Taylor Momsen has said she was bullied ‘relentlessly’ after landing the role of Cindy Lou Who in ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’.
“First of all, ‘The Grinch’ changed my life in so many ways, one of them being that I was made fun of relentlessly,” the actress said on Wednesday’s episode of the podcast. SiriusXM’s “Podcrushed” featuring Penn Badgley.
Momsen explained to her former ‘Gossip Girl’ co-star that “making friends was always a challenge” — and the quest became even more daunting when the hit Christmas movie was released in 2000.
“Every time I started a new school or went somewhere else, I don’t think the kids even knew my name. I was just a ‘Grinch girl,’” she recalls.
“Not even the name of the character, just ‘Grinch girl’. I got used to it, but it was alienating.
The Pretty Reckless singer, 30, called herself ‘shy’ and ‘socially awkward’ as she explained how she later made friends in college during her break from acting.
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“It was the first [full] year when I was in school and I had the opportunity to try to make friends,” she explained.
“I started a band. It was my first band, my college band, a garage band. We could never decide on a name. But we played after school, and it was always fun. I sang, played the guitar, wrote.
However, Momsen was quick to break out of her routine when she was cast in 2007 as Jenny Humphrey in “Gossip Girl,” when she was 12 years old.
“I was uprooted in New York. The band fell apart,” the “My Medicine” singer said, before joking, “We were going to be huge. It was really disappointing.
Two years later, Momsen found himself founding his new rock band, The Pretty Reckless.
“I had to start all over again in New York, which didn’t take me very long,” she recalls. “It took me a minute to find the right band members…I really wanted to start my own makeshift family,”
Although Momsen admitted that she could have gone solo, she didn’t want to be alone in the industry.
“I wanted to be part of a group; I wanted to be part of something and not do it myself. I wanted to be the Beatles, I didn’t want to be Elvis. Who wants to do this alone? I wanted to share it with people,” she continued.
As for her stint on the set of the CW show alongside Badgley — who played her older brother, Dan Humphrey — Momsen only appeared on the show for four seasons until she later decided to step down. focus on his music.
At the time, she made the decision to leave the show after spending much of her free time working on songs, feeling isolated from her co-stars due to their huge age gap.
“That’s where music became a real comfort to me. Looking back on my life, it was that place where I could just be – writing songs, expressing how I felt. I was often alone. I didn’t have my own clique,” she explained.
Momsen told the ‘You’ star, 36, that she didn’t fit in with him or the older actors, including Blake Lively, 36, and Leighton Meester, 37.
“I was the new girl. I was the “Grinch girl”. I’ve always been in this kind of strange and isolated world, probably partly of my own making,” the “Heaven Knows” singer said.
And while Momsen was pushed to star in the hit series, the actress recalled the freedom she felt when she decided to leave her business behind and make her own choices.
“Literally, as soon as I got to an age where I could make my own decisions, it just clicked…I woke up one morning and I was like, ‘Wait a second.’ I don’t have to do this?'” she recalls.
“’I don’t have to do this other job? I can just play in my band, tour and write songs? Can I just do this? Admittedly, it’s a little more complicated to get out of a TV show than that, but the answer was yes.
With the help of her “Gossip Girl” team, Momsen’s life changed overnight after they agreed to drop her from the show so she could pursue her musical endeavors.
“They really made my dream come true,” she continued, “and I will be forever grateful to them.”