Discovered: There’s a new Gossip Girl queen bee on the rise, and she’s wasting no time in launching her hostile takeover. After an explosive season one finale, HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl” returned on December 1 with even more chaotic drama, and this time Julien (Jordan Alexander) isn’t the one keeping things going in Constance. In season two, she finds it hard to maintain her influence as her sidekick-turned-enemy Monet (Savannah Lee Smith) shoots for her first place.
“We kind of wanted the cold tough bitch who would stop at nothing to get to the top.”
The final season of Gossip Girl tried to redefine the infamous high school championship with some overly vengeful tricks orchestrated by Julien’s servants Monet and Luna (Zión Moreno), but one of them caught on in the took on a darker role in the second season. A new antagonist has emerged in the form of Luna and Julien, who are on the run with Monet because of Monet’s terrible power trip, and she won’t go down without a fight – so say hello to mean girl Monet 2.0.
Monet is determined to make a new name for himself in season two, and everyone is taking notice. “I think Monet really has had her time to shine,” Evan Mock, who plays Aki, tells POPSUGAR. His co-star Emily Alyn Lind, who plays Aki and Max’s girlfriend Audrey, adds: “[It’s] so amazing because she’s playing this role that felt really needed. We kind of wanted the cold hard bitch who will stop at nothing to get to the top and I think viewers are going to be really excited because it definitely feels like a nod to the original.
Almost every good high school drama always needs a villain to shake things up, and it seems Monet has no problem taking on that role. However, Lee Smith says there’s more to her character’s mean girl energy than meets the eye. “I definitely think this season you can see a little bit of why we’re the way we are, especially with Monet and Luna,” she explains. “Monet’s parents come into play and her relationship with her mother says a lot about why she’s a little jaded or has a tough, tough exterior. But in the end her mother is really the only one who can break this appearance. It’s fun to play and I think it’s different from what people see from Monet.”
While Monet isn’t quite as notorious as Michelle Trachtenberg’s Georgina Sparks, Lee Smith still thinks her character could be just as bad – if not worse – than her. “I always say, as soon as I think maybe Monet has something good about her, I look back on season one — Zoya’s birthday,” she says. “It was so bad. That was the scariest thing, the meanest thing. I didn’t even know how to think that.”
Will we see Monet eventually turn a page like Julien? Hard to say. But Lee Smith hopes she at least softens — maybe if she ever falls in love? “I want to see how she would handle it or how I would play it,” says the actor. “I think that would be an interesting thing to see where her character would go.”
Monet’s reign is just beginning, so we have one long Walk away until we see her soft side. Until then, she will rule her loyal (and not so loyal) subjects with an iron fist. But there’s no telling if that will change as Gossip Girl is still collecting secrets from Julien. . .
The first two episodes of the second season of Gossip Girl are streaming now on HBO Max.