While Blake Lively is best known for her role as Serena van der Woodsen on the hit CW drama Gossip Girl, she’s developed a budding film career as well in movies like The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants films, Accepted, and The Town.
Now the 27 year-old actress scores her potentially biggest role yet as love interest Carol Ferris in the highly-anticipated big-screen adaptation of the D.C. Comics superhero Green Lantern. Lively talked about what it was that made her decide to do a superhero film and how this role set apart from the typical damsel female roles seen in other superhero comics like Superman and Batman.
“For me, there were so many reasons to want to do this movie,” Blake reveals, “For one, there are the incredible people that I got to work with. But as a female, I always grew up watching these comic films and I never seen a character like this where the woman is equal to the man.”
“She’s also a fighter pilot, she runs the company that he works for,” she adds, “And I thought it was really cool that here’s this superhero, but she’s a bit of a real life hero in her own right and she has the strength and power of the men that surround her. But she’s also able to balance the femininity with and be the heart for the man that she loves.”
Blake says that not only is Carol different from your typical female character in a superhero film, but that Green Lantern is different from the glut of superhero films that have emerged in the past decade like X-Men, Spider-Man, Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, and Iron Man.
“The Green Lantern, in general, I think is unique superhero in that it’s not that he’s super that’s the focus, it’s that he’s a man,” she believes, “He’s very human. That’s his greatest strength and it’s also his greatest weakness. And I’ve never heard of a superhero who inherits such power and goes, ‘No, you know what, he can give it to someone else. I’m good living my life.’ And I think, in that way, the world is so fantastical that we live in, from everything that’s happened on planet Earth with the fighter planes and the dogfights and all the different planets and the alien species, there’s such vast territory that we cover in this.”
“To have somebody so truthful and so human at the heart of it, I think is really refreshing,” Lively adds, “Just look at how we interact when I first meet him as the Green Lantern, we know each other our whole lives and he has a mask on. And I’ve never seen another comic where it’s treated that way, but you always think, come on, really, you don’t know that that’s him? So I appreciated that we acknowledged things in a way that you normally have to suspend your belief in these sort of films.”
Lively talked about how she often baked treats and brought them onto the set for her co-star Ryan Reynolds, who plays the titular hero, and the rest of her cast and crew.
“It was just a way to sabotage Ryan,” Blake claims, “I felt like it was not fair. He was working out as much as he was and I’m the girl, I’m supposed to look better. And I didn’t think it was right or fair, so I tried to sabotage him with cupcakes and smiles.”
Blake was asked if she was every bit as passionate about cooking as she is about acting.
“Well, actually, the most cooking I did was in New Orleans on this film,” Lively says, “I went to Cordon Bleu for a couple days a few months ago. But I got back from a French institute studying the language, but I love to cook everything and anything. New Orleans was a great place to cook and eat.”
Most of the main cast in Green Lantern consists of men, not only including Reynolds, but Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, and Tim Robbins. But Lively says that she had little issue being in such a mostly male-dominated environment during the film’s shooting.
“I’m trying to get in touch with my masculinity lately,” Blake says, “No, I have a big family and two brothers and two sisters, so I grew up with a ton of boys around and a ton of girls around. So I feel like I get along with both sexes really well.”
Though Blake claims she did get to add what she felt was a woman’s touch to her trailer.
“I had yellow brick road painted out in front of mine and ruby slippers underneath,” Lively says, “We decorated the outside of our trailers. We had a battle.”
Lively says that it has taken a strong work ethic that was instilled in her from childhood to get her as far as she has to doing a film as large a scale as Green Lantern
“My mom would say to me and all my siblings growing up, she would always say, ‘When there’s a will, there’s a way,’” Blake says, “She would make the impossible happen always and she definitely instilled that in us. I remember when I was in high school, I took in way too many clubs and activities and extracurriculars and they brought me into the office and said, ‘You can’t do all these things,’ and I said, ‘Why not?’ And they said, ‘Because it’s never been done before.’”
“And I said, ‘OK, well then great, you can see it be done for the first time,’” she adds, “And I should not have done that. It was a terrible idea and I went to school from 6:00AM to 10:00PM everyday and I was miserable. But I had to prove that I could do it because of this willpower thing. So it was a good thing, but also, I do believe when there’s a will, there’s a way.”
From the very beginning of doing Gossip Girl, Blake has gotten equal notice for her wardrobe and has become a veritable fashion icon. She says her fashion sense is another thing that is innate in her from how she was raised.
“Fashion is always something that I’ve appreciated and my mom would ways make clothes for me growing up,” she reveals, “She’s an amazing interior decorator and so I look at it in the same way. It’s just that element of design and mixing different patterns and colors and textures.”
“But once I was on Gossip Girl and once I lived in New York, those two combined just blew open the opportunities I had to borrow the most beautiful clothes in the world,” Lively continues, “And I just feel like I’m getting to play dress up everyday and it’s definitely an added bonus to this job to get to wear the beautiful clothes that I wear. The sad part is giving them back.”