Penn Badgley knows he can run, but he can't hide from the Dan Humphrey-Joe Goldberg comparisons.
He rose to fame more than a decade ago with Gossip Girl, playing a seemingly good "outsider" revealed to be an online bully and stalker. And coincidentally, he plays a seemingly good "outsider" who is a stalker—and, oh yeah, a murderer—on the sleeper hit romance-thriller series You, which debuted late last year on Lifetime before moving to Netflix. Naturally, fans immediately noted the similarity between his Gossip Girl character, Humphrey, and his role of Goldberg on You.
"Any part of me that was resisting the Dan Humphrey comparison has stopped because I've come to recognize how much of this is a surreal progression of Dan Humphrey," Badgley told the New York Times in comments posted on Thursday. "He's the very special white man who somehow thinks that he's an outsider, and it's like, 'Bro, you're not an outsider — you are the inside; everyone else is on the outside.' It would all be so comical, if it wasn't also the generating impulse for so much prejudice which can get translated into violence."
"I think there's a way of seeing Joe as the first time we've represented this kind of character in a responsible fashion, because to the degree that we are making him romantic and charming and glamorous, we are still being like, 'Yeah, but he kills four people and then Beck. What more can we tell you about his character than that?" he added.
Badgley had told E! News last year, when asked about the similarity between the two characters, "To whatever degree that anybody wants to connect those dots and draw the parallels...maybe it exists a little bit. Obviously, this show is detached from reality in a major way as well."
Watch more of Badgley's Joe Goldberg on season two of Netflix, whose release date has yet to be announced.