Gossip Girl star portrays new ‘killer’ character

Amy Reinhardt

Ed Westwick, best known for his recurring role as Chuck Bass in The CW’s “Gossip Girl,” is returning to TV as a killer character in ABC’s new hit show “Wicked City.”

Westwick’s long-term commitment to his Gossip Girl role ended after the season six finale Dec. 12, 2012 after being on the air since Sept. 19, 2007. Gossip Girl featured an all-star cast including Blake Lively, Penn Badgley and Chace Crawford.

Wicked City’s plot centers on a group of privileged young adults in Manhattan’s Upper East Side in New York City. Westwick’s portrayal of the “bad boy” character Chuck Bass became second-nature after six seasons.

“I really love how charming and brooding he is,” said Marissa Meis, junior mass media major. “He’s got this sinister way of portraying his characters, but he’s still incredibly likeable.”

Since the conclusion of the teen drama series, Westwick has accepted a new lead role in Wicked City, written by Steven Baigelman, as a serial killer named Kent Grainger.

“I like Westwick’s new character on the show because it is vastly different from his character in Gossip Girl, but it also has some of the same dark and intelligent characteristics,” said Courtney Copeland, junior elementary education major.

The show is set in 1982 in West Hollywood, California, and follows the murder case that occurred along the “rock ‘n’ roll, cocaine-infused” Sunset Strip. Grainger’s serial-killer instincts come into play as he hunts and kills fame-seeking women in Los Angeles.

Westwick will be accompanied by Erika Christensen, star from NBC’s “Parenthood,” to create a dangerous serial-killer duo. Christensen portrays Betty Beaumontaine, a vicious nurse, who becomes Kent’s accomplice during the course of the show.

“My hopes for the new show is that it stays true to the Bonnie and Clyde theme and the setting that the writers chose because there aren’t many TV shows that focus on the 80s and the killings that took place during such a loud and energized decade,” Copeland said.

Other members of the cast include Jeremy Sisto (Jack Roth) and Gabriel Luna (Paco Contreras) who portray detectives responsible for taking down the murderous duo.

Prior to the initial release of the pilot episode, Westwick hasdbeen maintaining a Twitter feed for Wicked City. The show has been a trending topic on Twitter due to the encouragement Westwick has been providing fans.

He has conducted an ongoing Q&A session where he personally responds to his fans’ tagged questions. He’s also been posting related videos and photos for the show to increase excitement and support.

The show currently consists of one 10-episode season with the pilot episode having aired on Oct. 27. The show will release a new episode every Tuesday at 10 p.m. on ABC.

“I hope Ed Westwick can break out of his Chuck Bass mold and create a new persona for himself,” Meis said. “He was great in Gossip Girl, but it’d be great to see him branch out a bit.”