Penn Badgley requested ‘zero’ sex scenes in ‘You’ season 4 out of respect for his marriage
"'So how much less can you make it?' was my question to them."
If you’ve been keeping up with one of Netflix’s most popular shows then you know that the last few seasons of, “You,” have been as suspenseful as they have been sexy. With the lead role played by none other than “Gossip Girl’s” beloved, Penn Badgley, he’s brought a certain (creepy/sexy) flair to his on-screen character, Joe Goldberg.
The stalker-obsessed-lover’s antics in the show have made it so that viewers can almost certainly expect raunchy sex scenes to rival even the most romantic books. But, for Badgley, 36, it’s not as pleasurable as it might be for fans. He requested less sex scenes for the newest season of “You,” according to Buzzfeed.
Penn Badgley’s character has been involved in plenty of sex scenes with his on-screen partners and just as many self-pleasure scenes. In season 3 the amount of romantic scenes was noticeably amped up but now, we’re in season 4 and Badgley is opening up about wanting less onscreen intimacy.
On a recent episode of his podcast, “Podcrushed,” Badgley spoke about his decision to be in the show. “I don’t think I have ever mentioned it publicly,” he said, “But one of the main things was: Do I want to put myself back on a career path where I’m always the romantic lead?”
One of his reasons is his wife, Domino Kirke-Badgley, whom he married in 2017.
“Fidelity in every relationship, including my marriage, is important to me,” Badgley said. “It’s got to the point where I don’t want to do that.”
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Before filming season 4, Badgley says he spoke to the show’s producer about his “desire would be zero, to go from 100 to zero” for sex scenes.
The idea of filming such intimate moments in front of a camera crew and directors and producers is frankly super awkward. But, that’s showbiz baby.
“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,” Badgley said. “‘So how much less can you make it?’ was my question to them.”
Badgley explained that the producer was on board with his idea. “They came back with a phenomenal reduction,” he said.
Sex scenes aside, Badgley’s character also engages with himself in acts of self-pleasure. This time, it was the show’s producers giving him feedback about how he was make it too “creepy.”
“It’s strange—you don’t think it’s going to be that big of a deal. You read it, it’s actually kind of funny, or it’s creepy, but it serves the story, it is what it is,” Badgley shared. “And then you discover, in front of a crew of people with a camera on your face, knowing that, in all likelihood, millions of people are going to see this, you’re simulating masturbation.”
“I have to say sometimes those scenes are harder than [sex scenes] with a person because it’s just like: ‘All right, this is what I’m doing,’” Badgley continued. “Every time I’ve done a masturbation scene—which is so far every season at least once—I’ve always gotten the note to make it less creepy.”
Season 4’s part 1 of “You,” is streaming on Netflix and part 2 will drop on March 9.