NEW YORK -- As the newbie on "Gossip Girl," Michelle Trachtenberg expected some hazing when she started on set, but her new acting partner has given her a little more than she bargained for.
"He keeps wanting to sniff my butt, but we're so not there yet," Trachtenberg said.
And no, she doesn't mean Chace Crawford or Penn Badgley, who play the show's hearthrobs Nate and Dan. She's talking about Dylan, a 6-year-old dog her character Georgina uses to lure Dan into having a conversation with her in Central Park.
"He has no idea who she is," Badgley told MTV News. "If he did, he wouldn't be interacting with her, because she represents everything he hates."
"That, and I made his lady love [Serena] live in hell for a bit," Trachtenberg added.
Georgina Sparks, a character in the "Gossip Girl" books just now being introduced in Monday's episode, "comes with a lot of history," Trachtenberg explained. But Georgina is bound and determined not to tip her hand when she introduces herself to Dan, calling her dog "Georgie" and herself "Sarah."
Georgina pretends that she's been playing catch with the dog, and as their ball rolls near the bench Dan's sitting on, he catches it, giving Georgina an excuse to approach him.
"It's a Penn tennis ball," Badgley said. "A great move on props. They had to take the name off for trademarking reasons."
"Oh, is your name Penn?" Trachtenberg laughed. "That's so crazy. Nice to meet you."
The two actually met over green tea at the craft-service table, but they rehearse their meeting over and over, while shivering in black coats. For the actual scene, they're dressed as if it's warm out.
"Don't act so cold!" the director shouted to them.
"I don't want to be playing the world's smallest violin here," Badgley said, "but I think the job of an actor is to wear winter clothing when it's hot, and wear a nice silk shirt when it's freezing out."
Rubbing her hand on Badgley's face, Trachtenberg laughed, "My fingers are like 'The Night of the Living Dead.' "
But this is no horror movie — it's "Gossip Girl." And as such, Trachtenberg and Badgley felt duty-bound to allude to something juicy happening behind the scenes, at least, to compensate for not knowing what's coming up on the show.
"The truth is, we don't have many of the scripts yet," Badgley said. "We have an idea, but we can't say. But a lot of people want to know the dirt."
"Well, there's a tape of him naked," Trachtenberg said.
"More than one," Badgley said.
"Remember, gossiping is dangerous," Trachtenberg said. "But do it."