'You' Star Penn Badgley Says Fatherhood Made It Harder to Play Joe Goldberg

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Penn Badgley is having a fatherhood moment in real life and on "You," his popular Netflix series. But playing a new dad onscreen is quite different from his real-life experiences.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, Badgley said that he was initially excited about his character Joe Goldberg's shift in the third season of "You." He thought that his new and personal experiences as a father would help with his character's arc.

However, Badgley quickly realized that it's harder to play Joe as a new parent since the character is quite "petrified." While it's natural for every new mom or dad to have fears, his character on TV is the morbid and obsessive type who uses his primal instincts since Joe is a serial killer.

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Loving New Moments with Baby

The actor confessed that he loved every moment with his new baby with his wife, Domino Kirke. He said watching his baby grow has been such a "joyful" time for him until he had to go to the set and pretend to be the stalker serial killer.

His "You" co-star, Victoria Pedretti, understood where Badgley was coming from since she had no child in real life and could attack her character as an actress.

"I think that if I felt like I had to draw from personal experience at all that would just be confusing," Pedretti said.

Badgley and Kirke welcomed their son in early 2020 after two miscarriages. Kirke, who had been married to the actor since 2017, said that she came to a point where she stopped trusting her body to "lovingly detach" from the losses. The mother works as a doula and has an older daughter, born in 2009, from a previous relationship.

During their son's birth, Badgley revealed in an interview with The Morning Show that he was "very hands-on" and enjoyed the beautiful experience. He could not recall any shock during the birth because he was really into it, saying that fatherhood for him had been going "swimmingly" well so far.

What's Next on "You" Season 3?

Meanwhile, Badgley hinted that his character on "You" season 3 has a new female obsession in Natalie. Though Joe and Love (Pedretti) might be a picture of a happy, expanding family with their new baby, Henry, nothing is what it seems. Badgley teased a big twist at the end of the first episode of the third season, which will bring the story into a "totally different place."

The actor resumed work on the Netflix series set in Los Angeles a couple of months after his son was born. Though he and Kirke live in New York, the family temporarily moved to the west coast so Badgley could continue working while his wife and child were in the same time zone.

After months of work, amid social distancing protocols, "You" season 3 will finally launch on the streaming platform on October 15.

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