Spotted: there’s a new “Gossip Girl” queen bee on the rise, and she’s wasting no time kicking off her hostile takeover. After an explosive season one finale, HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl” returned with more chaotic drama on Dec. 1, and this time around, Julien (Jordan Alexander) isn’t the one running things over at Constance. In season two, she has a hard time holding onto her influence with her sidekick turned enemy Monet (Savannah Lee Smith) gunning for her No. 1 spot.
“We kind of wanted the cold hard b*tch that would not stop at anything to get to the top.”
The last season of “Gossip Girl” attempted to redefine the infamous high school mean girl trope with some overly vindictive ploys orchestrated by Julien’s minions Monet and Luna (Zión Moreno), but one of them has upgraded to a more sinister role in season two. With Luna and Julien on the outs with Monet on account of the latter’s terrible power trip, a new antagonist has emerged and she’s not going down without a fight — so say hello to mean girl Monet 2.0.
Monet is certainly determined to make a new name for herself in season two, and everyone is taking note of it. “I think Monet really has her time to shine,” Evan Mock, who plays Aki, tells POPSUGAR. His costar Emily Alyn Lind, who stars as Aki and Max’s girlfriend Audrey, adds, “[It’s] so amazing because she plays this role that felt like it was really needed. We kind of wanted the cold hard b*tch that would not stop at anything to get to the top, and I think viewers are going to be really excited because it definitely feels like nods to the original.”
Every good high school drama almost always needs a villain to shake things up, and it seems Monet has no problem filling that role. However, Lee Smith says there’s more to her character’s mean-girl energy than meets the eye. “I definitely think that this season you get to see a little bit of why we are the way we are, specifically with Monet and Luna,” she explains. “Monet’s parents come into play, and her relationship with her mom is very telling as to why she might be a little jaded or have a tough, hard exterior. But her mom ends up being really the only one that can break that exterior. That’s fun to play, and I think it’s something different that people will get to see from Monet.”
While Monet isn’t quite as infamous as Michelle Trachtenberg’s Georgina Sparks, Lee Smith still thinks her character might be just as bad as her — if not worse. “I always say the moment I start to think Monet maybe has some good in her, I look back to season one — Zoya’s birthday,” she says. “That was so bad. That was the most terrible, mean thing. I didn’t even know how I thought of that.”
Will we see Monet eventually turn over a new leaf like Julien? Hard to say. But Lee Smith hopes she’ll at least soften — perhaps if she ever fell in love? “I want to see how she would handle that or how I would play that,” the actor says. “I think that would be an interesting thing to see in terms of where her character would go.”
Monet’s reign is just getting started, so we have a long way to go until we see her soft side. Until then, she’ll be ruling over her loyal (and not-so-loyal) subjects with an iron fist. But there’s no telling if that’ll change with Gossip Girl still collecting secrets from Julien . . .
The first two episodes of “Gossip Girl” season two are now streaming on HBO Max.