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Blake Lively is growing up fast. One day she’s the queen of teen drama, Gossip Girl, the next she’s filming slightly more adult fare, like a cringe-worthy sex scene in Ben Affleck‘s new movie The Town.

“I have a sex scene in this film, and that’s never comfortable,” she tells Esquire magazine.

“You think, ‘Oh, that’s going to be so awkward.’ But this scene isn’t supposed to be a steamy one — it’s sort of tragic, because this girl is so desperately trying to keep this man interested. It’s more intimate than most sex scenes. I’m pretty much crying in it,” she says.

Playing Serena Van der Woodsen on the CW show is less of a challenge. “I can snap into Serena very easily,” the 22-year-old says. “The way I dress as Serena is pretty much the way I dress as me. I’m living in New York City, shooting in New York City. I’m in a comfort zone.”

Despite finding fame on Gossip Girl, Blake isn’t embarrassed to admit she can be something of a super-fan, for instance, when she discovered Penélope Cruz had arrived at the premiere of her new movie The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

“When somebody said, ‘Oh, Penélope just got here,’ I laughed. They said, ‘Can you take a picture with Penélope and Marion Cotillard?’

“And I just about died. There’s no way to articulate what it was like to have these iconic women who — I mean, Penélope Cruz I just think is like it.”

But, she’s not about to get above herself too soon, her friends will see to that. “I surround myself with people I trust, but ultimately it’s my gut. That’s what I trust.”

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