"i'm a grown woman and sometimes i might be a little bit fat!"

Thanks to her magnetic screen presence and weekly must-watch TV show, it's never been hard to watch Leighton Meester.  But thanks to two back-to-back movies - Country Strong, out now, and The Roommate, premiering February 4 - the Florida native has quickly catapulted from TV star to Hollywood's new hot property.

She's also our February cover girl - after all, it is The Love Month, and we're totally head-over-heels for this New York-based actress.

Leighton Meester on Blair Waldorf:
Blair is.... I don't know what she is... I have to enter a completely foreign body to sympathize with Blair and her decisions.  You know, Blair grew up very savvy, well-educated, and lonely.  I think her mother is not the most supportive person and... Blair is very competitive and conniving, and it obviously comes, usually, from a very human place, but she makes decisions that I would never make.

Leighton Meester on her Country Strong character, Chiles Stanton:
She is so scared of people thinking of her as this ignorant, vapid, pretty face, and you know, I can totally understand where she's coming from because, especially if you come from Dallas Texas, you're a beauty queen - you don't play the guitar, you're writing seemingly meaningless pop songs.  All that I can relate to, totally.  It's sad and sweet at the same time."

Minka Kelly on Leighton Meester during the filming of The Roommate:
She worked with psychologists; she really studied the illness of the character, so much that at times on set i was a little concerned whether or not she was there because she scared me so much!  The look in her eye was so surreal I was in awe at how much she committed to it.

Leighton Meester on Her Family and Friends:
I like to be judged by my family and friends because they know me.  If they think I'm being an asshole I'd like them to tell me, but if I'm fat or something I'm like, "Well, so?  OK?  Great!"  It doesn't even matter; it's like, "What if I am fat? Does it matter?"... I'm a grown woman and sometimes, I might be a little fat, you know!  Am I alone there?  Not really!

Read the whole story in the February issue of NYLON.  And if you subscribe now, you'll never miss an issue.