I've got some juicy, amazing, exciting and news-breaking gossip to share with all of you: I love Joanna Garcia. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little. I mean, it's not exactly news that I love the talented, beautiful and sweet-as-candy cubana who happens to be my favorite TV star and owns my TV-shaped heart. But I do actually have some chisme for you that I think you're really going to like: Today, when I spoke with Joanna, she gave me all of the details on her new hush-hush role on the CW's Gossip Girl. And being the gossiper that I am, I am sharing that information with all of you (don't tell Joanna), including everything you want to know about Jo's character, Bree Buckley (don't believe what you may have heard!), why Bree might have some drama with a certain bitchy Upper East Side snob with the initials B.W. and what it was like kissing heartthrob Chace Crawford! Plus, she talks exclusively to Vivo Por TiVo about being the first Latina on the show, the cancellation of Privileged and her confession that, like most of us, she's no stranger to gossiping! Read the interview and don't forget to spread the word—after all, gossip is fun!
How does it feel to be the first Latina on Gossip Girl? I'm so glad they finally hired one of mi gente!
I'm always proud to be Latin anywhere I go, but the fact that I'm breaking a little ground here makes me very excited!
Have you been bombarded by the leigons of GG's female fans in New York City?
I wouldn't say "bombarded," but I've been surprised with how popular the show is. It's exciting!
I hear your character Bree is a bit of a bitch, just like Blair. And a bad girl. Is that true?
That's kind of a big myth! She certainly is not a bad girl at all! She comes from a different world—from a rival Texas elite family that has a lot of beef with the Archibalds. So there's a lot of tension that comes from that, and there are some interesting stories that are a little dramatic. But there's a great deal of getting along between Nate and Bree.
Everyone from EW to TV Guide has also made your character sound like a Miss America type—a kind of Carrie Prejean clone. Is she like Prejean?
No. I don't know where that leaked into the press. She certainly isn't a debutant or a beauty queen or anything like that. She's very grounded, very sweet, and very smart. And she certainly isn't blonde!
Woah, woah, woah, wait! You mean you're not returning to your blonde Reba roots for the role? Everyone seems to think you are!
No, no, no, no, no! I'm as red as it gets! I'm Privileged red!
Does your character, Bree, share scenes with Leighton Meester's Blair or Blake Lively's Serena?
Yeah, absolutely! Actually, in the first episode we just shot, Nate and I come out of our romantic little bubble, and I'm introduced to his friends.
Does your character have drama with Ms. Waldorf?
You know, I think Blair tends to have drama with a couple of girls, right? I don't know that they [Nate's friends] are immediately welcoming of Bree—I will say that.
Is Bree hiding something, or is she a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of gal?
She definitely has layers, I will give you that. But I don't think she's hiding something.
What else can you tell me about Bree?
Anything you want to know! She's really a very confident girl. She's a strong young woman, well-educated. She's certain about who she is and where she came from. She is open to possibilities of change in her life. She's also sort of the black sheep in that she doesn't follow the rules the way society has expected her to behave, and that is what attaches her emotionally to Nate. They're sort of bred to hate each other, but in reality they find a lot of camaraderie.
Is Nate (Chase Crawford) a good kisser?
Chase is everything you would imagine him to be, and more!
Who are you close with from the GG cast?
Chase and I have spent a ridiculous amount of time together, and he welcomed me with open arms. Jessica Szohr and I have also spent a ton of time together. We have a tremendous amount of mutual friends back in L.A., so we already had that together.
Let's talk about Privileged, because it was a privilege to watch your stunning work on that show. Are you sad that it got canceled? You have so many fans!
In my heart, yes. I think obviously I was tremendously attached to the project and incredibly connected to the rest of my cast and my crew. And I do believe we had a lot of stories left to tell. What is so wonderful is getting to work here in New York and getting to meet so many people around the country that have overwhelmingly given their love and support and their regret that Privileged is no longer on the air. However, I respect the decision [the CW made]. I'm a television actress, and I've been on TV now for many years. Most of those years the CW has employed me, so I know they have a lot of respect for my talent, and I know that they are very well aware that I loved Privileged.
How many episodes of Gossip Girl will feature your character?
I'll be there for four!
For now it's four, but there's always the possibility of more. I would love to do more, simply because I love the people. I wish I could claim full responsibility for every decision made in my career. I have a team of people that have very brilliant opinions. The good thing is that the people on my team are in the Gossip Girl family, so hopefully I can talk them into letting me come and play.
I have to know: Do you gossip in real life?
Doesn't everybody? (Laughs) I don't read the tabloids. I don't get into that. I think I know too well the reality of those kinds of things, and what it means for our lives as actors. But I think gossip happens.
You haven't talked to anyone about your hush-hush GG role. Why did you choose to talk to Latina.com?
I'm not shy about talking about the role, but if I'm going to sit down for about 30 minutes on my day off, I want to talk to people that I know and love! And you guys have always been great to me!