Penn Badgley Defends ‘Gossip Girl’ Co-Star Taylor Momsen

Taylor Momsen has taken a lot of heat lately. In recent months, the 17-year-old Gossip Girl actress-turned-rocker has been criticized for her seemingly inappropriate wardrobe. And her underage smoking. And her penchant for controversial remarks.

But there’s at least one person willing to stand by the beleaguered thesp/singer: Her GG co-star, Penn Badgley.

Hollywood Life caught up with Badgley—who plays Dan Humphrey on the hit CW series—at the In Touch Weekly VMAs after-party on Sunday to get his take on his wild-child colleague. Badgley’s response? She’s just going through a phase:

“Taylor’s a teenager, and teenagers go through what they’re going to go through. It just so happens that she’s in the eye of the press, and I think that’s unfortunate, because everyone should be allowed to make their mistakes. I think it’s like, she’s 17. Give her time. She’s a really sweet girl, very smart, very talented. She’s just growing up.”

And as for Momsen’s transition from actress to rock rebel? Badgley reckons that her music career, just like the rest of her, has plenty of legs:

“I saw her perform a year ago, but I haven’t seen her recently. She had a great presence [back then] and I think she’s very talented. She loves music, and as long as she’s doing what she loves, that’s something I respect.”

Just as long as she doesn’t suffer from overexposure first. Which seems to be a distinct possibility.

Do you agree with Badgley’s assessment of his castmate? Share your thoughts in the comments section.