Going into the You Season 4 premiere, star Penn Badgley dropped what probably felt like a bombshell to fans of the hit Netflix series: He no longer wanted to film sex scenes. At the time Badgley chalked the decision up to wanting to preserve “fidelity” to his marriage, and it wasn’t long until the internet was off to the races. The Discourse around Badgley’s decision fluctuated between speculation that he got caught cheating or he was erroneously equating the scenes with, well, actual sex.
In a new interview, the actor makes it clear that he saw the online chatter, and while he didn’t quite understand the backlash, he knows the internet is going to internet. Via GQ:
Badgley says that he was somewhat taken aback by the reaction to his comments, which feel “blown out of proportion”, but is all too aware of how the internet takes things out of context. “What I was speaking about wasn’t actually the final product,” he says. “It was sort of like the culture inherent to the production of all movies, but particularly those scenes. It’s like, look, we know that Hollywood has had a history of flagrant exploitation and abuse.”
Despite the backlash, Badgley opened up even more about his stance on longer filming intimacy scenes and how it could affect his career moving forward.
“I was nervous to even have that conversation,” Badgley said about telling You creator Sera Gamble. “It was not easy. It was easy because of Sera’s response, and I felt relieved. But technically speaking, if I thought I’d had the ability to set that boundary earlier, I would have.”
He added, “We shall see if setting that boundary, of course, has any ramifications. Just simply, it does limit the number of projects you can be a part of.”