Actor Penn Badgley recently discussed his request to have fewer sex scenes in the newest season of his Netflix show “You” out of respect for his wife.
The 36-year-old actor made the revelation during an appearance on the podcast “Podcrushed.”
“I don’t think I have ever mentioned it publicly, but one of the main things was: Do I want to put myself back on a career path where I’m always the romantic lead?” Badgley began. He said part of the reason for this was his marriage to Domino Kirke-Badgley in 2017.
“Fidelity in every relationship, including my marriage, is important to me,” Badgley continued. “It’s got to the point where I don’t want to do that.”
The “Gossip Girl” alum went on to say that he asked the show’s creator, Sera Gamble, if he could cut out the intimate scenes completely. He told Gamble his “desire would be zero, to go from 100 to zero” during “You” season 4.
“I signed this contract. I signed up for this show. I know what I did. You can’t take this aspect out of the DNA of the concept,” Badgley explained. “‘So how much less can you make it?’ was my question to them.”
The actor said he was surprised when the creator “didn’t even bat an eye” when he requested such an extreme deviation from prior seasons, which included graphic sexual content.
“She was really glad that I was that honest. She was sort of almost, I want to say empowered, she had a really positive response,” he continued. “They came back with a phenomenal reduction.”
Badgley and his wife share a 2-year-old son, James. The couple is also raising a 14-year-old son from Kirke-Badgley’s previous relationship.
The psychological thriller “You” debuted on Netflix in 2018 starring Badgley as Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager who meets and becomes obsessed with an aspiring writer named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail). Joe does increasingly creepy things to be close to Guinevere, including stalking and even murdering. The series is rated 90% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and has a 74% audience score.
Badgley previously called his wife “a truly radiant soul” in an Instagram post, writing, “You encourage others to be honest, and brave, and gentle, and expansive. Your great capacity for empathy is obvious, something anyone can get warm by like a glowing stove.”
He said, “You make others happy by you. For me, it is a joy to witness you when you are happy. For you, I always hope to be a source of joy. I’m really glad we’re married.”
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