Penn Badgley Discusses Gory “You” Scenes: “I’ve Spontaneously Become Nauseous”

Penn Badgley Discusses Gory “You” Scenes: “I’ve Spontaneously Become Nauseous”

Penn Badgley plays a character who, all too often, finds himself in a lot of graphic, bloody situations on the show “You.” His character, Joe, tends to have an issue with self-restraint when it comes to killing people, as loathe as he is to admit it — and it turns out that sometimes Joe’s exploits become a little too much for even Badgley, himself.

“I’m not precious about it — about my process in any way — but there have been a few times where I’ve spontaneously become nauseous,” Badgley said in a Feb. 9 interview with Seth Meyers. He explained that when he had to return to complete a particularly graphic unfinished scene for season four, he found himself having a visceral reaction.

“They sprayed me down with blood fully . . . [and] I walk into this room they’ve created,” he told Meyers. “It’s full of smoke, and dark fake blood all over a table, and a table saw with meat on it . . . Your nervous system is just like, ‘No!'” Still, Badgley said that he sometimes uses his real-life nausea to inform his character, who also tends to be repulsed by his own actions. “He’s your likable serial killer,” Badgley said. “I just let the nausea come through.”

While he’s willing to put himself into some pretty violent situations, Badgley has set clear boundaries on other aspects of the show. In a Feb. 9 episode of Badgley’s “Podcrushed” podcast, the star revealed that he specifically asked “You”‘s creator to reduce the amount of intimate scenes he had to perform, saying that his desire to limit intimacy onscreen has, in part, to do with his personal life. “Fidelity in every relationship, including my marriage, is important to me,” he said. Badgley has been married to Domino Kirke since 2017, and the pair welcomed their first child in 2020.

In the “Late Night With Seth Meyers” interview, Badgley revealed that his son has made it tricky for him to keep up with some of his work responsibilities, particularly when it comes to social media, and he recalled the moment he accidentally posted a flyer for “You” season four a few hours before Netflix’s embargo lifted. “I had a lot to do with my son and I’m just like, ‘If I don’t do it now I’m not gonna do it,'” he said. He deleted the post a few minutes later, but as with so many of his character’s instantly regrettable actions, the damage was done.

The first half of “You” season four is now streaming on Netflix.

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