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Step aside, Taylor Swift! Leighton Meester alluded to a "stupid" breakup during an intimate performance and Q&A at the Apple Store in Soho, NYC on Tuesday, Oct. 14. The Gossip Girl alum, promoting the release of her new album, explained to the crowd why she titled the record -- and its eponymous single — Heartstrings.

"The song 'Heartstrings' is really special to me," said Meester, 28, who looked pretty after being primped by DreamDry and Caption Nails. "It's really more of a very visual: It represents the feeling of the rest of the record. It's about hiding your feelings and smiling and pretending that you're happy when you're not. Actually, I'd say that it represents most of the record, because that's what it's about. It's about just sort of tying your heartstrings off — not allowing yourself to be vulnerable."

Now happily married to Adam Brody, Meester said the record was inspired by a split she endured years ago. "It used to be about some stupid breakup that I had when I was 25 or earlier," she confessed. "But it was stupid, and I was like, 'I have to write a song about this!' Now, it really does have more meaning. At the time it was like,' Screw you, I don't care about you anymore, and it's not going to happen! Joker.'"

She failed to mention names, but there are a few Hollywood hunks she could be referring to. The singer dated her Gossip Girl costar Sebastian Stan for two years before splitting — at age 24 — in 2010. The actress described the breakup as "really hard" and "really sad" while speaking to Seventeen magazine in December 2010. "I want a family someday," Meester told the magazine, long before she married Brody in a top-secret ceremony in 2014. "I think there is someone out there for me," she mused to Seventeen, "but I'm not on some crazy hunt for that right now." She was also briefly linked to her Country Strong costar Garrett Hedlund in early 2012. [LOL, Us Weekly, you know shit...]

Fast-forwarding to 2014, Meester reflected that her new album was a more accurate reflection of her growth — in her personal life and career. "It's more about coming to realize — especially growing up (and I feel like I've done a lot of that the last couple of years) — a juxtaposition between my day job and [my music career]," she attempted to explain on Tuesday. "No matter what you're going through, you have to embody another character," she said specifically of portraying Blair Waldorf. "Which can be fun, but it also can be tiring."

Along with 'Heartstrings,' Meester said another single, 'L.A.,' represented a time in her 20s when things were very surface. "It sounds really happy, and it's really sort of sweet — poppy, chimey and light — even the lyrics seem like it's about something kind of nice," she said of the single. "But it's totally fake. It's totally sarcastic. It's called 'L.A.,' and it's about living in L.A., and being like, 'Oh look, I'm an adult. I have material things. I have a home and friends and I'm a grown up! But I'm just desperately lonely,'" she reflected of her past. "So thats what that's about."

As for life after Gossip Girl? "It seems like an instant and a million years [ago]," said Meester. "A lot has happened, mostly good."

For the multi-hyphenate, singing and songwriting has been a deeply "personal" process. "When you're acting, especially if you have any bit of recognition, all you ever do is try not to talk about your personal life and that's all people want to talk about," Meester said. "But this is very personal. As much as it's about my specific circumstances, I try and put it into words that hopefully other people understand. And you get that feeling when you go through something, especially when its painful, or good for that matter, but mostly painful — that nobody understands. But the truth is that everyone has been through it and you're not that special, so that's mostly what it's about."

[Us Weekly]

Apple should have the session in its entirety up tomorrow. This will do for now.

P.S. Leighton will be on VH1's Big Morning Buzz tomorrow, Fri., Oct. 17 at 9 a.m./8 central.
15 October 2014 @ 08:07 pm

Congratulations to Susanna Fogel and gang for winning Audience Choice at the 2014 Tacoma Film Fest!

We also have a fresh critical review from Washington state to preface Seattle's Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, in which LIFE PARTNERS is closing Oct. 19.

While it might not see like there's anything new here, Fogel and co-writer Joni Lefkowitz ("Chasing Life") have given us characters with charm and flaws all rolled together in an amusing package. The dialogue is perceptive and smart, and it steers clear of many of Hollywood's LGBT clichés. This story doesn't focus on the differences between the two girls' dating lives because of their sexual orientations, it focuses on their relationship. This goes a long way in showing how -- gay or straight -- there really isn't much of a difference in how people handle the dating world and the people closest to them.

Meester continues to grow as an actress having shed her snobby "Gossip Girl" character in films such as "Country Strong" and, most recently, "The Judge." She has a real comic flair and falls comfortably into the role of a lesbian without overdoing the stereotypes. This is a girl we know that feels lived in and natural.

[Full review]

Also, I don't think I posted this -- LP made Huffington Post's 10 Favorite post-Gay Movies:
Last Weekend was co-directed by a gay man and a straight man. The witty and heartwarming comedy Life Partners was co-written by a gay woman and a straight woman and explores the co-dependent and complex friendship between a lesbian and a straight girl. Winningly portrayed by Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs, these two women show us that sometimes the most important issue in a post-gay world is losing the friend you watch Top Model with.

I think when LP hits iTunes Nov. 6, we should have a viewing party here?

In 11 Questions, The A.V. Club asks interesting people 11 interesting questions—and then asks them to suggest one for our next interviewee.

Following stints on 24, Veronica Mars, and The WB’s short-lived remake of Tarzan, Leighton Meester reigned for six seasons as Gossip Girl queen bee Blair Waldorf. During her time on the fictionalized Upper East Side, Meester also launched a recording career, scoring a hit single with the Cobra Starship duet “Good Girls Go Bad” and contributing to the soundtrack to Country Strong, in which she co-starred with Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw. Her debut album, Heartstrings, is a set of dusky singer-songwriter fare produced by Sheryl Crow collaborator Jeff Trott. Heartstrings will be available October 28 via Meester’s own label, Hotly Wanting.

1. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Leighton Meester:
Babysitting this kid who—he wasn’t nice.

The A.V. Club: To put it diplomatically, he wasn’t nice?

He wasn’t very nice. I don’t think it was him—I think it was his parents. He was a holy terror.

AVC: Did you have any idea going into that babysitting job that he was like this?

Not really, but I felt really great because it didn’t last for too long—it was probably over the course of a few months, and by the end of it he was totally different, at least toward me. He was just very sweet.

AVC: So you had a positive influence on him?

Yeah. I think he was maybe lonely and acting out.

AVC: You took the worst job and made it a better one.

I guess so. I’ve been pretty lucky in my jobs. I know people are like, “Yeah, I had to wield a leaf blower” and all kinds of stuff, but I’ve been pretty lucky.
Read more...Collapse )

[A.V. Club]
13 October 2014 @ 05:20 pm

After a run as a TV teen queen and a brush with pop fame, Leighton Meester is giving fans something new to gossip about: her debut album. Fresh off her role in Of Mice and Men on Broadway, which wrapped in July, the 28-year-old is releasing Heartstrings on Oct. 28, on her own Hotly Wanting label. Previously signed to Republic, Meester is no stranger to music -- her guest spot on Cobra Starship’s 2009 hit, “Good Girls Go Bad,” peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. But her new dream-rock sound is a stark departure from her past dalliances in pop.

You originally signed a contract with Republic. How was that experience?

It was fun at the time: I had a record deal and I thought that was cool. It just wasn’t me, and even then I knew that. I learned about the industry, songwriting and the process of producing, which was something I had no clue about. But I think I learned how to do it my way.

Read more...Collapse )


Of Mice and Men will screen in international cinemas from 6 November 2014. To find your nearest venue visit http://www.ntlive.com/ofmiceandmen.

WHAT: Meet the Musician: Leighton Meester - Join musician and actress Leighton Meester for a conversation and Q&A about her debut album "Heartstrings." Though she’s mostly known for her roles in "Country Strong" and the recent revival of "Of Mice and Men" on Broadway, Leighton’s talents as a singer-songwriter shine in this nine-song narrative LP about love, irony, and heartache. This event will end with a short performance.

WHERE: Apple Store SoHo, 103 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012

WHEN: Tuesday, October 14, 2014; 8-9 p.m.

#: (212) 226-3126


Cobra Starship's Gabe Saporta is excited about Leighton's album, too! He was asked about her in an interview with Pop Crush:

Another one of your collaborators, Leighton Meester, is releasing her first album soon.

I’m so excited! It’s about time. She never put out an album.

I agree. Have you heard any of her new music?

I only heard, back in the day she played me songs. I realized when she got signed, everything was just pop and I think she had a conflict that a lot of artists have. The label wants it to be pop and she wanted to do more of a folky thing and she played guitar.

I haven’t heard her album now, but I saw her not too long ago when she was doing ‘Of Mice and Men’ and she seemed very excited. I’m really looking forward to hearing it.

Good times.

[Full interview]
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07 October 2014 @ 11:31 am

Best time to be a Leighton stan ^_^
30 September 2014 @ 09:39 am

LIFE PARTNERS has yet to release a trailer (this week or next, presumably), but it's slated for an On Demand and iTunes release Nov. 6 release and out in theatres Dec. 5. [Magnolia Pictures]

In the mean time, if you live in Tacoma, Wash., or Milwaukee, Wis., you can catch it at their respective film festivals.

  • Sun., Oct. 5 | Milwaukee
  • Fri., Oct. 10; Mon. Oct. 13 | Tacoma

    *Check out LIKE SUNDAY, LIKE RAIN if you live in the Bay Area or NYC
    28 October 2014 @ 04:42 pm

    LIKE SUNDAY, LIKE RAIN had its world premiere at London's Raindance Film Festival yesterday and initial reactions have been positive. Let's hope it continues.

    Check out this nice Q&A director Frank Whaley did for the Hampton's International Film Festival:

    Please describe Like Sunday, Like Rain in your own words.

    Frank Whaley:
    Like Sunday, Like Rain is a story about two people from two completely different ends of the universe. Through a random set of circumstances, they enter into each other’s lives and become friends. It’s a love story, but more to the point, a story about love, and our longing and struggle throughout our lives to find it.

    Reggie is a 12-year-old cello prodigy who lives in an opulent home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It would appear as though he has everything he could possibly want in his life, however he is essentially alone in the world. Eleanor is a young woman who is drifting through life with a deep sadness and loneliness. When these two find each other they discover the element that has been missing within both of them.
    Leighton has such poise and grace, but also a certain vulnerability that escapes through her eyes.Collapse )



    I get more and more excited for this film every time I hear about it. If you're in London, you can still catch another screening of it Monday afternoon. You can also catch it in the upcoming month(s) if you're in NYC or the Bay Area (CA):

  • Mon., Oct. 6; Wed., Oct. 8 - Thurs., Oct. 9 | Mill Valley (Leighton is an expected guest at the first/special screening!)
  • Sat., Oct. 11 | CBGB
  • Sun., Oct. 12 | Hamptons International
  • Thurs., Nov. 13 - Sun., Nov. 16 | Napa Valley
    27 September 2014 @ 07:25 am

    via @JoannKhatib