Penn Badgley asked that his Netflix hit series You tone down Joe's steamy kissing scenes, and the creator shockingly agreed to the request.
Audiences who were thirsting for more of the storyline following the life of charismatic yet dangerous stalker Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) on Netflix’s hit series You have been patiently counting down the days until the premiere of the first part of Season 4, which finally dropped this week. While the first three installments featured some steamy scenes between Joe and the latest lady to find herself caught in his sights, viewers may have noticed that this isn’t exactly the case regarding the freshest batch of episodes. According to a recent installment of Badgley’s own Podcrushed podcast, the series star says that he’s the reason for the change in intimate moments after asking the show’s creator to nix them from the script.
In a move that only would happen when a woman is in charge, Penn Badgley revealed that he approached Sera Gamble, the creator of Netflix’s You, and asked her if it would be possible to at least tone down the lustful scenes between Joe and his love interests. Shockingly, Gamble returned with an immediate “sure,” giving Badgley a huge sigh of relief for his future with the show. Chatting with his podcasting co-host Nava Kavelin, Badgley said that he approached Gamble to ask if it would be possible for him to “do no more intimacy scenes.”
This is the part of the conversation where one would presume there would be the deafening sound of a record scratch, with Gamble looking at Badgley like he was crazy and quickly denying his request. But, that’s not even close to what happened, with the Gossip Girl actor revealing that she “didn’t even bat an eye,” adding that instead, she was “really glad that I was that honest,” with Badgley going as far as to say that the series creator was “empowered” by her leading man’s question. Just as shocked as we all are by the creator of Netflix’s hottest show around, the You star said that he was overwhelmingly surprised by Gamble’s reaction because intimacy was something he knew he would have to do when agreeing to the show’s contract.
Badgley admits that he wrestled with the idea of taking on a character like Joe Goldberg, knowing that doing so would sign him up for another several years of “playing the romantic lead,” something the actor wanted to shy away from. Not willing to waste his opportunity of working with Netflix to play such a multi-dimensional character as that of You’s Joe, he decided to take the plunge and go for it anyway. However, the actor had a recent change of heart, noting on the podcast that “fidelity in every relationship, including my marriage, is important to me,” adding that the stress of carrying through with intimate on-screen scenes weighed heavily on him, leading him “to the point where I don’t want to do that.”
While it may upset some viewers of the Netflix show that its leading man won’t be fully stepping up for part of what makes You, You, the idea of a series creator like Gamble completely changing the very heart of a production to make her leading actors more comfortable is an incredible one. With intimacy coordinators being a hotly debated topic in Hollywood these days, what better way to make sure everyone on set is feeling comfortable than just listening to their requests and making it an easy-going place to work? And, while some viewers may have only been tuning in for steamy moments between Badgley’s character and his love interests, we’re sure viewership will still be going through the roof when You releases the second part of its fourth season in March.