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Penn Badgley wanted 'zero' sex scenes in 'You' season 4: 'Fidelity is important to me'

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Feb 11, 2023 2:29 pm

You star Penn Bagdley doesn't want his marriage tainted by his on-screen affairs, so much so that he requested for "zero" sex scenes in the latest season of the Netflix show.

In an episode of Stitcher Studios' Podcrushed podcast on Feb. 10, the 36-year-old actor revealed asking You's showrunner to limit his character Joe's intimate scenes, as he values "fidelity in every relationship."

"I asked Sera Gamble, [the] creator, 'Can I just do no more intimacy scenes?' This was actually a decision I had made before I took the show. I don't think I've ever mentioned it publicly, but one of the main things is, Do I want to put myself back on a career path where I'm always [the] romantic lead?"

"Fidelity in every relationship—especially in a marriage—is important to me," he continued.

"It got to a point where [I thought], 'I don't want to do that,' so I said to Sera, like, 'My desire would be zero [intimate scenes], to go from 100 to zero.'"

Badgley married his non-showbiz partner Domino Kirke, 39, in an intimate wedding in February 2017. It came a year before You season 1 premiered on Netflix in September 2018.

Despite wanting to ditch all intimate scenes in season 4, the actor later realized that the move could greatly alter the concept of the hit psychological thriller.

"I signed this contract. I signed up for the show. I know what I did," Badgley continued. "You can't take this aspect out of the DNA of the concept, so 'How much less can you make it?' was my question to them."

Gamble, for her part, "didn't even bat an eye" in granting Bagley's request.

"She was really glad that I was that honest, and she was sort of almost empowered. She had a really positive response and they came back with a phenomenal reduction," the actor recounted.

This is not the first time Badgley shared how his portrayal of stalker-turned-serial-killer Joe has been affecting his personal affairs.

In an interview with Access in October 2021, he said that Joe's "morbid" parenting in the show "was not almost helpful" because it is starkly different from his "light and joyful experience" with his now-two-year-old son.

You season 4 is now streaming on Netflix, with the second half of the show to be released on March 9.