Thomas Doherty of ‘Gossip Girl’ on Acting, Dior Ambassadorship – WWD

Thomas Doherty has kept himself busy.

The “Gossip Girl” actor, in the midst of filming the show’s second season, has his first feature-length film coming out this summer. Called “The Bride,” the thriller presented quite the change of scenery — literally — for Doherty, who filmed in Hungary for months.

“The work determines the way that you live your life as well,” the Scottish actor says. “Being a part of a thriller/psychological horror situation is very different than being in ‘Gossip Girl’ in New York. The actual projects themselves do influence how you are in the world.”

In between projects, he added Dior Beauty US ambassador to his résumé. “The brand has really held onto its integrity, which I really admire,” Doherty says of the partnership, which was revealed Monday. “In Paris, I saw Kim [Jones’] show, and was so fortunate to go to the archives before. I was able to see all of the house’s codes within the clothes with that context,” he adds.

Between filming, Doherty spoke with WWD about “Gossip Girl” and how TV challenges him more than film.

WWD: When did you get into acting, and did you ever consider any other careers?

Thomas Doherty: When I was growing up, I was very into soccer. It was a very British, Scottish thing that the young guys are into. I had a best friend at school, and he did acting. My mom ushered me that way, so I was about 5 when I started. Ever since then, I just like it. It wasn’t one of those things that I was like, “I’m born to do this;” it was definitely an evolution. It continues to be and as I get older, it keeps changing, but my passion for it does deepen.

WWD: You’re filming for “Gossip Girl’s” second season. What has the show been like, and how has it been shooting in New York?

TD: I heard that they were doing a reboot, and I thought it was really cool. I had the idea that it was culturally influential the first time, so I was curious as to who the cast would be involved. My manager told me I had an audition for it, and I auditioned for a couple of different characters for a few months.

I filmed “High Fidelity” here, and I was living in Greenpoint, and as my first-ever experience in New York, I just fell in love with it. It’s my favorite city in the world, and it’s hard to fathom that people live anywhere else. People always ask me if I’m going to go back to the UK, and I have no intention of it.

Thomas Doherty

Thomas Doherty
Lexie Moreland/WWD

WWD: How would you describe Max, your character in “Gossip Girl”?

TD: Any time I was on set, I’d always have the idea that Max was playing the character of Max. A huge socialite, likes to party, likes to experience life. He’s this guy that’s very personable and outgoing, but there’s definitely a mask, and behind that camouflage, he’s a 17-year-old boy.

People love “Gossip Girl” because it’s escapism. It’s ultra-wealthy, this lifestyle that people like to vicariously indulge in, and I think that you do lose your ability to relate with them because of that divide.

He’s a boy that has different circumstances in life, but is essentially a young person who goes through the turmoil of growing up, and exploring themselves, in today’s world with a lot more freedom. Season one ends with him in a relationship, and I can’t say any more than that about season two.

WWD: You also just finished filming a thriller, “The Bride,” which is set to release later this year. Do you have a preference between films or shows?

TD: “The Bride” was my first-ever studio movie that I’ve done, and it was really such a different experience, and very, very different. I don’t necessarily prefer one or the other, it’s harmful to compare filming a show in New York to a movie filming in the middle of nowhere in Hungary.

I love the point of film, you get the script early, you get to really work with the script and have time to create a character evolution. With TV, you don’t get all these scripts at once, so it’s harder to map out a character, and it’s quite hard as an actor.

TV is more challenging, because it’s very challenging to be doing episode one and two, not knowing where your character goes in episode seven. With film, anything you have is clearly mapped out in your head, you work with the directors and the writers, you know what you’re getting into. I love film, I love theater, I love stage stuff, and I studied it in college.

WWD: How does the process differ for each?

TD: It’s such an evolution, and I’m not an actor who has a five-year plan, or a 10-year plan, or even great ambitions to work with certain people or directors. I just think that the nature of what I do is exciting, and I love what I do because of the nature in which I do it.

For more from WWD.com, see:

Thomas Doherty on His First Fashion Week

Dan Levy and the ‘Gossip Girl’ Crew Kick Off Dior’s Latest Pop-up

Dior’s Pre-fall Campaign Is All About the Sisterhood

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