Blake Lively (born August 25, 1987) is an American actress and model. She currently stars as Serena van der Woodsen in the book-based TV drama Gossip Girl. She has also starred in movies, including Accepted, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (as well as its sequel), and Ben Affleck's The Town.
Lively was born in Tarzana, Los Angeles to actors Ernie and Elaine Lively. She was raised as a Southern Baptist. The youngest of five siblings, Lively has a brother, Eric, two half-sisters, Lori and Robyn, and a half-brother, Jason. Both of her parents and all of her siblings are, or have been, in the entertainment industry. During Lively's childhood, her parents would take her with them to acting classes that they taught because they didn't want to leave her with a babysitter. Lively said that watching her parents teach acting classes helped her learn the "drills" of acting and gain confidence as she got older.
Blake Lively was not at all interested in acting but during the summer between her junior and senior years, her brother, Eric, made his agent send her out on a few auditions over a period of a few months; of the few auditions, she got the role of Bridget for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Lively filmed her scenes in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants between her junior and senior years at Burbank High. In 2008, Lively stated that, while attending college isn't in her immediate future due to her Gossip Girl filming commitment, she hasn't altogether put aside the idea of attending school at Stanford, Dartmouth, or Columbia. She stated that attending Columbia University one day a week is a possibility and the option of being able to attend the school was a factor in accepting her role on Gossip Girl; however, she has not yet enrolled in any classes.
Lively began her acting career at age 11, when she appeared in the 1998 film Sandman, which was directed by Lively's father. Lively describes her role in the film as having been a "bit part". After not having any involvement with acting for almost seven years, Lively appeared in the film adaptation of the novel of the same name, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in 2005. Lively, appearing with America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn and Alexis Bledel, played Bridget, one of the four female leads. Lively's performance in the film earned her a nomination for a Teen Choice Award for "Choice Movie Breakout - Female." With a box office revenue of $42 million, the film was Lively's biggest commercially successful film until it was out-grossed by its sequel.
Lively has appeared on the cover of multiple mainstream magazines yearly. In 2007 the list includes Cosmo Girl (November). In 2008 the list includes; Lucky (January), Teen Vogue (March), NYLON (May; with Gossip Girl co-star Meester), Seventeen (August), Girls' Life (August; with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants co-stars Tamblyn, Bledel, and Ferrera), Vanity Fair (August; with Kristen Stewart, Amanda Seyfried and Emma Roberts) and Cosmopolitan (September). In 2009 the list includes Vogue (February cover), Allure (May),Rolling Stone (April), Glamour UK (August), Nylon (November) and Marie Claire (December). In January 2009, Lively was voted one of the top "35 Most Stylish Women To Look Out For" by Glamour UK. Lively was placed at #33 on the Maxim Hot 100 List in 2009, and number 4 in 2010. Lively appeared in the music video for The Lonely Island´s "I Just Had Sex" together with Jessica Alba in January 2011.
Lively dated actor Kelly Blatz from 2004 to 2007; the two had been friends since childhood. In late 2007, rumors circulated that Lively was dating her Gossip Girl co-star and former childhood classmate Penn Badgley. In May 2008, after People magazine published photos of the two kissing while on vacation in Mexico,the couple became more open about their relationship.Lively and Badgley ended their three-year relationship in mid-September 2010, according to a representative for the pair.
Lively said, in August 2009 during an interview with UK Glamour, that, while she does worry about her looks and weight - mostly when preparing for filming scenes involving revealing clothing - she doesn't diet. "I do panic before I have to wear a really skimpy outfit, but I don't have enough willpower," she tells the August issue of UK Glamour. "I had to do a scene in a bra and shorts for the first time in two years [...] On the day of the shoot, I ate a pork burrito, chips and Coke. Afterwards, I thought, 'I probably shouldn't have done that.' But whatever." Lively also stated, in the same interview, that she's "never worked out", but thinks that she'd "feel better" if she did and stated that she's "planning on getting a trainer".