Penn Badgley wants fans to stop defending his character in 'You': 'I've been really repulsed by certain parts of Joe'

NetflixPenn Badgley plays Joe in ‘You.’
  • “You” is a thriller that follows 20-something-year-old stalker, Joe Goldberg, and his obsession over a young woman named Guinevere Beck.
  • The show was picked up by Netflix and has been gaining popularity quickly.
  • Joe is eerie and dangerous, but fans are still attracted to him despite his creepy behaviour.
  • The actor who plays Joe, Penn Badgley, has called attention to some of Joe’s major flaws.
  • This post contains slight spoilers for the series.

Lifetime’s eerie new thriller “You” recently began streaming on Netflix. With a star-studded cast featuring names like Shay Mitchell and Penn Badgley, it’s almost too coincidental that the show’s been described by some up as a mashup of “Pretty Little Liars” and “Gossip Girl.”

Badgley’s character, Joe Goldberg, commits a lot of crimes and engages in dangerous stalker behaviour. He even goes as far as to commit murder.

Despite the issues with Joe Goldberg, viewers are quickly falling for Badgley’s character on “You.” And the actor has taken to Twitter to call out some major issues with Joe’s character.

Badgley would like to point out anyone fawning over Joe really shouldn’t be

On Wednesday, the actor responded to Tweets written by fans romanticizing his character on “You,” to set the record straight: At the end of the day, Joe is a murderer with “a whole lot of problems.”

“In the beginning, I was not interested in making Joe human. I was like, ‘This dude’s a murderer. I don’t think we need to be humanising murderers anymore,'” he told HuffPost last year.

In an interview with Daily Beast, he said that during filming he was “always kind of on the sidelines like, we don’t need to defend Joe. We don’t need to defend Joe.”

He’s also expressed repulsion of his character in an interview with Collider.

“I feel that people are somehow responding to this show in a way that surprises me,” Badgley told the publication. “I’ve been really repulsed by certain parts of Joe, and it’s weird to play somebody that you actually feel that way about. It’s a challenge.”

But his persona isn’t so black and white, and that seems to be what is making fans so conflicted.

Joe’s relationship with Paco, the boy next door whose mother is a drug addict in an abusive relationship, gives him depth. And his actions, while terrible and criminal, are motivated by Joe’s skewed perceptions of love. The show makes a point to show that despite a part of him that’s monstrous, he’s human.

All in all, Badgley is hoping to draw attention to the “problematic” dimensions of the show.

After responding to a few tweets, the actor acknowledged that he’s trying to draw attention to the “problematic” dimensions of the show.

“Let’s say, theoretically, this show isn’t any good. If people are able to have conversations like this around it,that’s good,” Badgley told HuffPost prior to the series’ release.

This isn’t the first time Badgley’s brought up how he hopes this show can open up a conversation

You beck and joe creeping bookstoreNetflixBadgley said he’s glad these types of conversations can be had.

“Even though it’s a fictional story, it somehow seems to contain something very real and very true,” Badgley told Collider about “You.” “More than anything I’ve ever been a part of, as a project, I feel like it creates a conversation, just for itself.”

He has said he hopes the series draws attention to what love is and what love isn’t. And he’s glad that “these kinds types of conversations can be had.”

“I just think it’s exciting to be a part of something that can generate these types of questions, rather than just going, ‘That was nice. What do you want to do next?'” he told Collider.

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