The 'Gossip Girl' star says she has a 'newfound appreciation' for country music after working on the film.
By Kara Warner, with reporting by Josh Horowitz
Although three of the four big names in "Country Strong" are not, in fact, country singers, they took their training very seriously in order to get in touch with their inner Southern twang. And not only that, when MTV News caught up with Leighton Meester recently — who plays beauty queen-turned-aspiring country artist Chiles Stanton in the flick — she revealed that the filmmakers made sure that each actor was set up with their own music producer in order to fully perfect their singing.
"I think it was really surprising how everything kind of came together," Meester said of her country-music training. "Each of us got our own producers to work with and mine [Nathan Chapman], he works very closely with Taylor Swift, which is sort of similar, in the same vein of the music that I'm making in the movie.
"[Chapman is] kind of like a teenage girl in a grown man's body. He's very good at reaching that young female idea, the music that I sing," she added. "He definitely helped a lot."
Meester went on to explain that shooting "Country Strong" helped her discover a new passion for Nashville and its music.
"Just being in Nashville and working there and meeting the most incredible musicians and producers and songwriters and singers, just being in that world was really cool," the "Gossip Girl" star said. "I have this newfound appreciation for that style of music."
As far as Meester's singing career goes, she said she hopes to go on tour herself one day, and promised that she's hard at work on her album.
"I don't know [when it will be released]," she said. "I recorded three songs recently. I have, like, 20 more to do,. So I don't know when that's going to happen. I just really want it to be perfect. I'm not in any rush. It's all in my heart, and I'm really happy how it's going. I've been very inspired, even with this movie, how I write."
Thanks to a recent stay overseas, Meester said she came back chock-full of potential material for the album.
"I was doing a movie in Budapest and Paris and was so lonely and writing all this music, and when I got back to the States, I got set up with this band," she said of teaming up with Check in the Dark. "And they're perfectly complementary to it and they understand, somehow, my girly emotional side."
Check out everything we've got on "Country Strong."
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