Blake Lively may have a superstar acting career these days, but of all her many roles, it鈥檚 undoubtedly her stint as Upper East side 鈥淚t鈥 girl Serena van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl for which she鈥檚 most known. With the series鈥 10th anniversary approaching next month, the actress is reflecting on her early days to Vanity Fair, revealing that she actually (gasp!) initially turned down the role, a move that could have led to a very different path for the 30-year-old.

鈥淚 realized that [acting] was a business as much as a craft,鈥 explained the All I See Is You star. 鈥淧eople will go see your movie based on your standing and all of that, and it didn鈥檛 make sense to me because I was 18 and being an artist.鈥

She was also admittedly a bit nervous about the attention such a role would bring. 鈥淚鈥檓 actually a very shy person and the idea of losing my anonymity was one that was scary to me. I remember saying when I read the script, 鈥榃hoever does this will not be able to walk out of their house ever again and be the same as before they started this. You could tell it was a cultural phenomenon.鈥

So when she was offered the role of Serena van der Woodsen back in 2007, she balked, picturing a future of academia instead. 鈥淚 said, 鈥楴o, I want to go to college. Thank you, though.鈥

The folks over at CW weren鈥檛 willing to her go so easily. 鈥淭hen they said, 鈥極kay, you can go to Columbia [University] one day a week. After the first year [of the show], it鈥檒l quiet down. Your life will go back to normal and you can start going to school. We can鈥檛 put it in writing, but we promise you can go.鈥 So that鈥檚 why I said, 鈥極kay. You know what? I鈥檒l do this.鈥欌

Needless to say, things didn鈥檛 exactly go as planned, with the show going on to become a huge success.鈥淸T]he show didn鈥檛 slow down. It just got more and more.鈥 While it worked out in the end for the A-list star, she has some advice to pass on from the experience. 鈥淭his is advice to anyone: when they say, 鈥榃e promise, but we can鈥檛 put it in writing,鈥 there鈥檚 a reason they can鈥檛 put it in writing!鈥

Though, boy, are we glad they didn鈥檛!

Can you imagine Gossip Girl without Blake Lively as Serena van der Woodsen? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photo via CW, Daniel Zuchnik + Andrew Toth/Getty)