Amy Mackelden
October 25, 2015 8:40 am

As Blair Waldorf, Leighton went from stone cold dictator to completely kick-ass and loveable. It was Blair’s vulnerability that got me hooked on Gossip Girl, her insistence on nothing less than true love, and that never-ending self-belief she had. Plus the crazy chemistry Leighton had with co-star Ed Westwick, a.k.a. Chuck Bass, who was and will always be the coolest.

Since Gossip Girl ended (we’ll never forget you!), Leighton has been super productive, but kept a relatively low profile, and when it comes to her personal life everything’s super hush hush. She married Adam Brody (oh Seth Cohen, how we love you still) and they had a baby this past August. There have been no tabloid scandals of so-called friends trying to sell baby photos to the press, and I get the impression Adam and Leighton are totally chill, enjoying flying under the radar. And I totally respect that.

This balance Leighton strikes between recognized worldwide celebrity and person with an actual personal life is impressive, and just a part of what makes her so amazing. I love so many things about Leighton. Here I’ve listed just a few of those things, including her debut album, must-see movie roles you should absolutely watch, and the issues she’s outspoken about time and again.

Her killer album, Heartstrings

Leighton’s debut album came out a year ago, dropping on the same day as Taylor Swift’s 1989, and it’s every bit as good now as it was then. A quieter release than Tay Tay’s, but completely authentic – Leighton even released Heartstrings independently through her own record label, the brilliantly named Hotly Wanting. The album’s about loving the wrong people, searching for connections, and finding strength after a long time spent feeling lost. My personal favorite lyrics from the album,“I’m an amnesiac, forgot what it’s like to be happy,” sum up the quest the record sets forth, to find happiness again and, with it, a stronger sense of self.

Her sweet indie movie career

Leighton hasn’t been making the big blockbuster movies we might have expected of her post-Gossip Girl. I’m sure she’s been offered all manner of action-movie sidekick roles but, instead, she’s stuck to making smaller indie films. And Life Partners is the greatest of all. She co-stars in it with Adam Brody (her real-life husband!) and Gillian Jacobs from Community. It’s a rom-com about BFFs and what happens when a romantic relationship threatens to get in the middle of two besties. Watch it now please. It’s totally beautiful.

Her work in The Oranges

I’ve not met anyone else who likes this movie so it’s my quest to make you all love it! Leighton stars in The Oranges as a young woman who strikes up an unlikely relationship with Hugh Laurie (Dr. House! There can never be too much House, imho!). It’s about how some love interests make for messy life situations, and sometimes you just have to move out of home so you can get on with your life. Plus, Adam Brody is in it TOO. Do you need any more reasons than that?

She’s an outspoken feminist

Despite staying out of the public eye for the most part, Leighton is always outspoken about being a feminist. In one interview, when asked if she considered herself a feminist, she replied, “Yeah, it shouldn’t be some sort of sensational news item. It’s something that I think all people should say about themselves.” What an awesome attitude to have! Feminism totally shouldn’t be some salacious piece of gossip about whichever celebrity just got asked if they’re a feminist. It should be integral to all humans. Yey Leighton for not being afraid to speak out on the subject.

We totally want her wardrobe IRL

Having played a character on TV renowned for their style, it’s no wonder that real-life Leighton is every bit as stylish as Blair Waldorf. But where Blair was always pristine and perfectly coifed, Leighton does casual just as well, and has truly perfected the art of effortless style. Hair-wise, she’s rocked an ombré, dabbled with blonde, and even tried out a blunt bob. But her signature style of long, wavy, brunette hair, is as perfect as she is; every bit the inspiration. Thanks Leighton!

[Image via VEVO]

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