In 11 Questions, The A.V. Club asks interesting people 11 interesting questions—and then asks them to suggest one for our next interviewee.

Following stints on 24, Veronica Mars, and The WB’s short-lived remake of Tarzan, Leighton Meester reigned for six seasons as Gossip Girl queen bee Blair Waldorf. During her time on the fictionalized Upper East Side, Meester also launched a recording career, scoring a hit single with the Cobra Starship duet “Good Girls Go Bad” and contributing to the soundtrack to Country Strong, in which she co-starred with Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw. Her debut album, Heartstrings, is a set of dusky singer-songwriter fare produced by Sheryl Crow collaborator Jeff Trott. Heartstrings will be available October 28 via Meester’s own label, Hotly Wanting.

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1. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Leighton Meester: Babysitting this kid who—he wasn’t nice.

The A.V. Club: To put it diplomatically, he wasn’t nice?

LM: He wasn’t very nice. I don’t think it was him—I think it was his parents. He was a holy terror.

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AVC: Did you have any idea going into that babysitting job that he was like this?

LM: Not really, but I felt really great because it didn’t last for too long—it was probably over the course of a few months, and by the end of it he was totally different, at least toward me. He was just very sweet.

AVC: So you had a positive influence on him?

LM: Yeah. I think he was maybe lonely and acting out.

AVC: You took the worst job and made it a better one.

LM: I guess so. I’ve been pretty lucky in my jobs. I know people are like, “Yeah, I had to wield a leaf blower” and all kinds of stuff, but I’ve been pretty lucky.

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2. What did your parents want you to be?

LM: Probably a doctor. I think I got in the habit of saying I was going to be a doctor when I was a kid because it seemed to get a good reaction from them. [Laughs.] Proud parents. But then, you know, my dad, once I started acting—I acted when I was young and he wasn’t into it. But eventually, he changed his mind.

AVC: Was there a particular performance or role or project or point in time when you could tell he was changing his mind?

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LM: It was really over the last couple of years, and I don’t know if it was over a performance. It was more like I was able to buy a house and I think he was finally like, “I feel secure now that you can support yourself through this.”

3. Who would your pop culture best friend be?

LM: In my mind, right now, since I just read this book, it’s Arturo Bandini from Ask The Dust. I love that book so much and I just really related to him and appreciated him. Maybe in that sense [the answer is] John Fante, who wrote the book, but I really related to the character.

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Have you ever read that book?

AVC: I haven’t, but I just looked it up on my computer, so I was going to ask if you think you’d get along with Fante as well, since the author reportedly based Arturo on himself.

LM: I’m assuming it had something to do with him as a person when he was young and he just gave himself a different name and circumstances. But, I mean, I cried when that book was over and I highly recommend it.

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4. What game show would you be good at?

LM: Wheel Of Fortune.

AVC: Are you an avid Wheel Of Fortune viewer? Do you play along at home?

LM: I wouldn’t say I’m an avid viewer, but when I watch it, I’m like [Yelling at contestant.], “You idiot! WALK THE DOG!” And I love all the false answers you see on YouTube of people accidentally asking for a letter that makes it a bad word or saying the dumbest thing. It’s just great.

AVC: Having familiarized yourself with those mistakes, do you think you could avoid them if you were on the show?

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LM: Yeah, although I don’t know. Maybe the pressure of TV—and I don’t know how the set looks in person, if the board is far away or close up—so I don’t know if I’m just judging too harshly from home. Maybe it’s easier to tell when you’re in your living room.

AVC: But as the title of the show says, it’s all up to fortune. You can be really good at guessing the tiles, but the wheel can sabotage you at any moment. Do you think you’d have any strategy of spinning the wheel?

LM: I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know the weight of it either. I think I’d just spin it as hard as I could because then, you know, you could leave it up to fate. Or physics.

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5. How would your enemies describe you?

LM: I don’t have any known enemies, but I’d like to think they’d describe me in ways that I’m plainly not. One critique I get a lot—even from people that I’m friends with—is that I have a difficult time on the phone. Not necessarily speaking, but like responding and writing back, and that’s not a very good attribute or characteristic.

Maybe that I’m difficult to get to know at first? I really don’t know. That I’m an evil genius? I don’t know. [Laughs.] Shit, I don’t know!

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AVC: And if they got to know you, they wouldn’t be your enemy.

LM: Exactly. I’d like to think that.

6. If a deli named a sandwich after you, what would be on the sandwich?

LM: Oh, that sounds good. Let’s see: I would say definitely pickles. I like honey mustard, Swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut, jalapeños, tomatoes—

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AVC: Is there anything that’s not going to be on this sandwich?

LM: I’m thinking of things I like—maybe some crunchy kind of a thing like jalapeño chips. That could be kind of good.

AVC: So would you sub the jalapeños out for the chips or would you do both the jalapeños and the jalapeño chips?

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LM: Whenever I get a sub sandwich, I put jalapeños on it, and if I have a chip option, I will get the jalapeño chips. So maybe both, if you can handle the heat.

AVC: That’s a spicy lunch.

LM: You’re going to be sorry.

7. What was your first big grown-up purchase?

LM: My house. I was 24 or 25 when I got it and I was pretty young to be doing a grown-up thing like that. It was a lot to take on. But I love it and I feel like a grown-up because of it. It’s a lot of responsibility.

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AVC: That’s a nerve-racking thing to go through at 24.

LM: The nice thing is that I had good advice going into it and it’s a great house that really has no major flaws. I looked at a lot of houses, and it’s really hard to find a good house. There’s usually some major flaw that each individual person, depending on who they are, will overlook—but this one is pretty great. Then I did all kinds of construction to it. It’s a pretty grown-up time.

AVC: If you could give any piece of advice on home ownership to the readers of The A.V. Club, what would it be?

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LM: Not necessarily advice, but it’s more like a warning: There’s always something. It’s like life. Nothing’s perfect. So something is always broken. You always need to be fixing something. If it’s advice: Learn how to use a very simple set of tools. Because every time someone comes in they’re like, “That’ll be such and such amount of money”—and then they use a screwdriver and screw something in. Just learn how to do that a little bit.

But besides that, it’s pretty great. It’s nice, it’s relaxing. And owning land is kind of nuts—it’s a big thing. It’s something I never thought of before, because I was living in New York for so long, and if you own something there, you own an apartment—there’s no ground around it and you have to deal with people living next to you and under you and over you. But in a house, it’s standalone. It’s pretty sweet.

8. What’s your go-to karaoke song?

LM: Anything Patsy Cline. I do Mariah Carey a lot. I like Tammy Wynette, I like Loretta Lynn. No, actually: Loretta Lynn, “Fist City.” That’s my go-to.

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AVC: Do you think there’s any particular track on “Heartstrings” that would be good for karaoke?

LM: Yeah! “Good For One Thing” is definitely worthy of that, I think.

9. What’s the worst living situation you’ve ever had?

LM: One time, I lived in a house with three girls. And it sounds like fun when you’re all friends, but then you start to have roommate problems that aren’t necessarily friend problems. Way more than they ate your ice cream—which did happen, and it was like “Ugh! Come on, it’s like the last…” It’s like they took part of your soul.

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Everyone would smoke cigarettes in the house, then a couple of them were total heavy drinkers and kinda nuts party girls. They’d throw parties that would get so out of control that stuff would get stolen and broken. One of my roommates just ended up on the floor in the hall. It was crazy.

I’m glad for it—that I had that time and experience. When I moved to New York, I lived alone, and I’ve lived alone ever since. It was like, “I will never have roommates again.” You have to be forced to hang out with people constantly, and I really think I did a lot of growing living alone.

10. Who could you take in a fight?

LM: Most people. Maybe not men, but I surprise myself. This isn’t meant to be bragging—I mean I’m not trying to hide it—I’m not incredibly strong, but I have strong willpower. Arm wrestling, I can beat almost anyone. Friends of mine that work out all the time—and that’s their thing, that they’re super strong—I can pick them up and throw them in the pool, and I don’t know why. I think it’s just my mind, not my physical strength.

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Is that bragging that I say I can beat up any girl?

AVC: I don’t think so, because the origin of that strength remains a mystery to you.

LM: And it’s not like I want to fight. I hate fighting—that’s not fun. But you know what I think it is, too: In sports in general, I’m hard on myself. I hate not being good at it, so I just force myself until I’m good. It’s total willpower, it really is. It’s like, “Okay, I’m going to do this.”

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11. Do you have anyone’s autograph?

LM: I’ve found that nobody gets autographs anymore. I just did a show on Broadway, Of Mice And Men, and all the guys I was working with gave me a poster and they signed it and that was really special to me. But I think it’s so weird: There’s plenty of people who I’ve seen who I think are great, but an autograph? I don’t know. I remember really liking Sean Lennon when I was 21 or 22 and my friends saw him in a restaurant and got an autograph for me and I was like, “Cool. I just like him, I don’t necessarily need an autograph.” Plus, aren’t selfies the autographs that people ask for now? They don’t really need to ask you for your autograph—there’s no proof unless they take a picture of it.

AVC: Have you taken a selfie with someone that you really admire?

LM: One time, I was doing a talk show and Stephen Colbert was there—and, truthfully, I would never, ever ask anyone to take a picture. I just wouldn’t. But my brother is a big fan of [Colbert’s] and I knew he would be impressed. Like I think this would be the only person I’ve ever met that he would say, ”Wow, that’s pretty cool!”—and he did. Then [Colbert] sent it to his daughter, so I think it was kind of mutual. He benefited, too, which was nice. It was really special and he’s a really cool guy in real life.

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AVC: So this next question was posed by Sarah Silverman, and it’s a very Sarah Silverman question, but I still feel the need to preface that it’s from Sarah and not anyone at The A.V. Club. So keep that in mind as you answer…

12. Bonus question from Sarah Silverman: “What are your thoughts on boobs?”

LM: [Laughs.] Is a laugh an answer? Just kidding: I mean, they’re great. They’re awesome?

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AVC: I think that’s all that can be said.

LM: I mean, really, your eyes bulge out, they’re great.

AVC: And what’s the question you’d like to ask the next 11 Questions subject?

LM: Well I don’t know how PG—I guess this isn’t going to be very PG, but I’ve heard the boobs question so I can ask: What is your favorite cuss word? Or do you have a memory of the first time you cussed?

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AVC: Those are good ones.

LM: I know how that is for some people, but I remember cussing in Girl Scouts and getting in trouble for it. Although some people might have said a bad word when they were a little kid and didn’t even think about. Or maybe some people don’t have a dirty mouth and they don’t even do that now.

AVC: I would be surprised if we got someone who has never cussed. In this day and age, that would be remarkable.

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LM: So that’s a twofer. [To interviewer.] What’s your favorite cuss word?

AVC: I’m a big fan of a combo cuss: I like “fuckin’ shit.”

LM: Oh, “fuckin’ shit”—good. I like “motherfucker” and I like “cunt.” There’s your headline.

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