One of the more successful Netflix original series is the 2018 hit, You. The drama stars Penn Badgley as an introverted stalker whose antics turn murderous. The actor opens up in a podcast interview with Nava Kavelin and Sophie Ansari about what it was like filming the sex and masturbation scenes for You, reports Instinct.
WALKING THE LINE BETWEEN SEXY AND CREEPY
One of Badgley’s first major TV roles was as Dan Humphrey in the CW’s Gossip Girl. The show launched him into the mainstream with an eerily similar character to that of Joe Goldberg – a New York City native with a penchant for literature and a tendency to put his lovers on an impossibly high pedestal.
As Goldberg, Penn has had to film many uncomfortable scenes including masturbating outside his victims’ windows. In the recent episode of Podcrushed, Badgley reunited with fellow Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford to catch up. Therein, Badgley talks about having to make those aforementioned masturbation scenes more “sexy”, reports Instinct.
The producers and director would reportedly give Badgley notes on his acting to make the scene feel less creepy. “They say like, ‘Close your eyes or go faster or go slower.’ I’m like, ‘What? This man is fucking murdering people, and he’s masturbating in the street,” he says. “You’re saying I’m making it creepy? How is it I’m the one making it creepy?'”
It’s interesting that despite Goldberg’s depravity when he crosses the many ethical boundaries with his victims, viewers have an odd attachment to the character. You couldn’t quite call him an anti-hero, but You is essentially a tale of tragedy and romance and Badgley does a fine job of walking that line.
“That’s just the strange line that we’re always walking on our show. Examining toxicity in sexual culture while also trying to be sexy,” he says. Some audiences report feeling softness towards Goldberg’s character despite his stalker behaviour. He is a desperately lonely figure with a lot of love to give and that resonates with people.
It wouldn’t be untrue to say that Badgley is very sexy in You – it’s a sordid and messy attraction that inexplicably disgusts the viewer and appeals to their deeper desire to be loved wholly and deeply and without limits. Season four of You is currently in production and there is no official release date yet, but predictions hover around the next instalment dropping at the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.