When the original “Gossip Girl” made its TV debut back in 2007, the show became an monster hit that transformed its cast of unknowns into instant celebrities.
In a new interview with Rainn Wilson’s “Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson”, Badgley explained that he’s since “processed” his experience on “Gossip Girl” and shared his takeaways about fame.
“The most meaningful form of action I saw, as a person who’d been on ‘Gossip Girl’, as a person who had at this point hundreds of thousands of followers — yeah, because I got on social media late. If I had gotten on in the middle of ‘Gossip Girl’, I very well could’ve had millions upon millions — so I was thinking, the most meaningful contribution I have to make as an individual is on these platforms,” he said, via E! News.
“And in trying to have a pure intention and honest interaction on these spaces, I also found that I was completely overwhelmed by being conscious of how many likes or retweets or whatever. It was such a convoluted way to be like, ‘acting,'” he continued.
As Badgley recalled, he felt chasing further fame on social media was like being “wrapped up in ego and our materialist culture,” adding: “It was not the most fulfilling or meaningful contribution that I could make as an individual seeking to better the world.”
Sharing his own experience with fame, Badgley recalled doing a promotional appearance a couple of years back in the Philippines, visiting a Manila mall that “was packed with thousands of screaming adults,” he recalled, adding that “in all of my years of witnessing some form of adulation, like the fan experience,” this one was unlike anything he’d experienced before.
“I had an anxiety attack that press trip. And I’m not a person who has that. I mean, look, I have anxieties I think. I’m human,” he shared.
That time in his life, he explained, “really was profound” for him.
“I was coming to terms with having lived half of my life at least in some kind of public eye. I felt the blessings descending, but it was in the form of an anxiety attack and it was pretty intense,” he said. “I was 32. I’d been through ‘Gossip Girl’ and processed that and it still was — I will tell you, the elevator doors opened and what I was met with, it was very hard to smile in the face of what it felt like… It was alarming and it was really hard to process in that moment.”