Fans of Netflix's You might recall a rather interesting public reaction to the show's lead character, Joe Goldberg, in the wake of the first season. Despite being a cold-blooded killer, the general consensus online seemed to be that most people actually really liked Joe. And although Penn Badgley has been open about the fact that his character is supposed to make viewers feel "conflicted," he also plans on "tweaking" his approach moving forward so that fans know that Joe's behavior (or in this case, Will's behavior, since he changes his identity this season) is not OK.
"People come up to me in shackles like, just take me," Badgley told ET in an interview published yesterday (December 16). "I've done the hard work. The cage is back there, just put me in." And while he was kidding in some ways, the reactions his character on Twitter were not all that different. Following the release of Season 1, the actor had to remind fans who called Joe "attractive" that he is, in fact, a murderer. One fan even asked for him to kidnap her, which he politely declined.
"I didn't ever mean to be correcting people in that way... But, it was interesting," he said in regard to the overwhelmingly positive reactions to Joe. "I think the media response last year was very interesting to see, and I'm actually... to me the whole point of this show is that it has to be this viral kind of thing. It's this conversation piece, this social experiment, so I'm not sure."
To be fair, it has been interesting to see the reactions to the series and just how quickly some people were willing to look past Joe's most disturbing and horrifying qualities. Fortunately, the dark and twisted character hasn't really messed with Badgley's head, as some might assume. "I don't struggle with it in the way that you would think," he said. "I leave Joe behind when they say 'cut,' within reason, but for me, I think about all these other things. Like, these conversations we're having, like, 'Damn, why do we want to watch this so much?' Like, this is intense."
Still, he's very grateful for all of the love the show has gotten, and when Season 2 arrives later this month, fans are in for a mixture of both old and new elements. "I feel like ultimately, in terms of those — the gore, the darkness — it's the same show... in a good way," he said. "Like, you know what you're getting. But really, what's different are these two women, Candace and Love. They represent something that was absent from the first season."
As for Joe (er, Will), only time will tell if people's perception of him will change. What Badgley does know, however, is that his character is giving Gossip Girl's Dan Humphrey a run for his money, with an increasing number of fans more interested in talking to him about Joe. "Joe is challenging Dan's legacy, I'll say that, pretty quickly," he said.
You Season 2 hits Netflix on Thursday, December 26.