Dan Humphrey and Serena Van Der Woodsen may have found their way back to each another, but the actors who played the Gossip Girl characters didn't. In the May issue of ELLE, Penn Badgley opened up about the demise of his relationship with costar Blake Lively, whom he dated off-camera from 2007 to 2010.
"We were very much caught up in the show, which itself was a six-year endurance test. Our relationship was a part of that and helped us through it," the 26-year-old explained. "I mean, like anything valuable, it was good and it was bad and it was a learning experience."
Lively went on to date Leonardo DiCaprio before marrying her Green Lantern costar Ryan Reynolds in a surprise ceremony in September 2012. When asked if he bought his ex-girlfriend a wedding gift, Badgley told the magazine, "No, I didn't." (The exes remained amicable and continued to shoot Gossip Girl together until the series ended in December 2012.)
Badgley added that he would like to "eventually" tie the knot himself. "I want the ceremony. I want the bond," he revealed. But because his parents got divorced when he was young, the actor "didn't believe in marriage" for many years. "I think I do believe in having a love," Badgley clarified. "I'm not saying only one love ever, but in having a good, solid relationship. I think that's possible."
While Lively, 25, and Reynolds, 36, are quietly enjoying married life in upstate New York, Badgley has found love again with actress Zoe Kravitz. The pair were first linked the summer of 2011.
"As an actor being in a relationship, you have this opportunity to have something really exceptional, because you don't have a regimented schedule or lifestyle. But then it can also be very warped," he said. "You have on-camera romances, which ordinarily I don't have a problem with. There are complications being an object of attention. I've found it's a double-edged sword. But I'm happy to wield it."
Though their busy careers can sometimes keep them apart, Badgley told ELLE there's "no secret" to keeping the spark alive. "I'd say honesty is always the best policy. There are always a lot of arguments -- but even if honesty starts some, it avoids bigger ones."