Penn Badgley Respectfully Declined the Sex Scenes in "You"

He made the decision way before the new season.

Penn Badgley You S4

Courtesy Netflix

Penn Badgley opened up on a major facet of Joe Goldberg that fans may or may not notice. While the psychotic killer is undeniably magnetic (he has to lure in his victims, after all), viewers could point out that he's not overtly sexual. It's a decision that Badgley made before he signed on to the role, he said in the latest episode of his podcast, Podcrushed. As season 4 landed on Netflix this week, Penn shared that he requested that he have as few intimate scenes as possible and that he worked with creator Sera Gamble to ensure that his boundaries were respected.

"I asked Sera Gamble, creator of the show, 'Can I just do no more intimacy scenes?' This is actually a decision I had made before I took the show," he said. "I don't think I've ever mentioned it publicly, but it’s ... one of the main things is, like, 'Do I want to put myself back on a career path where I'm just always romantic lead?'"

"Fidelity in every relationship — and especially in my marriage — is important to me," he added. "I said to Sera, like, 'My desire would be zero, to go from 100 to zero."

Badgley is married to Domino Kirke. The two share a 2-year-old son, James, and Kirke's son from a previous relationship, Cassius, who is 14.

He added that he knew that it would be tough to completely erase the intimate scenes from the series, saying, "I signed this contract. I signed up for this show. I know what I did. You know, 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."

Gamble did agree to Badley's wishes, he notes, which is how the show manages to balance the allure and appeal of Goldberg with the chilling mind games that underly all of his actions. Eventually, everything worked out for him and the show's producers and they found a place where everyone felt comfortable. 

“She didn't even bat an eye. She was really glad that I was that honest, and she was sort of I want to say almost, like, empowered. She had a really positive response," Badgley finished. "She appreciated my directness and she appreciated that I was also being reasonable and practical and they came back with a phenomenal reduction."

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