Leighton Meester had a lot of "false starts".
The 28-year-old star had her big break in Gossip Girl, where she played high-school queen bee Blair Waldorf. It thrust her into the limelight alongside the likes of Blake Lively, Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick. But many of the cast had a passion for music, with Penn Badgley, who played Dan Humphrey, and his onscreen sister Taylor Momsen, aka Jenny Humphrey, going on to forge successful singing careers. Leighton is following suit - her first album, Heartstrings, will be out later this month and she's previously collaborated on a track with Cobra Starship.
‘I think I was just waiting for the right time’
"I can finally say - I am so excited - I'm putting out an album," she grinned to the latest edition of British InStyle magazine.
"[It] feels so soon but it's not, because I have been working on it forever.
"I feel like I had a lot of false starts. I think I was just waiting for the right time."
Leighton recorded an album in 2009, which was due for release that year but pushed back to 2010. In the end it was never put out, but two singles were released and a further two leaked.
Now her music is taking off, Leighton won't be turning her back on acting. She appeared in Broadway's Of Mice and Men alongside James Franco earlier this year and can also be seen in upcoming movie The Judge, which co-stars Robert Downey Jr.
She's made some less successful choices too, such as 2011's The Roommate - but Leighton has no regrets.
"I think I am probably better now than I was and probably will be better than I am now. I hope so anyway. I just think it's all part of the bigger picture," she smiled optimistically.
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