The Big Picture
- Gossip Girl star Taylor Momsen faced relentless bullying for her role in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, with people calling her “Grinch Girl” everywhere she went.
- Despite the bullying, Momsen still loves the film and believes its sweet message resonates with people of all ages.
- Momsen stopped acting to pursue her true passion for music, realizing she could make her own choices after being pressured into other acting roles.
Gossip Girl star Taylor Momsen has opened up about the relentless bullying she received for her break-out role in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). During a recent chat, the actress claimed the classic Christmas film dramatically changed her life. Speaking to her former Gossip Girl co-star, Penn Badgley (You, Easy A), on his podcast Podcrushed, Momsen revealed she was persistently teased at school.
“First of all, The Grinch changed my life in a multitude of ways—one of them being I was made fun of relentlessly,” Momsen said, explaining that no matter where she went, she was only known for her part in the film. “Every time I would start a new school or go somewhere else, I don’t even think the kids knew my name. I was just Grinch Girl.” Whilst she eventually managed to brush off the constant references, she explained she still felt isolated. “Not even the character [‘s] name [Cindy Lou Who], just Grinch Girl. I got used to it, but it was alienating.”
Despite the bullying, Momsen is adamant that she still loves the film, reiterating comments she has made in the past. “I think that people love The Grinch just simply because the core of the story is so sweet and it’s so heartwarming and it has such a good message,” Momsen said in an interview on Today in 2020, further explaining that she felt honored to be a part of such a movie. “…No matter what age [you are, it] touches your heart; I think that that’s an amazing thing to be a part of. The fact that it comes back around every year—I think it’s something to look forward to. And I think it just kinda brings happiness and joy to anyone who watches it.”
Why Did Taylor Momsen Stop Acting?
During the same podcast, Momsen revealed that she was later pressured into other acting roles despite wishing to pursue a career in music. “It was a childhood thing that I got put into at two years old. I wasn’t making my own choices then,” she said of her acting career, realizing only after a few years into her role as Jenny Humphrey in the hit CW show Gossip Girl that she could look into other jobs. “Literally, as soon as I got to an age where I could make my own decisions, it was like a click… I woke up one morning and went, ‘Wait a second. I don’t have to do this? I don’t have to do this other job?” the actress explains, revealing her true wish to pursue music. “I can just play in my band and tour and write songs? I can just do that?’ Granted, a little more complicated to get out of a television show than that, but the answer was yes.” Momsen also clarified that her departure from the series was due to the passing of her best friend, which led her into “a dark hole of depression and substance abuse, and everything that comes with death and loss and trauma.”
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) is based on the Dr Seuss children’s book of the same name. The film, which Momsen starred in at the age of seven, seeks to explain the real meaning of Christmas after The Grinch (Jim Carrey) tries to ruin the day for the small town of Whoville. Alongside Momsen and Carrey, the film also starred Christine Baranski, Josh Evans, Jeffrey Tambor, and Molly Shannon. Based on the novel series by Cecily von Ziegesar, Gossip Girl follows a group of students and their parents living on the Upper East Side of New York as an anonymous website owner seeks to leak their sordid secrets. The series first aired in 2007 and stars Momsen, Badgley, Leighton Meester, Ed Westwick, Chace Crawford, Blake Lively, Matthew Settle, Jessica Szohr, and Kelly Rutherford.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is currently streaming on Netflix or available to rent on Apple TV. Gossip Girl (2007) is currently streaming on Netflix.