The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. 

Penn Badgley requested ‘no more’ intimate scenes in You season 4: ‘My marriage is important to me’

Latest series of Netflix’s hit psychological thriller is available to stream now

Inga Parkel
Friday 10 February 2023 18:26 GMT
You Season 4 trailer

Penn Badgley has revealed that the “phenomenal reduction” in intimate scenes in You’s season four was made at his request.

The latest instalment of Netflix’s hit psychological thriller – released on Thursday (9 February) – finds Badlegy’s serial killer Joe taking his antics across the pond to London.

On a special episode of the actor’s podcast Podcrushed, which he co-hosts with industry colleagues Nava Kavelin and Sophie Ansari, Badgley shared that ahead of You’s newest series, he had asked the show’s creator Sera Gamble, “Can I just do no more intimacy scenes”?

“This was actually a decision I had made before I took the show,” he said, further explaining his reasoning: “Do I want to put myself back on a career path where I’m always [the] romantic lead?”

Badgley continued: “Fidelity, in every relationship, and especially my marriage, is important to me.”

The actor has been married to singer Domino Kirke since 2017, with whom he shares two-year-old son James.

“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.’”

Penn Badgley in ‘You’
Penn Badgley in ‘You’ (Netflix)

Throughout the first three seasons, Joe is shown engaging in numerous sexual escapades with several different women.

“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.”

Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free
Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free

The Gossip Girl star said that, to his relief, Gamble “didn’t even bat an eye” at his request.

“She was very glad that I was honest. She had a really positive response. They came back with a phenomenal reduction,” Badgley said.

Badgley is joined by a new cast of characters this season, including his new object of affection Kate, played by Call the Midwife’s Charlotte Ritchie.

You can read The Independent’s recent interview with Ritchie here, as well as Nicole Vassell’s three-star review of You’s season four here, which is streaming now on Netflix.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in