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Why Penn Badgley felt "conflicted" about Joe Goldberg in ‘You’

Created by Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti, You is one of Netflix’s scariest and most unsettling shows. After the third season premiered in October, fans have been eagerly waiting for the upcoming season which has already been announced. 

However, Penn Badgley, the main protagonist of the show, revealed why he feels “conflicted” about playing his character Joe Goldberg on the show. 

The third season saw Joe Goldberg and his now-wife Love Quinn move into the posh suburbs of Madre Linde to start afresh with their son. However, the couple’s knack for trouble, violence and murder make them gravitate towards old habits while their tumultuous relationship takes a turn for the worse amidst raging insecurities and infidelity. 

Starring Penn Badgley, Victoria Pedretti and Dylan Arnold among others in prominent roles, the various characters in the third season of the show made it even more riveting than the previous two. Badgley and Pedretti, in particular, were phenomenal as always. 

Badgley, who rose to fame by playing Dan Humphrey on Gossip Girl, plays the sadistic and perverted Goldberg who has a knack for books, murder and women’s underwear. Twisted and psychopathic, this is one of the most dangerous characters ever conjured by the streaming service. Goldberg’s affinity for long, hard stares and introspective monologues make him appear creepier. 

While conversing with Stephen Colbert, Badgley even revealed how he mastered the vacant expression with a “real Charles Manson vibe” to make Golberg appear even more terrifying. 

Badgley is not very fond of the toxicity of this character he has to play. He has always discouraged Twitteratis from romanticising someone as vile and obnoxious as Joe, resorting to sarcasm and humour to disrupt their infatuation. Badgley had initially refused to partake in the show. He said, “I didn’t want to do it- it was too much. I was conflicted with the nature of the role.”

However, the creators thought he was the best possible fit and managed to convince him. The actor later caved in and managed to be extremely unnerving as the twisted stalker. “To be honest, in the beginning of the process, I had no interest in humanising [Joe],” he said.

“But then I realized the only thing you can do as an actor is bring a character to life, and all that means,” he added. 

It seems like Badgley, despite his initial inhibitions regarding the character, will have to stick to playing Goldberg for quite some time, owing to the massive popularity of the show