Blake Lively (born Blake Ellender Brown; August 25, 1987) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Serena van der Woodsen in the CW drama series Gossip Girl (2007–12). Lively has also starred in such films as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants(2005), Accepted (2006), The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009), The Town (2010), Green Lantern (2011), Savages (2012), The Age of Adaline (2015), and The Shallows (2016).
Lively began her acting career at age 10, when she appeared in the 1998 film Sandman, which was directed by Lively’s father. She describes her role as a “bit part”. She appeared in the film adaptation of the novel of the same name, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, in 2005, as Bridget, one of the four female leads. Lively’s performance in the film earned her a nomination for a Teen Choice Award for “Choice Movie Breakout – Female. In 2006, Lively co-starred with Justin Long in Accepted, and Lively had minor roles in the horror film, Simon Says. While Accepted was not well received by critics, Lively’s performance was, earning her a ‘Breakthrough Award’ from Hollywood Life. In 2007, she played one of the two title characters in Elvis and Anabelle as Anabelle, a bulimic girl who hoped to win a beauty pageant. Lively said of getting into character for the role that she had ‘shed serious weight’ for her height. Lively stated that that process was difficult for her because food is “the No. 1 love of my life.” MovieLine.com praised her performance in the film and credited it as having been her “breakthrough role”.
Lively was cast in The CW’s series Gossip Girl, based on the book series of the same name by Cecily von Ziegesar, which premiered in September 2007. Already having deferred college for a year, Lively intended to turn the role down and become a student, but was told that she could attend college part-time while filming the show (she later said “This is advice to anyone: when they say, ‘We promise, but we can’t put it in writing,’ there’s a reason they can’t put it in writing”). She played the role of Serena van der Woodsen in the teen drama until 2012 when the show ended. Her first magazine cover was the November 2007 issue of Cosmo Girl, where she discussed her time in high school and her career prior to Gossip Girl. In 2008 Lively reprised her role as Bridget in the sequel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Similarly to the first film, Lively’s performance was positively received by critics. As of November 2008, the film had earned over $44 million at the box office. In 2009 Lively appeared as Gabrielle DiMarco, a minor role in the romantic comedy New York, I Love You, a sequel to the 2006 film Paris, je t’aime. Despite positive critical reception, the film did not fare well at the box office.