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We were promised original Gossip Girl cameos, and we just had our first one in HBO Max's new Gossip Girl: Milo Sparks (Azhy Robertson), son of the one and only arbiter of Whartonian chaos, Georgina Sparks.
Played by Michelle Trachtenberg in the CW series, Georgina knew how to liven up a party and destroy a few lives in the process. In the season 3 finale, she drops her most explosive bomb yet — she's pregnant, and Dan Humphrey is allegedly the father. A faked DNA test, a birth certificate, and an elongated spa visit later, and Dan is raising a baby in his family's Brooklyn loft. While it's not long before we discover Dan is not baby Milo's dad, no small amount of damage is already done.
In episode 4 of the new Gossip Girl, we find out Milo has ended up on the Upper East Side, in a mansion decorated with photos of Georgina and Elon Musk, Georgina and Vladimir Putin, Georgina and Ed Sheeran… and one solo portrait of Blair Waldorf. His parents are notably absent from their home, but young Milo has already internalized their wisdom, working with Zoya (Whitney Peak) to launch a coup against Julien (Jordan Alexander).
11-year-old Azhy is already an acting veteran with roles in Marriage Story, The Plot Against America, Come Play, and the forthcoming alien series from Apple, Invasion. He plays Milo with cunning and confidence, citing himself as the Mini-Me to Georgina's Dr. Evil when we speak on the phone. Below, hear from Azhy on his notorious Gossip Girl mom, learning bass guitar, and what he would like to share on social media — once he's old enough.
Teen Vogue: What have you been up to this summer?
Azhy Robertson: Oh not much, just relaxing. A while ago, I started playing bass guitar, then I stopped for a while because I was busy with work and school and stuff, but I started taking lessons again and it's really cool.
TV: What's a song that you've learned recently that you liked?
AR: A lot. Have you heard of “Island in the Sun” by Weezer?
TV: Great song.
AR: Yeah. It's pretty fun to play.
TV: Is it hard to balance learning guitar, school, acting in all these great projects?
AR: Actually, yeah, sometimes because I have to take a break from learning the bass in school to work. And sometimes I have to do school, I have to do tutoring and stuff at work, which, it's manageable, but it could be a little better. It could be a little less complicated.
TV: You've been very busy over the past couple of years. What has been the most fun project you've worked on?
AR: That's really hard to say. Everything has some cool elements. Even the days on set that I don't enjoy, there are parts of those days and parts of those projects that I really like, that help me keep on going. Gossip Girl was really fun to work on. Everyone was super nice. Everyone was cool. The director Jennifer Lynch, after every take she said “giggity,” which is what Quagmire says in Family Guy, which was pretty funny.
TV: How did you first hear about Gossip Girl and the role that you would be up for? How did that work?
AR: Well, I got the offer and I was very interested because Milo, he's really different from everyone else I've played. He's like an evil genius. He's almost a super villain. He's almost comically evil, like mustache twirling. He has a very different personality to all of the other people I've played and I figured it would be really cool and fun to play this guy and be in Gossip Girl. Which also, another thing is my cousin, she's a huge fan of Gossip Girl. And when my parents and I called her, she was really surprised and elated that I was in it, which was pretty cool.
TV: I love that. How much did you learn about the old series as you were preparing to play Milo?
AR: Yeah, I learned. I looked at a lot of stuff about Georgina Sparks, who is my mother in the show, and how evil and... what's the word? [Pauses] I'm sorry, just evil. I was thinking of a word to sound fancy, but how evil she is and how she sets up a bunch of stuff and different confrontations that could potentially hurt the others. She's just like an agent of chaos. I feel like she's like Dr. Evil and I'm Mini-Me.
TV: Did you get to talk to Michelle Trachtenberg at all about that character?
AR: I wish. That would have been cool, but no, not yet at least.
TV: You put it so well with “agent of chaos.” Whenever the old Gossip Girl would slow down, Georgina would come in and shake things up. Do you think that's how it's going to be with Milo? Will he just kind of appear periodically to cause chaos?
AR: Yes, that's definitely what I'm hoping for. Whenever things seem all fine and dandy and nice and all the conflict's resolved, he comes in to mess everything up again.
TV: What was it like filming with Whitney Peak?
AR: Oh, she's super nice. Her character Zoya is who Milo is interacting with the most. It was cool working with her. We talked a lot and yeah, overall, very cool. Very fun to talk to.
TV: Milo has a line where his mom taught him, “It's not enough to go to war. What you need is a coup.” What do you think of that line? Would you ever strategize against someone like that?
AR: I agree with him because whenever I... I'm not as smart as him. I'm not as devious and strategic as him, but if I were to strategize against an enemy I had or something, I would take the time to consider something they don't expect like that.
TV: Milo skips a couple of grades in the show. He's in eighth grade, I think. Would you ever want to do that?
AR: I actually did. I skipped a grade, just a single one. I went from fourth to sixth grade, and it's something similar that we both have in common.
TV: What's that like, because that's kind of a big jump? Sixth grade is a big year.
AR: Yeah, I guess. This is the first year of middle school. It was weird going to another school when I'm supposed to be in another year at my school. But it's good. I still keep in touch with all of my friends from my elementary school, and I made a few new ones.
TV: That's great. I was watching another of your interviews where you were talking about remote learning and the pandemic and how it isn't that different from your set tutors. What is school like for you right now? Do you think you'll go back in the fall in person?
AR: Ever since I got into sixth grade, for the first half of the year I was still remote, but then gradually we started going in person. It was a few days in person and a few days at home. And the guidelines were super strict. No touching, everyone had to wear masks, social distancing, et cetera, et cetera. And I, for one, am happy we're partially going in person now. But I'm hopeful because I think maybe in September when I start going back, we'll go fully in person.
TV: Was it weird to be apart from your friends last year when everyone was quarantining really heavily?
AR: Yeah, definitely. Because nothing like that has really happened to me in my lifetime before. Adjusting to it was very strange. I called them a lot. I played a lot of video games with them, but I was pretty miserable not being able to see them in person.
TV: Yeah, that's real. What video games do you play?
AR: A lot. I played Minecraft with my friends. I started a few servers with them. And now I'm starting to get into fighting games like Tekken. It's pretty fun. I was going to add, it's a really cool way to communicate with friends and socialize.
TV: What are you watching on TV lately?
AR: I watch a lot of anime, but now what I'm watching is American Horror Story. I skipped the first season because I heard the second one was the best, and it's really good. It's very intriguing. A lot of it's pretty scary.
TV: Would you ever want to act in a future American Horror Story season?
AR: Yes. That would probably be one of my top five favorite projects that I would want to be in most. I always wanted to be in a lot of horror stuff and scary stuff because I don't know, I find it funny scaring people. Not funny. That makes me sound evil, but I find it cool watching people's reactions to getting scared by movies. And American Horror Story also, it's not just the horror. It's also a drama and a lot of the seasons go a lot deeper than just super scary.
TV: What is your social media presence like? I saw maybe your parents run your official one. Are you on social media at all?
AR: No, not yet. My parents run my official one, but if I ever do get on social media, I would like to post memes and just post funny stuff once in a while.
TV: With Gossip Girl and that storyline, does it make you hesitant to join social media? It seems pretty wild, like Milo is so good at digging up material that will get Julien canceled in that one scene. Does it make you think differently about your future social media use?
AR: It's definitely scary to think that almost everyone has done something that they could get canceled for, and people can very easily just dig that stuff up. I know it's happened to a lot of people, a lot of successful people. But I think posting memes is harmless. Well, that's not always the case if you post... it's about the type of stuff you post. If you just post harmless funny stuff, then I don't think you'll get canceled. Most people will find it funny or something.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue