She’s not Blair Waldorf anymore! Leighton Meester has come a long way since playing the Queen B in Gossip Girl from 2007 until 2012.

Although Gossip Girl is what skyrocketed the actress to stardom, she actually had a few other roles before moving to the Upper East Side. Leighton’s first-ever acting job was in a 1999 episode of Law & Order. She went on to nab other TV show appearances before transitioning to movies in 2003. Just before Gossip Girl, the Texas native was on a show called Surface. Then, Blair Waldorf came along.

“It was a very special time … that was filled with challenges that have nothing to do with [Gossip Girl] and also sometimes things that did have something to do with it,” the actress told Net-a-Porter’s Porter magazine in September 2018. “But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s sort of a time capsule. A lot of the questions that come from it are: ‘Do you miss it?’ ‘Did you love what you wore?’ And I understand that, but — and I say this with nothing but love – it is like saying, ‘High school was an amazing time for you, do you wish you could go back?’ And the truth is, it was so special and such a unique, amazing experience, but no, I wouldn’t wanna go back to it, I was a kid!”

Although it seems like she’s always reflecting on the teen drama, Leighton has officially moved on to older roles, one of which was a major surprise to fans. When How I Met Your Father premiered via Hulu in January 2022, eagle-eyed viewers were quick to notice that the Single Parents star had a surprise cameo as an ex-girlfriend named Meredith. And according to the show’s creators Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, this may not be the last time fans see her in the series.

“Just having Leighton Meester in that one little viral video certainly seems like a waste of Leighton Meester,” Isaac told Us Weekly following the show’s premiere. “I think that it is reasonable to expect that she’ll be returning at some point.”

Other than acting, Leighton has a full-time job as a mother. The CW alum shares two kids with husband and former The O.C. star Adam Brody, whom she married in 2014.

“I think we’re a pretty modern couple,” she told Entertainment Tonight in August 2018 of their relationship. “I think we sort of toggle back and forth … we both work, but also being actors, I think we understand each other, what we’re both going through.”

Scroll through our gallery to see Leighton’s transformation over the years. 

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