Penn Badgley Teases 'You' Season 4: 'We're Shifting the Genre Slightly' (Exclusive)

The actor also talks to ET about his new Stitcher podcast, 'Podcrushed,' and bringing his family to London with him.

Penn Badgley is offering an early preview of You season 4.

The new season of the Netflix series moves the action to Europe, but Joe Goldberg won't be roaming the pebbled streets of Paris as alluded to in the third season finale. Instead, he will be taking his murderous ways to London, though there will still be some action in the City of Lights. As Badgley explained to ET's Rachel Smith during a recent sit-down promoting his new Stitcher podcast, Podcrushed, there was a very practical reason why the series relocated to a different European city for the new season.

"To be real, it's cheaper," the actor revealed, sharing that they just finished filming the first four episodes.

While Badgley remained mum about what season 4 entails, he expressed optimism that the change in scenery for Joe meant possibly a shift in demeanor and his persona.

"He would sure hope so," he said when asked if he felt Joe may feel more liberated being in London versus the States. "But the problem is in him, it's not so much outside of him so he's trying to change. He is always trying -- failing trying."

Tati Gabrielle, who was introduced as Marianne in season 3, is expected to return for the new chapter, which Badgley confirmed: "There's also some other familiar faces which I think I can [say]."

He noted that while You will still remain You, season 4 may look and feel a little different as the show evolves. 

"The tone is similar but it's shifting in that there is a different format. We're using a different format," he emphasized. "It's almost like we're shifting the genre slightly. And I think it works."

"Nothing was the same," Badgley said of You carving its own path in relation to Caroline Kepnes' series of books, "and the writer of the book and the creators of the show, they've always known starting from the same place, from the same point -- Joe of the books -- if you recreated him faithfully, it would be tough to watch. It would be really tough to watch."

But Badgley has one A-list fan who's in Joe Goldberg's corner: Cardi B. The unlikely social media friendship began years earlier when Badgley commended Cardi for her online relationship with her friends while gearing up to debut season 1 of You. Though he confesses they've never met in person -- at least not yet -- they were "trying to make something happen." Unfortunately, the stars didn't align. "If you wanna be the liaison!" Badgley suggested when ET offered to set up the meeting. 

With production on the new season in London, Badgley was able to bring his wife, Domino Kirke, and his family with him -- a homecoming of sorts for Kirke who is from England.

"It's really nice for her to be back 'cause she left when she was 12 -- that formative time in life," he shared. "She moved to New York City so for her England is an incredibly sweet memory. When she went back it was very emotional for her, so it's been nice to have them in London. We walked on her childhood street that she hadn't been in... like 25 years or something and got ice cream from a little truck."

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When Badgley isn't stepping into Joe Goldberg's shoes on You or exploring London on his off time, he's busy with his podcast, Podcrushed, where he and co-hosts Nava Kavelin and Sophie Ansari explore the heartbreak, anxiety and self-discovery of being a teen. 

"It's a little bit like a homecoming because I started with voiceover and radio when I was just about 12 -- no actually younger, like 9 to 12. I was doing like video games and advertisements and then radio," Badgley said of taking a seat at the mic.

"You ask anybody, 'Who were you when you were 12? What were you doing, what were you thinking, what were you listening to, what were you wearing, it makes everybody be like, 'Ooh...' But that idea that we're cringing, like, that's an interesting feeling to me. But there's something about bringing these stories to life -- it's not that it's cathartic, it's more like all four of us who created the show, we have, there's 3 hosts and then we have our producer-engineer [David Ansari], who's married to one of our hosts, the four of us are fascinated with how painful that time is. But also why and what are the conditions you could create that would make that less painful and more powerful 'cause at that age you're really thinking about the world for the first time."

"You think about kids who are 12, 13, 14 now, especially in the lovely condition the world is experiencing, these kids are thinking about big things and they're thinking about the betterment of the world and ideally they have the right balance of hope and ambition. They don't need to complicate things the way that we do, certainly politically," Badgley said. "It's like, 'Why can't we do that thing?' Well, you understand there's a thing called bureaucracy. Actually, maybe the 12-year-old is right in being like, 'Can't we just not do that?'"

Badgley detailed the podcast's format for a preview of what listeners can expect when episodes drop. The initial slate of guests includes Gossip Girl co-star Leighton Meester, Drew Barrymore, Amy Schumer, Rainn Wilson and several You pals like Shay Mitchell, Gabrielle, Jenna Ortega and Victoria Pedretti.

"We start with stories that are sent in from listeners and fans of my other shows and they're fun. I think the point is it starts out as you have to... on the surface. It's fun or it's cringey or it's heartwarming or it's heartbreaking," he previewed. "We have a few stories that are straight-up deep. They'll be sprinkled throughout the rest of the season. But for the most part, you can stay on the surface if you like and then of course you talk to me longer than five minutes and I'll inevitably take it somewhere philosophical. And the guests are all down for that."

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