The Untold Truth Of Blake Lively

Blake Lively is arguably one of the most naturally stunning, effortlessly glamorous women in the world. She's popped up in some of the biggest movies and TV shows of all time over the course of her impressive career, from her breakthrough role as spoiled socialite Serena van der Woodsen in "Gossip Girl," to her first big movie role playing Bridget Vreeland in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," to the take-no-prisoners Carol Ferris in "Green Lantern."

But despite her massive success, it seems like Lively has continued to keep a good head on her shoulders, as she's clearly mastered the fame game and everything that comes with it. "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," Lively admitted to Vogue in 2014. "You just have to do what makes you happy, because you'll never get a unanimous vote. People like to gossip. They bond over it. They don't bond over complimenting famous people."

But, as it turns out, there really are plenty of things to compliment when it comes to Lively. Some of which you may not even know! So what's the untold truth of this California-born down-home glamour girl?

She started school way too soon

Blake Lively grew up fast. Like, seriously fast. So fast, in fact, that she attended school at three years old. Really! This intriguing story came courtesy of the actor in 2009, when she told Marie Claire that her mom sent her to school alongside her older brother, Eric Lively, because he was nervous to go by himself. Blake initially got away with it because of her height, but she recalled, "After a few weeks, they said they would have to put me in mentally disabled classes because I wasn't up to pace with the rest of the kids," so her mom pulled her from the education system until she was ready.

In a twist, Blake later had big dreams of continuing on with her education — but it was Eric who ended up persuading her to focus on her acting talent. While taking her on an educational trip to Europe, "[He] said, 'What are you going to do with your life?' I'm 15 at the time. And so he made like a chart of things I could possibly do, and nothing really interested me," she recalled to Radio Free in 2006. Eric then went around telling everyone she was an actor, with Blake confessing, "I didn't want to make him mad because he's such a good brother, so I just went on auditions to appease him." Shortly after, she landed "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," and everything fell right into place.

Blake Lively is stone cold sober

Don't expect to see Blake Lively falling out of a club with a drink in hand like her "Gossip Girl" character Serena van der Woodsen. In fact, Lively is actually teetotal. "I don't drink because I don't like the effects of alcohol, but I like being a part of it. I like being social. I like people coming together," Lively explained to People in November 2021. She opened up about how she sometimes feels left out of the action at parties because she doesn't have an alcoholic beverage in hand, which actually led to a huge business decision that most certainly paid off for the mom of two.

It seems that the feeling of being excluded from social drinking is actually what inspired Lively's dalliance into the drinks market, as she launched her own line, Betty Buzz, which can be mixed with alcohol or consumed alone. Lively admitted to Forbes in May 2022 that she's always been a keen cocktail maker despite her liquor aversion, saying, "I will sample a drink if I'm making somebody a beverage with alcohol — I'll taste it to make sure that it tastes good, but the mixers that were available to me were things that I would not drink unless they were doused with alcohol."

Making things even more interesting for someone who doesn't drink? Her husband, Ryan Reynolds, actually started his own gin company, Aviator Gin (now owned by Diageo).

Spice smuggler!

Who knew Blake Lively had such a spicy side? "The Green Lantern" star isn't afraid to try and break the law — all in the name of spices, of course! Lively has admitted to trying to smuggle seasonings across state lines before, telling Florence Welch during a 2011 Glamour interview, "I'm always traveling, and I get so excited when I find a new spice or a new sauce. This is absolutely crazy, but I wanted a sauce from New Orleans, and they wouldn't send it because the FDA didn't approve it." Of course, that wasn't going to fly for such a spice superfan, so she hatched a plan to, well, literally make spices fly. "I called the restaurant and I said, 'Okay, can you buy a teddy bear and cut it open and put it in and send it?' They're like, 'No, we are not the drug cartel; we're not sending you your sweet potato sauce in a teddy bear,'" she said.

But that's not the only spice Lively is a big fan of. She's also a huge Spice Girls fan, having shared an epic throwback snap on Instagram where she was dressed up as Baby Spice herself, Emma Bunton, while attending the girl band's concert. "Pretending to be someone else... since 1997 (Thanks @briaaamadrid for the photo of us at the Spice Girls concert. Sorry -not sorry- I tricked you into thinking I was [Emma Bunton])," she captioned the upload.

Serena van der-Almost Wasn't

It's hard to imagine a world where Blake Lively didn't take on the iconic role of Serena van der Woodsen in "Gossip Girl" — but if Lively had her way, it wouldn't have happened at all. She originally turned down the now-iconic role because she wanted to attend college instead. Producers told her, "Okay, 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," Lively recalled to Vanity Fair in 2017. "So that's why I said, 'Okay. You know what? I'll do this.'" Yeah, that promise of things quieting down didn't exactly come to fruition, did it?

But while it brought her fame and fortune, there may be a part of Lively that wishes she'd steered clear of The CW role after all. Lively has admitted since the show ended in 2012 that she didn't love playing the fashionable morals-lacking character, telling Allure in 2015 (via Glamour), "People loved it, but it always felt a little personally compromising — you want to be putting a better message out there." She added, "I would not be proud to be the person who gave someone the cocaine that made them overdose and then shot someone and slept with someone else's boyfriend."

An unexpected High School Musical connection

Blake-ing Free! Who knew that Blake Lively had a surprising connection to "High School Musical?" Obviously, she would have been oh so perfect as the glam but snippy Sharpay Evans, but that's not the reason she's linked to the huge Disney Channel Original Movie franchise. It turns out that one of Blake's extended family members appeared in the movies — none other than Coach Bolton himself! Yep, Bart Johnson, who played the dad of Zac Efron's character, Troy Bolton, is married to Blake's sister, Robyn Lively.

It turns out Blake and Johnson are pretty close and go way, way back, as they're both known to gush over one another on Instagram. In August 2021, Johnson shared a photo of himself and the "Gossip Girl" star alongside a very sweet caption, writing in part, "You being born has really been pretty rad and has blessed my life more than i could have ever imagined. you've been such an amazing friend for geez.... almost 30 YEARS NOW!?!? holy smokes. i cherish every minute of it." In another sweet Instagram post for her big day in 2018, he even referred to her as "little sister." In 2020, Blake shared the love with a throwback photo of herself and Johnson dancing at an airport. "Happy Birthday to my original dance partner [Bart Johnson.] Bet you all didn't know I was the original WILDCAT. Love you brother," she wrote.

Looks like this is one big happy family!

Blake makes bank

As with many big movie and TV stars, Blake Lively has plenty of money in the bank. The actor is estimated to have a net worth of a whopping $30 million. But despite being a millionaire many times over, Lively isn't actually the richest person in her household. That honor goes to her husband, Ryan Reynolds, who has a reported $150 million to his name, per Celebrity Net Worth. She might be a few million behind her handsome husband, but there's no doubting that Lively's salary is, well, pretty lively, too. 

As for how Lively and Reynolds like to spend their millions, it seems that property is a favorite for the super-rich parents. They own a home in Bedford, New York, which is estimated to be worth between $2 million and $5 million. While People claimed the couple purchased the home together in 2012, an E! News source said Lively had already bought the property on her own. The home includes any fashionista's dream, as Lively gave fans a peek inside her closet via Instagram Stories in August 2021 and showed off floor to ceiling rows of shoes and designer bags, per Hello!. It sounds like one house may not be good enough for these multi-millionaires, though. OK! claimed in April 2022 that the two were supposedly looking to buy a new home in Nashville while still holding on to their New York house. They also reportedly keep a luxurious Tribeca-area apartment in New York City.

Blake Lively had an odd habit with Leonardo DiCaprio

You may remember that before she found true love with husband Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively dated Leonardo DiCaprio for a while (hey, the girl sure knows how to pick herself a handsome man!). Lively and DiCaprio were together for around five months in 2011, and they had a pretty, erm, unique tradition during their time together.

"Gossip Girl" producer James Safran dished on what really went down on the set of The CW show while speaking to Vanity Fair in 2017, revealing, "[Blake Lively] had this thing where she had a doll that she took photos of that she sent to Leo. Blake was way ahead of the curve. It was pre-Instagram. She was documenting her life in photographs in a way that people were not yet doing." Sending pictures of a doll, huh? Count us in if it could land us DiCaprio!

As for what happened between the two? Well, they met in November 2010 and started dating around May 2011, according to Us Weekly, wasting no time in jet-setting together. The couple was seen everywhere — from Disneyland to Australia — but it's thought that Lively was hesitant to get more serious with the "Titanic" star. "Blake wasn't ready to move to the next level. It was just too much, too quickly. Blake wasn't ready to settle down," a source claimed at the time.

She went on a double date with Ryan Reynolds -- but he wasn't her date!

Sound the awkward alarm, because Blake Lively and her now husband Ryan Reynolds once went on a double date, but not with each other! Reynolds dropped this bombshell on us while chatting on Entertainment Weekly's SiriusXM show in 2016, where he recalled the double date we're guessing their actual dates would probably rather forget. Reynolds shared that he and Lively were nothing more than friends until around a year after they'd appeared in "Green Lantern" together, recalling, "She was on a date with another guy, and I was on a date with another girl — and that was the most awkward date for the respective parties because we were just like fireworks coming across the [table]." He added, "We were buddies for a long time, which is, I think, the best way to have a relationship is to start as friends."

When they first met, Lively was still dating her "Gossip Girl" co-star Penn Badgley and Reynolds was married to his first wife, Scarlett Johansson. Both those relationships weren't built to last, though, and Lively and Reynolds tied the knot in 2012. They kept things pretty private when it came to their big day, but gave a us mere mortals a peek at their nuptials by sharing snaps with Martha Stewart Weddings.

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' plantation regret

Speaking of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' wedding day, years after they tied the knot, there was some controversy about where they decided to wed. In fact, the two actually apologized for their wedding venue after they came under fire for choosing to celebrate their love at a former plantation, which had ties to slavery, in Charleston.

"It's something we'll always be deeply and unreservedly sorry for. It's impossible to reconcile," Reynolds explained to Fast Company in August 2020 as the spotlight was shone firmly on the Black Lives Matter movement. He explained, "What we saw at the time was a wedding venue on Pinterest. What we saw after was a place built upon devastating tragedy." "The Proposal" actor shared that he and Lively had married again, the second ceremony taking place at their home. Reynolds said of their original nuptials, "A giant f***ing mistake like that can either cause you to shut down or it can reframe things and move you into action. It doesn't mean you won't f*** up again. But re-patterning and challenging lifelong social conditioning is a job that doesn't end." 

Two months before that, Lively shared a poignant post in regard to the Black Lives Matter movement on Instagram, which confirmed she and Reynolds had donated $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. "We're ashamed that in the past we've allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systematic racism is," she wrote in part.

Baker Blake!

Will Blake Lively's talents literally never cease? We know the star is an incredible actor, businesswoman, mom, wife, and so much more, and now we can add cook and baker to that seemingly never-ending list. In fact, Lively loves being in the kitchen so much that she has big dreams of going pro. "I want to have a brunch place, a bakery, and a Southern restaurant — because my family's from Georgia — and then I want a place that is all-over-the-world cuisine," she told Allure in September 2010. "I take a cooking class everywhere I travel. I find it's the best way to get to know a culture. It's what people bring to the family every day, what they break bread over. It's a very intimate thing" (via OK!).

The star often shows off some of her kitchen triumphs on social media, too. In February 2021, she displayed a stunning unicorn-themed birthday cake she'd made on Instagram and joked in the caption that she thought it was worthy of "The Great British Baking Show." "If I don't get a handshake from @paul.hollywood after decorating this one, I quit," she wrote. Prior to that, in 2018, she shared a snap on Instagram of herself and her girlfriends with piping bags in their hands as they learned how to make macarons. Delicious! 

Only, we think the whole acting thing seems to be working out pretty well for this star so far.