Edge

‘Gossip Girl’ starlet thrills the big screen

Courtesy Screen Gems

We love to hate her as the manipulative Blair Waldorf on “Gossip Girl,” envy her chic wardrobe in those “They’re just like US” (as if!) paparazzi pics and crave more of her infectious pop music.

Now, Leighton Meester wants to scare your pants off in “The Roommate,” her new movie hitting big screens Friday.

For those of us who whisper “XO” at the end of every “Gossip” episode, this weekend is our chance to see Ms. Meester bring on her crazy.

The film mixes elements of “Fatal Attraction” and “Single White Female” to inspire nightmares about the freshman dorm experience from hell.

“I think that a lot of people can relate to it because it is a little bit scary…moving in with a total stranger,” Meester said during a conference call to promote the film. “You go to college, you’re without your parents for the first time and you’re paired up with someone who is literally going to be in your space 24 hours a day and has a lot of access to you.”

Meester plays Rebecca Woods, the seemingly chill hottie who goes ape s*** and develops an unflattering obsession for her roommate Sarah Matthews, played by the delightful Minka Kelly (NBC’s “Parenthood” and “(500″ Days of Summer”).

“From the outside she seems like a really good friend, good person,” Meester said. “She’s understanding, she’s artistic, she’s trustworthy. But eventually she just completely losses that.”

Rebecca’s antics are more extreme than most residence halls reports. The chick starts off saying awkwardly sweet things to Sarah like “I’ve always wanted a sister” and waiting for her to return home from nights out with her boyfriend.

A foreshadowing of the worst comes when Rebecca’s mom asks her roomie, “Is she taking her medication?” Cue stalking Sarah’s boyfriend at the library, attacking friends in the communal shower, ripping out earrings, taking up arms and hostage scenes featuring screams straight out of the “Exorcist.”

Meester’s performance is so convincing that she grew afraid of herself while watching the final product.

“A couple of my friends were asking me, ‘How did you like it?’ and I was saying it was scary and I was genuinely scared at points, but it is sort of funny that I’m what’s scary in the movie.”

Meester prepared for the role by delving into mental illness books and speaking with professionals about mental illness patients.

“The psychiatrists I spoke to were the most helpful because they would describe in gross detail different cases that they’d worked on defending their patients who had been convicted of crimes…It’s definitely dark in the mind of someone who’s living like this, and it was interesting for me because I have what I believe is a firm grip on reality.”

Fortunately, the role didn’t overcome the actor’s psyche.

“I can’t say that I wasn’t at all affected by it. I think it stays with you a bit if you’re terrorizing people all day, [but]overall it was exciting.”

Nick Maslow may be contacted at nick@themiamihurricane.com.

February 4, 2011

Reporters

Nick Maslow

Of the Staff


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Shakey Rodriguez, the Miami high school basketball coaching legend, vividly remembers the first time ...

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez gives "Major League" advice to UM’s fall graduating c ...

Becoming the Man of the Hour ...

Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic. ...

A scholarship created by retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and born out of his love ...

New Multi-State Institute Focuses on Reducing Damage from Severe Storms ...

Eighteen Hurricane student-athletes graduated from four schools and colleges at the University of Mi ...

Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem's incredible career earned her a place ...

Check out the latest edition of Hurricane Magazine. ...

Members from the Miami track and field team spent the afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club in Miami ...

UM administrators, coaches and alums took part in yesterday's allCanes Holiday Shopping Spree f ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.