Are Blake Lively & Penn Badgley Friends? There's No Bad Blood Between These Exes
Even though Gossip Girl has been off the air for over seven (yes, seven, we're that old) years, our hearts will forever remember the relationship between Serena van der Woodsen and Dan Humphrey, played by Blake Lively and Penn Badgley, respectively. Of course, the main reason why the relationship was so memorable onscreen was because Lively and Badgley ended up dating IRL, getting together in 2008 and dating for three years before finally ending things in 2010. (A bummer, but ultimately for the best, considering Lively went on to marry actor Ryan Reynolds in 2012 — with whom she shares two children — and Badgley went on to marry singer Domino Kirke in 2017.) But are Blake Lively and Penn Badgley friends? Or did they simply let their relationship run its course years ago? Let's do some digging to see what we can uncover.
After having met on set of Gossip Girl, Lively and Badgley tried to keep their relationship away from the public eye — so much so that when the two called it quits, they didn't even tell the cast and crew of the show. In a 10-year anniversary interview with Vanity Fair in 2017, the cast recounted just how private the two actors were.
"The shocking thing was, I found out on the set of the Season 2 finale that Blake and Penn had broken up months before," executive producer Joshua Safran told the magazine. "They kept the breakup hidden from the crew, which you could never do now. I don’t even know how they did it. They kept it from everybody which is a testament to how good they are as actors. Because they did not want their personal drama to relate to the show."
Lively chimed in, adding that it seemed as though the relationship onscreen was "overlapping" with their own private lives.
"I remember there was one point where we were just afraid of how our personal lives overlapping our work life could be perceived by our bosses. [But then] we were like, ‘Oh no, that’s exactly what they want.’ They wanted us all to date," Lively revealed. "They wanted us all to wear the same clothes that we’re wearing on the show. They wanted that, because then it fed their whole narrative. People could buy into this world."
The pair didn't last (obviously), but that didn't mean that they still didn't have to work together — and be romantic with one another — on the set of Gossip Girl. While appearing on Watch What Happens Live back in 2015, Badgley revealed that Lively was both his best and worst on-screen kiss. When a caller asked him to reveal who he enjoyed kissing the most on screen, and who he enjoyed kissing the least, his answer was surprisingly honest.
"I’d say best… I’ll say it was Blake, because we actually had a relationship at the time," Badgley said, then jokingly adding that the worst was "maybe Blake after we broke up." But then Badgley noted that the two of them handled the situation the best way possible. He said,
We were constantly professional, to be honest, and we should both pat ourselves on the back because anything is complicated in that way... and we handled it.
To me, that sounds like both Lively and Badgley figured out a way to navigate the issue together, despite the fact that they were no longer together. Let's be real, how many of you could casually see your ex at work and remain calm, cool, and collected? I have to think that there was some camaraderie between the two actors to make this possible.
While all of this is somewhat comforting to hear, it still doesn't answer the question of whether or not these two remained best buds after they called it quits — but an interview with Elle magazine back in 2013 might provide a little bit of insight into their relationship.
When asked if it was difficult to work with Lively after she married Ryan Reynolds, Badgley said that it wasn't, and they were "ultimately professional." When asked what he learned from that relationship, he said,
I don't know if I can distill it into a sentence, or even articulate it. We were very much caught up in the show, which itself was a six-year endurance test. Our relationship was a part of that and helped us through it. I mean, like anything valuable, it was good and it was bad and it was a learning experience.
Sounds like they are totally cool with each other then, right? Maybe they are BFF's, after all?
When asked if he bought Lively and Reynolds a wedding gift, he shortly replied, "No I didn't."
Well, alrighty then.
So where does that leave us? Are they friends or are they not?
To be quite frank, I can't say for sure whether these two are friends, necessarily, but they are most certainly cordial with one another. In March 2015, after Lively had just welcomed her first child with Reynolds, Badgley spoke with HuffPost Live’s Alyona Minkovski and revealed that he hadn't remained in contact with his ex.
"We haven’t spoken in a while," he told Minkovski, adding, "But, you know, there’s an amicable silence, if that makes any sense."
Personally, I think that makes perfect sense. It settles things once and for all on where these two stand, and that's 100 percent amicable. While they won't be wearing friendship necklaces anytime soon, I'm OK with these two simply being respectfully cordial.
That's all the tea I have today, friends. Xoxo, gossip girl.