Blake Lively

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), The Private Lives of Pippa Lee 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. Lively stated that as a child, her mother would bring her to Disneyland twice a week as an opportunity "to have some extra time to bond"; Lively has stated, due to all the time she spent there, she felt that she "grew up at Disneyland."

Lively's mother, who was a former model from Georgia, inspired Lively to have an interest in clothes when she was a child. During Lively's childhood, her mother would sew clothes and dress her with garments from boutiques and vintage stores. She also tailored adult clothes to fit her. Lively has stated, "She just did that because she was so creative and because she didn't want me to be dressed in big T-shirts cinched with a plastic clip like all the rest of the kids." Lively has stated that, due to her wardrobe, when she attended a private school in Los Angeles in second grade for the first and only time in her life she did not fit in. "It was the only school where people were just downright mean to me ... They would make fun of my clothes because I dressed differently than the other kids."

During Lively's childhood, she attended 13 different schools. When she was three years old, her mother enrolled her in the first grade because Lively's older brother was supposed to start school, but he didn't want to go alone. Her mother told the school Lively was six since she "was so tall". After a few weeks, her teachers "said they would have to put me in mentally disabled classes because I wasn't up to pace with the rest of the kids," and they thought that she "was slow because all I wanted to do was sleep while the other kids were doing their projects." Shortly afterwards Lively's mother took her out of the school. Lively attended Burbank High School in Burbank; while attending the school, Lively participated in Burbank High School's show choir, In Sync, and was a cheerleader. When Blake was fifteen years old, her older brother Eric took her out of school for two months to go on a grand tour of Europe. While on the trip, Eric used most of the time trying to talk Lively into having an acting career.

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 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 has said that she enjoys cooking, and considers it to be her hobby.Lively, as of November 2009, owns one pet: Penny, a copper-colored Maltipoo dog.

During the 2008 United States presidential election Lively expressed her support for Barack Obama over John McCain. Lively and Badgley appeared in a pro-Obama commercial, as part of's Youth Vote program. The commercial, directed by Doug Liman, aired during Gossip Girl on CW, MTV and Comedy Central. Lively referred to the comparisons of her to Paris Hilton as being "dumb". Lively cited the only similarities she had to Hilton was that they both have a small dog and blonde hair; she further said that, unlike Hilton, she "doesn't go to clubs, parties, dance on tables, and doesn't like sex tapes". Lively has described herself as being a "loving" and "trusting" person to others, which is one of the few things she feels she has in common with her character Serena on Gossip Girl.

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".

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