You is a Netflix series that is fairly controversial, due to the fact that the protagonist is a stalker and murderer. While it’s not the first TV series to revolve around a criminal – just look at The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and Dexter for a few examples – You really gets into the mindset of Joe (Penn Badgley) through his narration. He also believes that he’s a romantic, and some of his actions are presented in this way, rather than out-and-out creepy.
Badgley was recently speaking to Conan O’Brien on the Team Coco podcast and emphasised that he never wants to downplay the “horrific” aspects of Joe. “One of the things that I struggled with a lot when I first took the role is that I don’t want to lean away from the horrific aspects of this person. It’s hard not to glorify actually almost anything you see on camera, so I’m gonna just be conscious of that.”
Badgley also explained that he tried to make an infamous scene from the pilot episode so creepy it could belong in a Netflix horror movie. In the scene, Joe masturbates on a street corner while watching one of his victims through a window.
Badgley says; “What I did – up until the director came and was like, ‘You can’t do that anymore’ – is that I was slow, and my eyes were open. I was like, ‘I am going to be very slow and I am not gonna f**king blink.’ And at some point…[director Lee Krieger] comes up and he was trying to be very kind, and he was like, ‘Hey, so um, I think we’re gonna have to get you to close your eyes, you know?'”
You returns for a fourth season on February 9, 2023. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that Joe is going to settle down and find a ‘happily ever after.’ Badgely has said; “I think Joe will remain the same. Someone this profoundly ill, disturbed, traumatised, and violent has a serious hurdle before them if they’re ever going to heal and change. I don’t know if it’s possible for someone who’s that far gone.”
While we wait to find out what new, twisted adventure Joe does go on, check out our guide to 2023’s new movies.