Film & TV

5 Things You Didn’t Know About 'Gossip Girl' Star Whitney Peak

The 18-year-old rising actor plays Zoya Lott in the upcoming reboot.

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Good news Upper East Siders, HBO Max‘s Gossip Girl reboot officially premieres tomorrow (July 8). Ahead of the release, get to know one of the show’s main cast members, 18-year-old rising actor Whitney Peak, who plays the role of Zoya Lott.

A spin-off of the original ’00s show, the 10-episode sequel stars a more diverse cast and promises more queer romance. “This time around the leads are nonwhite. There’s a lot of queer content on this show,” Josh Safran, executive producer and writer for the original series, shared with Vulture. “It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from, and how you handle that.”

Resonating with Dan Humphrey and Little J, Peak’s character comes from a middle-class family that has just moved to New York City. A high school freshman on a scholarship at Constance Billard, Zoya has her whole world turned upside down after being invited to It girl Julien Calloway’s (Jordan Alexander) elite crew comprised of Manhattan’s richest teens.

While we patiently wait for the premiere, read on for five things to know about Peak.

She’s Ugandan-Canadian.

Peak was born in Kampala, Uganda. At the age of nine, she moved to Canada with her family and spent most of her childhood in Port Coquitlam, a city outside Vancouver.

She once went to a fake Disney Channel audition.

According to Peak’s conversation with Interview Magazine, when she was a young teen, she came across a commercial claiming that Disney Channel was looking for talents to audition. “[It] all turned out to be a scam,” she explained. “But then from there I started doing background acting, and then I got cast off the background set to play the younger version of a lead in a TV series called Minority Report.” Peak’s co-star, Colin Lawrence, eventually referred her to his agent.

She’s into modeling.

Other than being passionate about acting, Peak also has a talent for modeling. With a pair of captivating eyes, she definitely knows how to work her angles in front of the camera. You may have already seen the actor in Wonderland Magazine‘s spring issue and on ELLE‘s July digital cover.

She’s appeared on The CW, Apple TV+ and Netflix shows.

Peak has taken part in a number of acclaimed series even prior to landing a major role in the Gossip Girl reboot. Viewers of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow may have spotted Peak in Season 4 where she played Lenise. The actor also starred in Netflix‘s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as Judith, the daughter of Faustus (Richard Coyle) and Constance Blackwood (Alvina August), and half-sister of Prudence (Tati Gabrielle). On top of that, Peak appeared in 10 episodes of Apple TV+‘s Home Before Dark as Alpha Jessica.

She has an eye for fashion. 

Peak is the epitome of “a girl that can do both.” From an effortless cozy fit made up of a sweatsuit paired with a Stussy cap and New Balance 327s, to a streetwear-chic ensemble comprised of a silk scarf tube top, Versace black pants and some Air Jordans, Peak has a keen eye for fashion. In March, the actor even joined Chanel as the maison’s latest ambassador.

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