"Gossip Girl" Leighton Meester looked to contemporary country artists to prepare her for her "Country Song" role.
"I went to the Grand Ole Opry and saw Carrie Underwood. Went to few honky tonks, too," Meester explained about playing a young country music singer who admires -- and then rivals -- an established country star, played by Gywneth Paltrow.
Meester continued, "I tried to make it my own, but I was definitely inspired by Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. I went into the studio and sang my heart out."
The actress was amazed by Paltrow's performance. "She really showed her chops, playing the guitar and performing the hell out of it," said Meester. "My character is supposed to admire and look up to her, and I do, too. You have to rise to the occasion when you play opposite her."
Check out the trailer for "Country Song," strumming in theaters this December.