On "Gossip Girl," Michelle Trachtenberg plays Upper Eastsider Georgina Sparks, a college dropout who would never deign to cross the New York border into New Jersey; but on "Mercy," she plays down-to-earth Chloe Payne, a nursing school graduate who has joined the staff at Mercy Hospital in Jersey City, New Jersey and is finding her way in her chosen career.
ET spoke to the former "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star about her contrasting roles and to find out if Georgina will be back to wreak more havoc in Blair Waldorf's (Leighton Meester) life.
ET: Any chance that Georgina will be returning to "Gossip Girl"?
Michelle Trachtenberg: She will be back very soon.
ET: Didn't she drop out of NYU? How will she come back?
Michelle Trachtenberg: You saw in a later episode that she left of her own accord. She did her naughty business and then she went away. She will definitely be back to seek repercussions for being sent away with a fake prince. There is going to be a scandal. Other than that I can't say too much.
ET: Ok, on to "Mercy." There were several medical shows that launched this year. What do you think it is about yours that captured viewer's interest?
Michelle Trachtenberg: I think because it portrays three women that are very realistic, who are everyday women you could meet on the street. It also deals with real-life events that aren't glamorized. We are portraying men and women who save lives everyday. I think that inspires admiration. Also, the fact that we shoot in Jersey -- [these are] all good elements to the show.
ET: Is being in New Jersey a big adjustment for you?
Michelle Trachtenberg: I am from New York so I am very familiar with the East Coast. I don't stay in New Jersey for more than the filming. I live in Manhattan.
ET: [jokes] I didn't think people from Manhattan went into New Jersey?
Michelle Trachtenberg: Not so much, but I am from Brooklyn, so I have been there and done that. But Jersey is conducive to our filming.
ET: James Van Der Beek is joining the cast. Is he going to be a hot doctor?
Michelle Trachtenberg: Well, he is a hot, young guy and he is going to be playing a doctor, so one can assume.
ET: How do you like being the newbie nurse?
Michelle Trachtenberg: I think it brings an element that the audience can really relate to. You are discovering things with Chloe. Veronica (Taylor Schilling) and Sonia (Jaime Lee Kirchner) are a little more hardened; they have experienced a lot more. So, when you are seeing things through the eyes of Chloe, she is seeing it along with the audience and I think that is a good match.
ET: Did you shadow a nurse before starting this job, or do you just work with the on-set medical advisor?
Michelle Trachtenberg: It is really just on the set. If I had a crash course in nursing school, I probably wouldn't remember half of it because it is not my chosen field. But I am definitely grateful for our medical experts.
"Mercy" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. "Gossip Girl" will return with new episodes on March 8 on The CW.
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