your first reaction?
BLEDSOE: Things like that shouldn’t matter. Unfortunately for some actors things like that do matter and they’ll turn down projects because of it. I thought it was a really fun episode. I had an awesome time doing it. And I think it would’ve been a shame if I was not open-minded enough to do the episode simply because I had to kiss another man.
Might your character return at some point?
BLEDSOE: I have no idea. That’s up to the writers.
Where do you go from here?
BLEDSOE: I don’t think I’d be breaking my confidentially agreement by saying this: I’m going to be in the Sex and the City sequel.
Who are you playing?
BLEDSOE: Um… It’s a character in the Sex and the City sequel.
PHOTO CREDIT: Giovanni Rufino/The CW