Penn Badgley REFUSED to Do Intimate Scenes on “You” Because His Wife Comes Before His Career

From Gossip Girl to You, Penn Badgley has cemented himself as TV’s go-to romantic lead with a dark secret. Over the years, this has given the actor the opportunity to work closely with numerous beautiful scene partners. But since becoming a married man, what would be a dream for most men became an inconvenience for Badgley.

Season 4 of the Netflix hit series, You, led by Badgley, has already stood out to fans as being way tamer compared to the previous seasons. The reason for that is the lead actor’s desire to cut down on intimate scenes on the show due to his marriage.

On an episode of his podcast, Penn Badgley, who’s been married since 2017, revealed that he was opposed to doing romantic scenes before the first season of You, which premiered in 2018.

He was, however, afraid it would derail his entire career, admitting, “This was actually a decision I had made before I took the was a question: do I have a career if I don’t? I mean, you know, think about every male lead you’ve loved. Are they kissing someone? Are they doing a lot more than that? It’s really not my desire to.

The actor explained that he doesn’t want to do anything to disrespect his marriage and his wife, even if it’s just acting. “Fidelity in every relationship — especially in a marriage — is important to me. And, yeah, it just got to a point where I didn’t wanna do that,” the actor shared.

So Badgley agreed to do everything the showrunners had planned for his character of Joe, even though it went against all of his beliefs for 3 whole seasons. But after working with the same people for a few years, Badgley mustered up enough courage to share his worries and negotiate different terms for his performance on the show.

He recalled, “So I said to Sera, ’My desire would be zero [intimate scenes], to go from 100 to zero.’ But 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. So how much less can you make it was my question to them.”

To his surprise, Badgley’s honesty was rewarded: “She didn’t even bat an eye. She was really glad that I was honest — and she was sort of, I want to say, almost, like, empowered. She had a really positive response.”

Badgley has been married to singer Domino Kirke since 2017. The couple has a son together, who was born in 2020. The actor is also a stepfather to Kirke’s son from a previous relationship.


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