Penn Badgley Explains Apprehension Over Filming Sex Scenes: 'Not Everybody Has to Do This in Their Job'

The 'You' star elaborates on why he's increasingly apprehensive about filming intimacy scenes in the latest 'Podcrushed' episode.

Penn Badgley is explaining why he's apprehensive about doing sex scenes, especially on You.

The star of the Netflix series, where he plays serial killer Joe Goldberg, doubled down in the latest episode of his Podcrushed podcast, released Tuesday, where he elaborated on his hesitancy to take part in intimate scenes.

Back in February, he revealed on his podcast that he had asked then-showrunner Sera Gamble if sex scenes could be omitted from the script. "This is actually a decision I had made before I took the show," Badgley said at the time. "I don't think I've ever mentioned it publicly, but it’s... one of the main things is, like, 'Do I want to put myself back on a career path where I'm just always the romantic lead?'" The actor made the request largely due to his marriage to actress Domino Kirke, with whom he has a son and is stepfather to her other son from a previous relationship. 

"Fidelity in every relationship -- and especially in my marriage -- is important to me," Badgley said. "I said to Sera, like, 'My desire would be zero, to go from 100 to zero.'" Soon after his comments went public, Badgley claimed in an interview with GQ that fans misunderstood the intention behind his remarks, saying that they were "blown out of proportion." "It didn't change the trajectory of the season at all," he added. "I mean, Joe was naturally ready to not be in that position anymore."

In the newest Podcrushed episode, which featured Gamble as a special guest, she and Badgley went in-depth on their conversations over his desire to do less intimacy scenes on You. 

"It was not a very difficult conversation for me," Gamble recalled. "Nobody was saying, 'I refuse to do something... My job in that conversation was just to like pinpoint exactly what you were asking for and what was making you uncomfortable... We're not in the business of saying, 'Strip down and touch someone,' if you know that's not what you wanna do."

Badgley weighed in, acknowledging that their behind-the-scenes chat is "not common" in Hollywood. "When people bring up, 'Well, what about murder?' It's like, guys, I'm not murdering anybody. At the end of the day, there's something that you can't simulate, which is physical touch," the 36-year-old actor explained. "It just comes down to that. It's like, not everybody has to do this in their job." 

Added Gamble, who left as showrunner at the end of season 4: "The two people in that conversation are me and you. We're making the show together. We were many years into it at this point. And it's just like, let me understand. My job is just let me understand the parameters and then come back with a plan."

ET spoke with Badgley about Joe's homecoming with Kate (Charlotte Ritchie) at the end of season 4, after coming clean to her about the most sordid details of his past. While the couple made a promise to "keep each other good," the actor hinted that the bevy of monetary and logistical resources his character now finds himself with is only going to help Joe continue to access his dark side -- especially after the reveal that Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers) is still very much with him.

"Well, clearly he's back home in New York... But now he's sort of got unlimited resources. He actually has the power he's not had," he said of Joe's latest chapter. "With Love and the Quinn family, he had power but he didn't want it. He didn't want to take it. He didn't want -- the family didn't really want to give it to him. I think now, he's really embracing his lower nature. He's letting the animal take over the human basically. He's letting the predator take over his... heart."

The actor theorized just what this might mean for Joe moving forward in the fifth and final season. "He's probably going to be just quite unhinged, I guess," he speculated. "I don't know though, I really don't know."