Penn Badgley shares his thoughts on playing problematic, villainous, and toxic male characters over the course of his TV career.
Penn Badgley is most widely known as an American actor for starring in multiple TV shows and movies. Something that the general public does not know about Penn Badgley is that he is also a musician. Penn Badgley is the lead member of a band named ‘MOTHXR’ that has performed all over the world. He had once said that his music was more important to him than acting. One of the reasons Penn Badgley still acts is because of his role as Jeff Buckley in the movie ‘Greetings From Tim Buckley’. Playing Jeff Buckley in that movie is what made Penn Badley realize his love for acting.
- Penn Badgley on being typecast as despicable characters
- Penn Badgley’s cautionary message to misguided fans
- The true nature of Penn Badgley
Recently, Penn Badgley had a conversation with Chance Crawford about their work on television. Chance Crawford was Penn Badgley’s co-star on ‘Gossip Girl’. Now, Chance Crawford works on Amazon Prime Video’s ‘The Boys’. Chance Crawford plays an aquatic-based character named The Deep on the ‘The Boys’. The Deep is supposed to act as a mockery of other water-based comic book characters like DC’s Aquaman or Marvel’s Namor.
Apart from having been co-stars for multiple seasons of the same show, there is another reason why Penn Badgley and Chance Crawford were chosen to interview each other. This is because both of their characters on their respective TV shows have always been very problematic men. On ‘The Boys’, Chance Crawford’s character has a history of sexual abuse. Penn Badgley’s character on Netflix’s ‘You’ is a murderous stalker.
Both the actors discussed what it is like always being cast as these horrible male characters, and why they still accept such roles.
Similarities Between Penn Badgley Characters on ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘You’
Penn Badgley revealed that he was hesitant to play roles on both ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘You’. The hesitation for ‘Gossip Girl’ originated from Penn Badgley not wanting to do a TV show again. The actor was aware of the kind of character Dan Humphrey was. He also knew that TV shows like ‘Gossip Girl’ last for years. This means that Penn Badgley didn’t want to play a morally incorrect character who would be given soap-opera-like arcs for the next few years of his life. Penn Badgley revealed that the only reason he agreed to star in ‘Gossip Girl’ was that he had no other job prospects and needed the money.
Similarly, Penn Badgley did not want to play Joe in ‘You’. He said that the nature of the role was one of the reasons he did not want to take the part. Further elaborating that the romantic comedy tropes of the show can be very problematic when paired with Joe’s immoral actions. Once again, Penn Badgley only accepted this role after a thorough discussion with the creators. Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti (the creators of ‘You’) told Badgley that they did not view the protagonist as a hero and that the show was not meant to humanize and justify the actions of a stalker.
The main reason why Penn Badgley feels like Dan Humphrey and Joe Goldberg are the same characters is because of their methods of gaining love.
Dan Humphrey, in ‘Gossip Girl’, uses the website to develop a relationship with Serena. This is a manipulative way of getting someone to be in a romantic relationship. Similarly, Joe stalks the women he wants to date and then creates favourable circumstances for them to fall in love.
So when it comes to Penn Badgley’s characters, Joe is just a more evil and broken version of Dan.
Penn Badgley’s Message To Fans
Ever since the debut of ‘You’, Penn Badgley has received a disturbing amount of love for his portrayal of Joe. Many viewers have tweeted or come forward to say that they find Joe to be attractive and would want to be in a relationship with him. Penn Badgley has warned such fans that Joe is a very dangerous individual. Joe’s behaviour should not be rewarded and viewers should see him as a very damaged person, not a romantic interest.
What are your thoughts on Penn Badgley’s characters? Share your thoughts in the comments below.