Spotted: Leighton Meester walking the runway and giving up her Stuart Weitzman platforms in Union Square today.
Nope, not a spoof of Monday night's episode of "Gossip Girl," in which Dan Humphrey gave up his shoes to Chuck Bass, and Serena van der Woodsen strutted the runway while a jealous Blair Waldorf tried to sabotage the backstage goings-on. This time, there were no last-minute shenanigans, though Meester kept her fingers crossed. "I hope that doesn't come back to me!"
Watch Leighton on the runway after the jump!
Meester's turn down an outdoor purple runway — and consequent surrender of shoes to a "shoe tree" — was to encourage her fellow New Yorkers to also donate gently worn shoes to benefit domestic violence victims, as part of Marshalls' 15th annual Shop Til It Stops event for Safe Horizon. As she turned and twirled, paparazzi and news photographers clicked away, yelling helpful (and not-so-helpful) hints: "Look to your right!" "Look to your left!" "Throw your shoulders back!" One — and we hope he was joking — even yelled, "Jump!"
"'Jump!'" Meester laughed afterwards. "The runway thing ... I'm not a model. I don't know how to do that."
The "Gossip Girl" actress said that even her bad-girl character Blair would be the type to give up her shoes, so long as either no one knew about it or it could benefit her in some other way. "She's come from a lot, so I would imagine she's a charitable girl," Meester said. "But it's just because I see so much of myself in Blair, and Blair in me. It makes me like her a little more. I think she would never want somebody to go around and call her nice. That would be a horrible diss to her. She'd be like, 'I'm not nice, that's boring!' She's a little bit insecure about what people think of her."
Especially now that she's been dethroned — thanks to the recent maneuverings of her nemesis Chuck Bass. "I think you've seen her at some of her lowest points, and she might get a little bit lower now," Meester said. "But that's just Chuck being Chuck. There's a bit of a personal attachment there. He has this thing out for her, but I think he cares about her, in an odd way, so it's a love/hate relationship that's interesting to explore."
So try as Blair might, she can't dictate any more how things are going to turn out — "all of her plans get completely foiled by forces beyond her," Meester explained. "When people think of her as being sort of stuck-up or in her own world, or the star of her own Blair show, she's just misunderstood. She's really covering for a deeper pain, if you want to be really serious. She's got a lot of issues." But whether or not that means we'll see a softer side of Blair in the episodes to come is a mystery. "I don't know if they're going to include any charity!" she laughed.