When audiences first tuned in to the CW's original teen drama Gossip Girl, Jenny Humphrey, aka Little J (Taylor Momsen), was a freshman at the exclusive and stuck-up private school Constance Billard. She and her brother Dan (Penn Badgley) were branded as outsiders because they weren't filthy rich, and they lived in Brooklyn, unlike most of their other classmates who lived in Manhattan.
Jenny, more than anything, wanted to feel like she belonged and was desperate for validation.
The 14-year-old wasn't in with the high society crowd that included Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), and their dimwitted friends. Poor Little J spent a good portion of Season 1 trying to gain the respect of Blair and her minions but failed.
At the end of Season 2, after the old gang graduates, Jenny becomes Queen Bee. When her father, Rufus (Matthew Settle), marries Serena's mother, Lily (Kelly Rutherford), it makes Jenny the richest girl at school.
Throughout the first three seasons, viewers saw Jenny makes some crazy decisions, from stealing a jacket from Blair's mother's shop on a dare and getting arrested to briefly selling drugs to the worst of all, sleeping with Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick).
After Blair finds out, she banishes Jenny from the city, and Jenny goes to live with her mother Alison (Susan Misner). After Season 3, we don't see much of Jenny, and she was downgraded to a recurring role. What happened to Jenny on Gossip Girl?
What happened to Jenny Humphrey on 'Gossip Girl'?
For three straight seasons on Gossip Girl, Taylor's character Jenny had a leading role, but once Season 4 rolled around, we saw less and less of her. That was partly because she had been sent away to live with her mother, Alison, in Hudson, New York.
But what was really going on behind the scenes? Did the show write her off on purpose? According to Deadline, Taylor was also exhibiting "volatile" behavior on set that "raised eyebrows," and that's what led to less screen time.
Reps for the CW and producers at Warner Bros. declined to comment about why she was not on the show.
Taylor herself did speak out about why fans didn't see much of her on the teen drama. She shared that she decided to ditch acting and pursue her music career instead. Acting had just been a means to earn a living, and that's it.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, the musician talked about why she was pretty much written off the show. She shared, "When I got to a place where I realized I was in control of my own life and had found the right band, and everything was coming to fruition, it wasn’t even a question: I was going to quit my day job. I came to set every day with a guitar."
She added, "But I’m very lucky that the producers were nice enough to write me out, allow me to tour, and pursue my passion because they very easily could have told me to go f--k myself and keep me on the show.”
Where is Taylor Momsen now?
After some bouts with depression and substance abuse after losing a long-time friend and producer Kato Khandwala, Taylor is making music again. Her band, The Pretty Reckless, has an album out now called “Death by Rock and Roll,” their first since 2016. The Pretty Reckless is the first female-fronted band to have five No. 1 singles, and Taylor is quite amazed that they’ve been able to touch so many people.
She says what motivates her in so many ways was being free from that pressure she felt once leaving acting for music. Taylor did say, however, that she will be checking out the reboot of Gossip Girl.
While talking with WWD, she said, "I’m curious to see what they do with it. I know that the show, looking back on it now, had such a cultural impact that I don’t think I was really aware of at the time. I’m curious to see how they take the show and translate it into 2021.”
We know that Taylor said she’s done with acting, but it will be interesting to see if she makes a cameo appearance in the reboot down the road.
The first episode of the Gossip Girl reboot is now streaming on HBO Max, with new episodes available Thursdays at 12 a.m. PST.
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