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Penn Badgley Admits He Wanted To ‘Turn’ His ‘You’ Role ‘Down’ Because Of The Sex Scenes



Penn Badgley Charlotte Ritchie

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Image Credit: Netflix

If Penn Badgley had his way, there wouldn’t be any Joe Goldberg sex scenes in You. The star of Netflix’s smash hit continues to open up about his lack of desire to have intimate moments onscreen. “It’s important to me in my real life not to have them,” he told Variety.

Penn Badgley Charlotte Ritchie
Penn Badgley and Charlotte Ritchie as Joe and Kate in ‘You’ season 4. (Netflix)

He added, “My fidelity in my relationship. It’s important to me. And actually, it was one of the reasons that I initially wanted to turn the role down. I didn’t tell anybody that. But that is why.”

The person who “encouraged” Penn to play Joe Goldberg, the charming but extremely problematic serial killer Youwas his wife, Domino Kirke-Badgley. “And I wasn’t going to listen to anyone more than her,” he said.

Penn listened to his wife and took on the role of Joe. After its first season aired on Lifetime, Netflix picked up the show. You has become a massive hit for the streaming service, and the whole world has fallen in love with Penn’s portrayal of Joe.

Compared to previous seasons of Youthere are significantly fewer sex scenes in season 4 and all of them include Penn and his onscreen love interest Charlotte Ritchie fully clothed. Penn initially revealed on his Podcrushed podcast that he went to You executive producer Sarah Gamble to discuss doing fewer sex scenes ahead of season 4.

Penn Badgley
Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg. (Netflix)

“I said to Sera, ‘My desire would be zero, to go from 100 to zero.’ But I signed this contract. I signed up for this show. I know what I did. You can’t take this aspect out of the DNA of the concept. So how much less can you make it, was my question to them,” he said.

The Gossip Girl alum noted that Sera was “really glad” that he was “honest” with her about his feelings. “She was sort of… I want to say almost like empowered. Yeah, she had a really positive response. And they came back with a phenomenal reduction,” he admitted. The first 5 episodes of You season 4 are available to stream now. The second batch of episodes will be released on March 9.

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