Your new TV obsession has arrived. Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail are the stars of Lifetime’s creepy new series, You, which follows Joe Goldberg (Badgley), a bookstore manager in New York City who falls in love with – and becomes obsessed with – Guinevere Beck (Lail).
So, what was it like to take on a very risqué show? How did Badgley’s role differ from Dan Humphrey on Gossip Girl? The stars joined the “Watch With Us” podcast to break it all down. Get the highlights below and listen to the full episode above.
On getting into a dark head space:
Penn Badgley: Everyone has a heart because they have to have a heart. And everybody is a human being … They may be a sociopath but they are the exception to the rule. The thing about this is that I feel like it’s a bit of a social experiment. How willing are we to like an evil white man? How many hoops will we all go through to love an evil ass white man? We will jump through so many hoops! Doesn’t matter how much we hashtag. We will jump through every possible hoop, back-flip and double cannonball into a thimble for an evil white man.
On the Gossip Girl comparisons:
PB: It’s going to happen until season 3 … If I was hesitant about every time somebody would think I was Gossip Girl, I would never leave my home. I would never walk outside, I wouldn’t introduce myself to anybody under the age of 47. It was on my mind. It’s on my mind. I’m not terribly concerned about it because actually I believe in this show now.
On the risqué content:
Elizabeth Lail: Once I got to know this guy, he really kind of assuaged all my fears when it came to the scandalizing parts. It becomes much more like a dance and choreography and mostly funny for me. So I didn’t have a lot of fear because I felt well-protected, and that helps. I felt heard and I felt like that what I needed was honored by everyone that we worked with.
PB: The fact that two relatively – maybe, I can’t speak for myself here – but two relatively sweet people. Elizabeth’s incredibly sweet. It was nice. It was good that we were both so conflicted about what we were doing and I think Greg [Berlanti] and Sera [Gamble] really did recognize that and preferred that. That’s what they wanted. If you had two people who were like, “Yeah, let’s just make this really sexy, Let’s make this really sexy and fu—ked up.” … it was very much the opposite. It was like painful to do a lot of this stuff for us, and it should be.
On advice Badgley would tell himself before Gossip Girl:
PB: What would I tell myself? “Run!” No, I’m kidding. I really am grateful for the experience. I like to joke … I would say worry less about what other people think, because you’re going to get it. And even within that I should also attach a disclaimer, I feel like it’s still when all is said and done it managed to be a phenomenon while not making any of us that visible and famous. I’m not even really sure how I relate to it now. Oh you know what I would have said? “Say less in interviews.” I was too willing to explore the philosophical underpinnings of what it meant to be, and ugh, it’s just the worst taken out of context.
You premieres on Lifetime Sunday, September 9, at 10 p.m. ET.
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