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F is for Fixate: Leighton Meester on The Roommate and Playing "Off Her Rocker"

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Leighton Meester Roommate premiere

Leighton Meester at the premiere of The Roommate

Leighton Meester's new psycho-thriller flick, The Roommate, co-starring Minka Kelly, opens officially today. I interviewed her for this Metro News story when she was in Toronto with friend and hairstylist Charles Baker Strahan to talk about her role as the face of Herbal Essences, as well as her beauty favourites. (Beauty note: since we hit the time of voluminous hair, ingenue waves and undone ’dos, we've not seen much super-sleek flat-ironed hair like LM's, shown here at the Hollywood premiere of the movie. You like? Leighton's hair is actually naturally straight, and straight in the film.)

Here's what the actress, who you know as Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf too, also told me about her role in The Roommate.

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Leighton Meester: That's about as far away from myself as you can get. [Rebecca] lives in a college dorm with Minka Kelly [who plays Sara Matthews]. She becomes unhealthily fixated on her – very much like Single White Female or The Talented Mr. Ripley. It doesn't end well.

Beautygeeks: All the characters I've seen you play have been a little bit... off.

LM: Like me! It's important to engage a part of yourself that is almost uncomfortable. When you play a character, especially one that is off, you have to give up all power, you have to risk looking and seeming like a total crazy person.

Blair is always in a power struggle with somebody, but the power struggle is mostly within herself, so when I'm doing a scene I have to not care who has the power in the scene and accept the fact when she has it and when she doesn't, which can be difficult and totally uncomfortable.

And in The Roommate, it was the most uncomfortable role I've ever played because every day I had to do something that was completely the opposite of a choice I would make in real life, but it's the choice that she makes. And you have to respect it, which is odd because she's off her rocker, but you also have to understand her motives behind it.

So you can't judge the characters you play.

LM: No, you have to embrace them and love them and reach some part of them in yourself whether it's completely blurry and vague and distant, and you just have to grasp so it's something that you relate to.

Coming soon: Leighton on her role in upcoming movie The Oranges.

Photo borrowed from JustJared.