Psychological thriller series You is set to return to Netflix for season 2 next month! And just like the first one, the ones who've been oh-so-eagerly waiting for the show's return can only expect to go on a roller coaster ride once again as we get to follow Joe Goldberg's story once again.
Set in New York City, the first season follows Penn Badgley's Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager who is attracted to Elizabeth Lail's a college student who once bought from his shop. Attraction turns to love, which eventually turns to obsession, leading Joe to do problematic things like eliminating every possible thing – or person – that gets in the way of their relationship.
Just in time for the launch of the upcoming season this December 26, we got to catch up with Penn Badgley in a video conference with a couple of other members from the press. Here, he talked about putting on his Joe shoes the second time around, the new characters, and the big "twist" in the end, minus the spoilers.
On playing his character for this season
The show's second season will now see Joe moving cities, to the City of Angels, as he hopes to live a new life while escaping his long-lost ex-girlfriend Candace (played by Ambyr Childers). Fresh out of an intense relationship, he finds himself falling in love with Love, a new woman who he meets at his workplace, and we can only wonder if it's the real thing this time, or if history is only going to be repeating itself.
Asked about what it's like to be playing such a nuanced character like Joe, Badgley said that it was great that he was able to start a conversation with the viewers. "The more you live with any kind of pain, the more you're able to endure it. He's a fictional character, and he encourages a lot of thoughtful conversation and reflection for viewers because of the social commentary he seems to provide about many things like our portrayal of love in the media," he said.
Now that his character is moving places, and meeting a set of new people, Badgley also said that it was quite challenging for him to find new dimensions to Joe's character, especially after everything that had happened in season 1. Because of this, he's also interested and curious to see how people will react for season 2.
On Love Quinn and the other new characters for Season 2
For the upcoming season, You will be introducing new characters: James Scully, Carmela Zumbado, Jenna Ortega, and Victoria Pedretti, who plays Love Quinn – Joe's new love interest. "I think Love is a substantially different character than we've seen in the show so far. She helps us see a different side of Joe," said Badgley.
Comparing her to Guinevere Beck, Badgley explains that the dynamics of Joe and Love's relationship is something to look forward to, because unlike Beck, Joe doesn't really see Love as prey.
"Joe had to chase Beck in a way that made a lot of sense to Joe because he's a predator. Love doesn't make as much sense to Joe, because she's not prey."
Just like the first season, fans of the shower can only expect that they'll be tuning in until the very end, when they reveal a big twist that, according to Badgley, has left him "crestfallen". He compared it to the finale of season one, saying that they follow logic very closely and that the ending was still very fitting for the story to progress, no matter how wrong, crazy, and heartbreaking it all was.
On people "falling in love" with a predator like Joe
A word that seems to come up so often in the conversation is the word "predator" and Badgley is not one to shy away from calling his character that. To him, it's morally irresponsible as an actor to justify and defend everything that Joe had done. "The devil does not need more advocates. Joe does not need any defense. People like Joe are probably too good at getting away with it," he continued.
Still, though, he said that he's not really surprised that there are some people who found themselves attracted to Joe's character – as seen on some of the tweets that circulated online when You first came out.
"Well, I mean, to be fair, I find him in a really charming way, you know?" He joked. "I play him like everything he’s saying he’s true. I just make him mean everything he says, that’s all I do. So when he means that he is trying to be a good man, he is trying to be a good man. He’s just doing what needs to be done in order to get to the good thing. It’s just hard to actually believe it, knowing what he’s doing.”