Penn Badgley Was Told to Make ‘You’ Masturbation Scenes ‘Less Creepy’
When actors prepare for a role, they typically try to come off as believable as possible. Sometimes, however, they come off too realistic.
Case in point: Penn Badgley, who stars as obsessed stalker-turned-boyfriend-turned-murderer Joe Goldberg in the wildly popular Netflix series You, was told to tone down his character's masturbation scenes because they apparently came off too creepy.
Speaking on Stitcher's Podcrushed podcast, the actor opened up about his unpleasant experience filming the scenes in which Joe pleasures himself, often as he stalks an unwitting woman.
"I've now done it so many times on camera. It's strange — you don't think it's going to be that big of a deal," Badgley shared. "And then you discover in front of a crew of people with a camera on your face, knowing that, in all likelihood, millions of people are going to see this, you're simulating masturbation."
The 35-year-old actor revealed filming these kind of scenes is surprisingly more difficult than other types of sex scenes.
"I have to say sometimes those scenes are harder than with a person because it's just like, alright, this is what I'm doing," he said.
Badgley noted he's been asked to film a masturbation scene at least once each season, and yet has received the same critique from directors each time.
"I've always gotten the note to make it less creepy," he continued. "They say like, 'Close your eyes or go faster or go slower.' I'm like, 'What? This man is f---ing murdering people, and he's masturbating in the street. You're saying I'm making it creepy? How is it I'm the one making it creepy?'"
The Gossip Girl alum added that director Lee Toland Krieger told him to close his eyes while simulating the act, something he hated doing at first.
"He was like, 'Buddy, I think you gotta close your eyes,'" Badgley recalled. "I don't remember exactly what he said. He was very graciously communicating that it was creepy."
Badgley told the director: "'That's the f---ing... that's the point!'"
All three seasons of You are available to stream on Netflix.