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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19:  Actor Penn Badgley attends the Summer Party on the HIGH LINE, Presented by COACH at The Highline on June 19, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Coach) Penn Badgley.

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Penn Badgley Knows How People Feel About His Beard

At yesterday's summer party at the High Line, we ran into Penn Badgley, who said he rarely gets the chance to visit the picturesque location. "I’ve only been here a couple times because it’s so crowded," he told us. "Particularly as a New York tourist spot, I feel like I should be standing with a sandwich board like, 'I actually live in New York. Welcome to Gossip Girl.'" Of course, Badgley's currently on hiatus from that CW soap, as if you couldn't tell by his bushy beard. "I'm probably going to shave it in about a week, but now it’s just a chance to try it out," he confessed. "I've never really had the opportunity to grow one." Why not? "Because of work. And I know everybody hates it." With Gossip Girl about to enter its final season, Badgley will soon have the opportunity to become as hirsute as he wants to be, and it looks like he's preparing to put his character to rest: When we mentioned the dunk tank at the party and asked him whom he'd dunk if given the opportunity, Badgley didn't need much time to think. "Dan Humphrey," he said. Is he a little sick of his Gossip Girl leading man? "It's a gentle release with him."

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images