Penn Badgley Defends Stance on Not Doing Intimacy Scenes: 'That Aspect of Hollywood Has Been Very Disturbing'

"That aspect of the job, that mercurial boundary — has always been something that I actually don't want to play with at all," the You actor said

Penn Badgley is standing his ground.

After making headlines for his decision to no longer shoot intimacy scenes for his series You, Badgley has doubled down amid public debate over his stance.

The actor further detailed his discomfort with filming sex scenes, sharing in Variety's latest cover story that he's already "done a fair amount of them" leading up to now.

"It's not a place where I've blurred lines," Badgley, 36, explained. "There's almost nothing I could say with more consecration. That aspect of Hollywood has always been very disturbing to me — and that aspect of the job, that mercurial boundary — has always been something that I actually don't want to play with at all."

Badgley also pointed out that he's older than the love interests he has in his popular Netflix thriller. But according to him, this "didn't use to be the case."

Actor Penn Badgley visits BuzzFeed's "AM To DM" to discuss season two of Netflix's series "You" on January 09, 2020 in New York City.
Penn Badgley. Slaven Vlasic/Getty

Continuing, the Gossip Girl alum said that "it's important to me in my real life to not have them," citing his marriage to longtime love Domino Kirke-Badgley. The couple has been married since 2017 and share 2-year-old son James. (The singer, 39, also shares son Cassius, 14, with ex Morgan O'Kane.)

"My fidelity in my relationship. It's important to me," Badgey said. "And actually, it was one of the reasons that I initially wanted to turn the role down. I didn't tell anybody that. But that is why."

Domino Kirke and Penn Badgley attend Stitcher's "Podcrushed" launch event at Baby's All Right on June 02, 2022 in New York City
Cindy Ord/Getty

Netflix's You returned with the first five episodes of its fourth season on Feb. 9. While there are sex scenes included, all of them are performed while fully clothed. There's also far less than in previous seasons.

As the series returned, Badgley revealed that he spoke with series creator Sera Gamble about his desire to no longer perform intimacy scenes.

You. Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 401 of You.
Courtesy of Netflix

"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," he said on Stitcher Studios' Podcrushed podcast, which he co-hosts. "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.'"

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The first half of You's fourth season is streaming now on Netflix; the remaining episodes will drop on March 9.

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