Penn Badgley Says His Romance With Blake Energetic ‘Saved Me’ During Gossip Girl Era

Gossip Girl’s Blake Energetic and Penn Badgley enjoyed an off-screen romance along with an on-screen one while shooting the show. And while the 2 have moved on and have not spoken much about their years dating from 2007 to 2010, Badgley did give Energetic a variety of credit in his recent Variety interview for keeping him from all-time low.

The person behind Dan Humphrey didn’t love being on TV on the time. While doing the show, “I didn’t need to be in television. I used to be biding time so much with Dan—I used to be not invested,” he said. “And I’m not saying it’s an excellent thing! I’m saying it’s just what it was.”

Those Gossip Girl years were “fun and fast-paced” but underneath, there was a “dark undercurrent that will bottom out in my later 20s,” he said. Variety’s reporter asked if any of the darkness was substance abuse-related. That is when Energetic got here in. “To be honest, I never struggled with substance,” Badgley said. “Blake didn’t drink, and I feel our relationship in some ways saved me from forcing myself to go down that road.” He didn’t offer any more comments on her, but opened up himself about having “nothing in need of a spiritual crisis.”

Blake Energetic and Penn Badgley on location for Gossip Girl on July 15, 2008.

James Devaney//Getty Images

“Like anybody who experiences some extent of fame and wealth, I used to be presented with the universal truth that not only does it not make your life higher or easier, it actually can greatly complicate things, and make you quite unhappy,” he said. Variety wrote that he felt isolated and unsure who to trust.

“I used to be never anything that I might define as suicidal in any respect, but I used to be definitely in a despair,” he said. “It needed to do with ‘Do I matter? Do I matter? Does anything matter?’ These questions do inform how we feel. The reply that I got here upon was ‘Yes.’ I feel all of us have to come back to that. I don’t know the way you would come to ‘No’ and be completely satisfied, so all of us have to come back to that ‘Yes’ someway. Probably repeatedly.”

Energetic spoke in 2017 about dating Badgley while on Gossip Girl; that they had been of their early 20s. “I remember there was one point where we were just afraid of how our personal lives overlapping our work life may very well be perceived by our bosses,” Energetic said. “[But then] we were like, ‘Oh no, that’s exactly what they need.’ They wanted us all up to now. They wanted us all to wear the identical clothes that we’re wearing on the show. They wanted that, because then it fed their whole narrative. People could buy into this world.”

“On the time, I used to be wearing the identical clothes and doing fashion shoots, and dating the identical person who my character was dating—or sometimes that person [Dan] was my brother, you never know with Serena—and since of that, what people were projecting onto me was that I used to be Serena,” she continued. “We glance the identical, and we acted similar to far as they might tell, because I wasn’t doing anything but that show. If [Penn and I] were photographed walking down the road, they didn’t know if it was a paparazzi shot or if it was a shot from the show.”

Headshot of Alyssa Bailey

Senior News and Strategy Editor

Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring Latest York City.

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