YOU: Penn Badgley on the 'Social Experiment' of Potential Fan Reactions - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

YOU: Penn Badgley on the ‘Social Experiment’ of Potential Fan Reactions

July 26, 2018 by  

You Penn Badgley

Credit: Lifetime

YOU’s Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is being called the “ultimate romantic,” but his portrayer isn’t as sympathetic to Joe’s obsessive ways as some viewers may be.

“Somehow, I seem to be more troubled by it,” Badgley said during the show’s Television Critics Association panel. “I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but I know that throughout I felt as though maybe I was the most troubled, which is why [executive producers] Greg [Berlanti] and Sera [Gamble] insisted that I was the right guy for the role.”

“I, personally, am really interested to see how it is that people respond to this show…especially given that we just found out about this second season pickup,” he continued. “It is a bit of a social experiment, because it’s like a litmus test to see the mental gymnastics we’re still willing to perform at the cultural level to love an evil white man.”

In the drama, Joe is instantly attracted to Beck (Elizabeth Lail)…and he quickly becomes obsessed, stalking her and invading the most private parts of her life. (The series is based on the Caroline Kepnes novel by the same name.)

To get into the Joe mindset, Badgley “focused mostly on his curiosity and his sensitivity because there are so many things about him that are inhuman—or at least there are a couple glaring things about him that are so inhuman,” he said. “I think [it was] in order to make him human, which initially I wasn’t even sure I was concerned about doing, to be honest, in the process early on when I was having conversations with Greg and Sera. But I realized that as an actor that’s my only job. And it was ultimately his curiosity, his investigation that somehow is like so naïve and innocent that it might even be insular and then becomes all of the terrible things that it is.”

Given Badgley’s GOSSIP GIRL past, where his character, Dan, was—spoiler alert!—the titular gossip blogger who reported on his friends (and foes) for years, the actor acknowledged there are “parallels” between the characters…”not the least of which is that I’m playing both of them.”

“I’d say in the first scene of the first episode by every measure Joe might appear to be Dan, and then he diverges,” he continued. “I’m, also, as time goes on, probably less interested and…also more accepting of the fact that there’s no way to control people’s perception of what it is they’re watching. If people want to see the similarities and focus on them, that’s fine because they’re there, and then whatever they see that really is new, that’s there as well. But, trust me, yeah, the parallels and the comparisons are not lost on me, and I can only imagine, like, the worst version of an ad, like, ‘If you liked GOSSIP GIRL, this one’s going to be a killer!'”

YOU, Series Premiere, Sunday, September 9, 10/9c, Lifetime




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