The short answer is: They don’t. They happen to be as unflappable, and as thrumming with coolness, as the Upper East Side teens they portray. “Now there are other avenues—people are into a lot of things. I don’t think we’ll be pigeonholed as much as they were back then,” says Mock, who’s excited for the first season to wrap so he can get back to filming skate parts. In the original series, the general public saw Penn Badgley only once a week, on the CW; today the boys—especially Mock—seem to be everywhere. “Social media’s an amazing platform,” says Doherty, for the way it lets the actors themselves, rather than network marketing teams, shape the way they’re seen by audiences.
And it turns out the Gossip Boys’ fellowship is good for more than laughs. As we polish off another round of beers, I ask Mock about his first real acting role. He leans back and gestures at his friends. “I’m really thankful for these two,” he says, “because they’re very encouraging.” Just as Mock helped Doherty and Brown with the Manhattan social scene, they spotted him as he jumped headfirst into their industry. “Someone coming from the outside to this whole entertainment world is fucking scary, and I had sweaty palms for months knowing that I had this job that I’ve never done before.…”
“You’re fucking killing it though, bro,” says Brown.
“You really are, honestly,” adds Doherty.
“To have that support off the bat is really nice,” Mock says. “So thank you. And I’m signing off.” The Gossip Boys clink glasses one more time and head off into the night.
Samuel Hine is GQ’s senior associate editor.
A version of this story originally appeared in the GQStyle Fall/Winter 2021 issue with the title “Gossip Boys.”
PRODUCTION CREDITS:Photographs by Richie TalboyStyled by Jon TietzHair by Evanie Frausto at Streeters using Bumble and BumbleSkin by Akiko Owada at the Wall Group using ChanelTailoring by Victoria Yee Howe