Spotlight Award: Leighton Meester

Hollywood Award honoree

“I’ve been working 13 years,” says Leighton Meester, aka glamorous Blair on “Gossip Girl.” “It takes that long to be an overnight star.”

Meester went from Florida to Beverly Hills High and began acting at 12.

In December’s “Country Strong,” she gets to show both her vocal chops and acting range in a Nashville-set story about Chiles Stanton, a Texas beauty queen-turned-country singer.

“I’ve been singing and writing music all my life,” she says. “But that wasn’t even the first lure; it was the script. It’s moving and exciting.”

“Country” also offered Meester the chance to play someone who’s “comic relief.”

“Chiles comes off as naive sometimes … and on my show I play a character who is never naive. That was fun.”

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