Know Your Poppy! The Fauxcialite Poppy Lifton

Over the past year or so, several young, attractive Brits that go by the lovely name Poppy have surfaced in New York society. Herewith, our weekly guide to keeping all the Poppys straight.

Tamara Feldman is not a real Poppy. She just plays one on TV.

Ms. Feldman portrays the uptown socialite—or “fauxcialite,” if you saw last week’s episode—Poppy Lifton on the teen drama Gossip Girl.

Ms. Feldman, who is 31 but presumably plays a character slightly older than high-school age on the show, lives in Los Angeles and said she didn’t realize how many real socialites named Poppy there actually were in New York. (According to a rep for the show, however, the character is not based on any real-life socialite.)

“I had no idea!” said Ms. Feldman when we rang her up last week. “But then I was out at the Bowery Hotel lobby bar one night with some friends, and this girl was like, ‘Hi! My name is Poppy.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ I think one of my friends said something like, ‘This is a real Poppy!’ Then she told me she was one of them and that there are like three girls named Poppy.”

The Daily Transom wondered which Poppy it was that had introduced herself to the fictional Poppy. Was it Poppy de Villeneuve, the photographer? Poppy Delevigne, the model? Or, Poppy King, the lipstick designer? Or, maybe it was Poppy Edmunds, the publicist?

“Oh, I have no idea,” replied Ms. Feldman. “I don’t actually remember. We just acknowledged the funny situation and moved on.”

The actress said she was quite amused by her character’s name when she was first cast for the role.

“I thought it was hilarious,” she said. “It was like, ‘Oh my God, my name is Poppy!’ It made me want to act lighter and gigglier just because the name sounds so funny and light.”

But Ms. Feldman, who has never lived in New York, said she knew very little about how to talk or act like a Manhattan socialite.

“This is going to sound really stupid, but I actually watched a bunch of interviews on YouTube of Paris Hilton on talk shows. She’s not really a New York socialite, but I just wanted to see a socialite doing an interview to see the physicality and how they talked and how they moved,” she said. “And my character does some extreme stuff that I don’t think any of the real Poppys would ever do. So it was more about playing off the other characters. It’s based more off the show than real life because I don’t really have any real-life experience with socialites.”

Ms. Feldman said she’s enjoyed playing her character, especially since Ms. Lifton went from being a peripheral character on the show to causing a major scandal on the Upper East Side in recent episodes. She was the female Bernie Madoff! And she’s hoping Ms. Lifton remains on the show rather than getting shipped off to prison or Mexico or something.

“I have no idea,” she said. “I hope so. But they don’t tell me anything.”

Know Your Poppy! The Fauxcialite Poppy Lifton