(Credit: Netflix)

Series

10 secrets from behind the scenes of Netflix’s 'You' fans probably don’t know

Created by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble and based on Caroline Kepnes’ novel series, Netflix’s You, with a whopping 43 million household views, is one of the streaming giant’s most popular shows with an incredibly dark, twisted and morbid premise.

With the third season of the Penn Badgely-led show having premiered this Friday and the announcement for the fourth season preceding that release, fans are already excited for what is to come.

While the third season of You will feature a lot of new faces as Joe Goldberg and his girlfriend, Love move into a new house, become new parents to a baby boy and more madness and chaos ensue as the psychopathic couple come together to live under one roof. 

Starring Penn Badgley, Victoria Pedretti and Elizabeth Lail, the show has garnered immense success and critical acclaim. However, there are certain secrets from behind the scenes while shooting the series that even die-hard fans do not know. 

Here are ten secrets that fans of Netflix’s You probably do not know: 

10 secrets from Netflix’s ‘You’ that fans probably don’t know 

You was cancelled after its debut 

You was originally created by Lifetime and aired on cable TV as a show. Although the series seemed promising in the beginning, Lifetime, despite their initial faith, cancelled the show after the first season due to lack of audience engagement and poor ratings. 

Luckily, Netflix decided to resuscitate the show despite only being initially interested in international distribution and renewed the show for a second season under their own banner. This proved to be an incredible move for the streaming platform as You went on to become one of Netflix’s most successful programmes, leading to a subsequent third season and an upcoming fourth season. 

Penn Badgley almost did not play Joe Goldberg 

Penn Badgely, fresh off the success of Gossip Girl as Dan Humphrey, was unwilling to get himself involved in a television project despite the creator Greg Berlanti having envisioned him in the role. Badgely did not feel any connection to the character of Goldberg and utterly despised the twisted and perverse psychological aspects of it. He also felt quite unsure of how gossip Girl fans would constantly draw parallels between his two characters. 

Since Goldberg turned out to be a “meta-progression of Dan Humphrey”, the actor felt “uncomfortable, but also, right at home”. He has, time and again, expressed his disdain for the character and his sheer hatred towards the obsessive nature of the man. However, no other actor can pull off the layered role of Goldberg with the precision and poise as Badgley’s. 

Victoria Pedretti was initially not meant to be the psychopathic Love Quinn 

Victoria Pedretti had initially auditioned for the role of Guinevere Bec for the first season of the show. However, she was disappointed when the role went to Elizabeth Lail instead. Pedretti used the time well, however, and starred as Nelly Hill in the acclaimed Mike Flanagan-limited series The Haunting of Hill House. She was later cast as the vile and murderous Love Quinn in seasons two and three. 

Badgley and Pedretti read together and the former was unaware of Quinn’s actual character as the impulsive and violent person until the showrunners told him. The actor also echoed their sentiments and felt that Pedretti was tailor-made for the role and would add a new dimension to the character in its entirety. 

(Credit: Netflix)

The bookstore is a popular shooting location 

The infamous bookstore from the first season, Mooney’s Bookstore, actually exists in Manhattan under the name of Logos. The bookstore has previously featured in the 2018 film Can You Ever Forgive Me starring Melissa McCarthy. 

Fans of the show can even visit the bookstore for a stroll in the Upper East Side to enjoy the quaint feel and atmosphere of Joe’s favourite place and enjoy as long as they do not run into a real-life Joe Goldberg! 

‘You’ (Credit: Netflix)

Love Quinn was not supposed to be a murderer 

In the source material, AKA Kepnes’ books, Love Quinn was not a murderer. In the book, she comes to terms with Joe’s twisted and murderous tendencies and even proclaims complete devotion and faith by assisting him in assimilating some items (most notably, urine); however, she does not bloody her hands or her conscience. 

In the series, however, the twist at the end of season two shows the grotesque and monstrous side of Love’s personality, one that wants to possess Joe. Gripped by jealousy, anger and impulsive emotions, Love does not think before butchering someone. Even in season three, her acts of violence are all induced by impulsive rage and fear that led Goldberg to refer to her as Lady Macbeth when Quinn’s Guilty conscience failed her nerves and kept bothering her. 

Candace’s return was always not anticipated 

Initially, the creators had not decided to resurrect Candace from the dead. Candace’s surprising return was one of the notable divergences from the novel when the first season’s finale revealed Joe’s presumably dead ex-lover was still alive. 

Berlanti wanted to make the story appear more sensational and shocking and thus included such a narrative, ending the first season on a burning cliffhanger before showing how Cadance follows Joe, infiltrates his core group under the alias name of Amy and dating his girlfriend’s brother, Forty to expose the dark truths about him.

Candace, You (Credit: Netflix)

Ellie and Paco were new additions to the series

Although the characters of Ellie and Paco do not exist in the You novels written by Caroline Kepnes on which the series is based, the introduction of these new characters brought out a different dimension of the series. The first and second seasons featured Ellie and Paco and helped portray Joe’s softer side amidst an ugly showing of his perverse, obsessive and obnoxious personality. 

Paco’s touching story and Ellie’s daring and feisty nature add a sense of warmth and spunk to the show and help the fans view him in a different light, making these characters an integral part of the unfolding narrative. 

Badgley filmed a lot of his scenes in silence 

The inner monologues and vacant, soul-penetrating stares are a characteristic of Joe Goldberg — arguably, one of Netflix’s scariest creations. If he is stripped bare of the language as well as the sombre music, most of Badgley’s scenes have been filmed in complete silence, simply staring into the void to add authenticity to his twisted character. 

When asked how he managed to bring out the eeriness of his character with such effortless ease, Badgley revealed to Stephen Colbert that by doing nothing and staring at the camera in silence, he gives off “real Charles Manson vibes”. He added, “I arrive on mark …. I do nothing but look up. And the entire crew behind the camera goes ‘Oh! Whoa, man. That is phenomenal. That is so creepy.’ And I did nothing.” 

Joe Goldberg, You (Credit: Netflix)

The titular word is used nearly 4000 times 

Joe Goldberg is obsessed with you. Literally. The titular word that is also the title of the series, has been saif nearly 4000 times over the course of the first two seasons, being incorporated fervently in most of Joe’s morbid and obsessive monologues as he continues to dig up information about “you” and delve deeper into the unknown. 

The creepy premise that posits “you” in such a situation has been used to the show’s advantage, with the idea of a normal-looking everyman and his wife acting as the real monsters that threaten the very existence of “you”.

The compilation below is actually just a fraction of the usage. 

The stand-in for Goldberg got a role in season two 

Most of Badgley’s scenes were shot in silence which could often get awkward and disarmingly quiet. To help him enact his scenes, his stand-in Danny Watters would read out the monologues to help Badgley correlate and alter his expressions accordingly. His silent acting was bouyed by Watter’s distinct efforts. 

Much to the delight of the senior actor, in season two, Watters was able to quit Badgley’s shadow and was cast as a character in the show where he was cast as a groom who received payment from Forty since the latter kissed his wife.