Tragic Details About Blake Lively

This article contains references to sexual assault.

Blake Lively's life in the public eye really began in 2005 when the then-17-year-old starred opposite Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, and Amber Tamblyn in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." Lively's stint as Bridget Vreeland in the coming-of-age drama and its 2008 sequel highlighted her star power, but it was Lively's role in The CW's teen drama "Gossip Girl" that really let her shine. Lively rose to fame for playing the show's "it girl" Serena van der Woodsen — a role she now famously dislikes because of Serena's party-girl image.

Since starring in "Gossip Girl" for six seasons, Lively has had a huge transformation. She moved away from playing characters like Serena and forged an impressive movie career by starring in features like "The Age of Adaline," "A Simple Favor," and "Cafe Society." Of course, not all her movies were major hits; 2011's "Green Lantern," which Lively filmed in 2010 alongside "Gossip Girl," failed to impress critics and viewers alike. However, it was something of a personal success for Lively as it introduced her to her now-husband, Ryan Reynolds. The pair soon began dating and got married in 2012. They now share four kids together.

From the outside looking in, it's easy to think global icon Lively lives a completely charmed life, but the actor is just as human as the rest of us, and sadly, she's experienced her fair share of heartbreaking circumstances. Keep reading as we dig into all the tragic details about Blake Lively.

Blake Lively was bullied as a child

Blake Lively was born and raised in Los Angeles by her parents, Ernie and Elaine Lively, along with her older brother Eric. The sibling duo were extremely close, and from a young age would do everything together. This included their first day of school, despite the fact Blake and Eric should have been in different classes. "When I was only 3 years old, my mom enrolled me in the first grade. My older brother was supposed to start school, but he didn't want to go alone, so my mom told them I was 6 since I was so tall," Lively explained to Marie Claire. Their ruse didn't last long as the actor admitted she struggled to keep up, and her mom eventually pulled her out of school but re-enrolled her when she was old enough.

However, when Lively did return to school, she found that she was much taller than the other kids her age, and she was subjected to horrible bullying as a result. Lively opened up about this painful time in her childhood in an Instagram post in 2018. "Kids used to make fun of me in elementary school by calling me Big Bird (because I was 'too tall' and had 'yellow' hair)," Lively wrote alongside a picture of her present-day self smiling next to Big Bird. Addressing the bullying, she added: "Here's to making best buddies with the things that once hurt you."

And the kids got crueler as she got older

Blake Lively had a pretty unconventional educational journey. She attended a total of 13 different schools while she was growing up, and often, there were times when her mother would take her out of school to go to Disneyland and spend quality time with her. Lively and her mom had a close bond and shared similar interests; one of these was fashion. Former model Elaine helped her daughter learn about style by making clothes for her as well as taking her to vintage stores and encouraging her to wear the types of clothes her peers weren't wearing. "She just did that because she was so creative and because she didn't want me to be dressed in big T-shirts cinched with a plastic clip like all the rest of the kids," Lively explained to Vogue.

However, Lively's unique sense of style didn't go down well with some of her classmates at one of the schools she attended. It was an L.A. private school, not dissimilar from the New York institution her "Gossip Girl" character went to, and Lively admitted she had a pretty horrible time there. "It was the only school where people were just downright mean to me. They would make fun of my clothes because I dressed differently than the other kids," she recalled. If only those kids knew Lively would become a global fashion icon who is praised for her sense of style and revered for working without a stylist.

Lively was sold a lie when she signed onto Gossip Girl

Acting was another thing siblings Blake and Eric Lively did together. But, although Blake may have started acting to placate her brother, starring in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" quickly helped her discovered it was her passion, too. But Lively, who was just shy of her 18th birthday when the movie came out, was more interested in going to college than making acting her full-time career — until she was offered a part in "Gossip Girl."

Lively told Vanity Fair there were a lot of negotiations before she accepted the part of Serena, and she initially turned it down. "I said, 'No, I want to go to college. Thank you, though.' Then they said, 'O.K., you can go to Columbia [University] one day a week. After the first year [of the show], it'll quiet down. Your life will go back to normal and you can start going to school. We can't put it in writing, but we promise you can go.' So that's why I said, 'O.K. You know what? I'll do this,'" she explained.

Unfortunately, Lively later realized that she'd been sold a lie, and that's why they couldn't write the stipulation into her contract. In the end, Lively not only ended up not getting to go to college but also feeling pretty uncomfortable with the morally gray image of the show she spent six years making.

Filming The Shallows took a physical toll on her

Just months after giving birth to her first daughter, James, with Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively was back hard at work filming "The Shallows." The 2016 survival horror thriller required some serious training on Lively's part, as she did the majority of her own underwater stunts. While most of the stunts were done without a hitch, Lively did admit to Entertainment Weekly that some of the things she had to do ended up taking a huge toll on her physically. The tank that was used for filming was full of chemicals, which really irritated her skin and caused it to peel off. And as the tank simulated the ocean, she really was flung against obstacles like rocks and buoys. "Your body is just really taking a beating," she revealed.

Another scene resulted in a serious injury for Lively, too. "There's a scene where I'm swimming up to the buoy and I crack my face underwater and my nose is pouring blood and that was real," Lively explained. The accident was a result of the tank simulation. "I wasn't supposed to crack my face underwater. It was just this thing is crashing into the water with these four-foot waves and I couldn't see. My perspective was off. The waves pulled me the same time that the buoy crashed down and cracked my nose and blood was pouring out," she recalled.

She's been subjected to hurtful criticism and rumors online

Blake Lively has rightfully earned her place as a Hollywood A-Lister — not that she ever got into acting to be famous. Nevertheless, that's exactly what she's become. Lively is a global icon revered not only for her acting talents, but her sense of style, and the personal brand she's created. Plus, her fans are super invested in her relationship and family life with "Deadpool" actor Ryan Reynolds. Lively and Reynolds' internet banter is comedy gold, after all.

But, sadly, being in the public eye comes at a cost, and Lively has been subjected to a barrage of untrue and hurtful criticism online as a result of her fame. "The Shallows" star commented on some of the hate she's received, admitting to Vogue that it can be painful for not just her but the people around her, too. "There have been so many things written about me that are untrue and horrifying. I can't even believe that my family has to read this stuff ... People like to gossip. They bond over it. They don't bond over complimenting famous people," she said.

She was sexually harassed by a makeup artist

In 2017, Blake Lively opened up about a horrifying experience she never should have had to go through. Just days after The New York Times exposed Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment and abuse, Lively revealed details about her own mistreatment in Hollywood. She told The Los Angeles Times (via Elle) that she experienced sexual harassment from a makeup artist she worked on one of her films but didn't say which one.

Detailing the harassment she received, Lively explained: "He was saying things inappropriately, insisting on putting my lipstick on with his finger." And this happened on more than one occasion. Another time, "I was sleeping one night on location and I woke up and he was filming me. I was clothed, but it was a very voyeuristic, terrifying thing to do," Lively revealed.

After the terrifying incident, Lively reported the makeup artist to the movie's producers, but nothing happened for months. The unnamed man was not removed from production, as the bosses seemingly didn't want to make waves. It was only when Lively reached out to lawyers of her own volition that the producers took the allegation seriously and fired the makeup artist, but there was no justice for what he did. In the end, "our unit production manager wrote him a letter of recommendation because nobody wanted there to be bad blood," Lively said.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Lively was injured on the set of The Rhythm Section

"The Shallows" wasn't the only movie that left Blake Lively physically hurt. In 2017, a mishap on the set of "The Rhythm Section" with Jude Law caused Lively serious injury. The actors did most of their own stunts for the film and one scene where Lively had to fight her co-star went very awry. During an appearance on "Good Morning America" (via X, formerly Twitter), Lively explained: "I was lunging towards Jude Law with my fake rubber knife and my hand collided with his elbow and I broke some things, dislocated some things, and severed a ligament. It was pretty intense." (0:50) It turns out the "Gossip Girl" star completely shattered her hand and production on the movie had to be shut down for six months.

Lively's recovery was not straightforward, either. The actor needed a lot of pain relief and multiple surgeries to combat the injury. And, while production on "The Rhythm Section" was shut down, she had to undergo grueling physical therapy. For the rest of the shoot after filming resumed, Lively had to have her hand strapped up, and it never fully healed. On "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," Lively explained that her "knuckles are kind of dropped" as a result of the severed ligament.

She has struggled with a 'bevy' of body insecurities

Blake Lively's appearance, style, and impeccable sense of humor make her an icon for the masses. But that doesn't mean she's immune to feeling self-conscious at times. In 2022, Lively told Forbes that she feels a "bevy of insecurities coming at me a million times a day."

The actor previously got candid about some of the body insecurities she's had to overcome and how they've been made worse by Hollywood and societal pressure. Lively chose to speak out about this when she posted a photo of the outfit she wore for an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Kimmel" on her Instagram Story (via Good Housekeeping) and explained how she was made to feel bad about her weight after giving birth to her second daughter, Inez. "No one had samples that fit me after giving birth. And so many clothes from stores didn't fit either. So. Many. It doesn't send a great message to women when their bodies don't fit into what brands have to offer. It's alienating and confusing," she wrote.

Lively found it difficult being in the spotlight as she kept comparing herself to other celebrity moms. It took a lot for her to start to overcome those feelings. On her Story, Lively added: "I wish I felt as confident then as I do now, a year later looking back. That body gave me a baby. And was producing that baby's entire food supply. What a beautiful miracle. But instead of feeling proud, I felt insecure. Simply because I didn't fit into clothes."

She never gets credit for her work on Ryan Reynolds' films

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds never film movies at the same time, so they can always keep their family together. But it turns out that when Reynolds is filming, Lively is often doing some kind of creative work in the background, too. Reynolds is extremely involved in the making of the movies he acts in, and he notably has writing and producing credits on films like "Deadpool 2," but according to the actor, his wife regularly contributes too, although she is never credited. During an appearance on SiriusXM (via Marie Claire), Reynolds said: "There's a lot of A++ writing that I've done that was actually Blake; Blake would jump in, grab the keyboard and [say] 'What about this?' And I'd be like, 'That's incredible.'"

However, the Wrexham AFC co-owner said she has never been credited for any of that, despite him repeatedly trying to share the glory. "Maybe it's 'cause there's inherent sexism in the business. I will say that a lot of times, 'She wrote that, Blake wrote that, not me. That was her.' And it's like, they still, later on, repeat the story as 'I wrote it.'"

Reynolds has written a number of short films, the TV series "Bedtimes Stories with Ryan," an episode of "Welcome to Wrexham," and superhero hit "Deadpool 2" since marrying Lively. However, despite the input Reynolds revealed she's had, the "Gossip Girl" alum has no writing credits to her name.

Lively's father died after years of health struggles

"A Simple Favor" star Blake Lively comes from a very famous family. Her parents, Ernie and Elaine, both worked in the entertainment industry while she was growing up; her dad as an actor and director, and her mom as a model and talent agent. They also both taught acting classes, which Lively would frequent as a child, something she credits for giving her the confidence to become an actor later in life.

As Lively followed in her father's footsteps, she maintained a close bond with him. After all, "it all goes back to family," Lively told People in 2020. "It has always been the most important thing in my life — everything I do is at the heart of it," she added. Unfortunately, their family suffered a devastating blow when Lively's father tragically died from cardiac complications in June 2021 at the age of 74.

Following her dad's death, Lively shared a sweet snap of him with her husband, Ryan Reynolds, on Instagram, which she captioned, "my guys," but she didn't make a public statement beyond later. However, the actor found a way to honor her dad when she launched her drinks company, Betty Buzz, a few months later. She named the brand in his honor. "When I was working hard to build this company, I wanted any success to be in a name that was meaningful to him. Betty was his mom and his sister's name. Also, Ernie would not be the best name for a mixer," Lively said in a statement (via PR Newswire).