Penn Badgley Admits His Pleasant Fatherhood Experience Is, Ahem, "Not Helpful" to His Role on You

It's certainly a very good thing that Penn Badgley's real-life experience as a new dad is a complete departure from his murderous You character's journey into parenthood.

"The funny thing is I was curious what my new fatherhood, how that would influence my experience with Joe and acting with him, and sometimes it was almost not helpful because I was having such light and joyful experience – still am – and Joe is so petrified," the actor, who welcomed a son with wife Domino Kirke in August 2020, said in an interview with Access.

In the upcoming third season of the Netflix series, Joe becomes a dad and raises a newborn with Love Quinn, played by Victoria Pedretti.

click to play video

"He's so scared, and of course I can identify with the fear, but he's just so morbid in his obsessive, for of like self-preservation, primal instinct that sometimes I almost found it harder as a result," he said. "It really depended on the scene."

Pedretti agreed. "I think not having a child allowed me to just come at it as a character," she said. "I think that if I felt like I had to draw from personal experience at all that would just be . . . confusing."

In that case, we're particularly relieved Badgley is able to keep his dueling dad roles separate.