Penn Badgley Finally Accepts That He’s Gossip Girl — But Still Doesn’t Understand the Show

Penn Badgley on set of Gossip Girl in New York City.
Penn Badgley on set of ‘Gossip Girl’ in New York City. DISCIULLO/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

It’s been six years since the world found out that Dan Humphrey was, in fact, the one behind it all on The CW drama, Gossip Girl, but Penn Badgley’s new role is taking him right down memory lane.

The actor, 30, is taking on the character of Joe Goldberg in the upcoming Lifetime thriller, You, based on the 2014 novel. Joe is a bookstore manager who finds his way closer to a gorgeous blonde woman by “using the internet and social media as his tools to gather the most intimate of details.” Yes, it sounded familiar to Badgley, too.

Gossip Girl Cast: Then & Now

“Trust me, the parallels were the first thing that dawned on me when I read the script,” he told TVLine in an interview published on Thursday, October 19. “I have no interest in ignoring the ways in which [Dan and Joe] are similar, or any of the comical parallels between the two. If anything, to the degree that there is any parallel between this role and Dan is the degree to which I get to sort of live out these twisted fantasies that I always wanted to. And that’s that. As much as people want to connect those dots, they’re welcome to, and I’m sure they will. It’s certainly not lost on me. But there’s a lot else about this show that makes it quite different. It’s just a matter of how much people are paying attention.”

Penn Badgley on set of 'You' on August 23, 2017 in New York City.
Penn Badgley on set of ‘You’ on August 23, 2017 in New York City. James Devaney/GC Images

While the show ended in 2012, new audiences discover the series daily on Netflix, and are mostly shocked by the ending. Badgley is, too.

TV Shows Gone Too Soon

“I think I got that show the least out of anyone who was a part of it. I have to just admit that,” he added. “But I’m happy to wear that crown, so to speak. Like, yeah, OK. I’m Gossip Girl. That’s cool. I think the most honest thing I can say about it is that it’s very hard for anyone to have that much perspective about themselves.”

PHOTOS: Costars Reunited!

He also added that when people ask him how he feels now about the show, he can’t deny that he’ll forever be grateful. “I love them all. Sometimes you turn the most scrutinizing eye on the people and things you love the most.”

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