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Penn Badgley has done a 180, and said we're meant to be able to identify with Joe in You

Wait now, what?

PENN BADGLEY HAS, in recent weeks, made it clear that he’s uncomfortable with the level of adoration his character in You has received since the show launched on Netflix earlier this month.

PaleyFest 2018 - Los Angeles Source: Pma

Indeed, the actor has responded directly to tweets from individuals who have romanticised his psychopathic character, reminding them that he is both a stalker and a serial killer.

In other words; not an individual who you might hope has you on their radar.

Interestingly, however, the 32-year-old actor has now done somewhat of a U-turn, and implied that he understands why so many viewers are drawn to the character of Joe.

He posits that it may not be due to the fact that they’re attracted to him in the traditional sense, but that they – like many other viewers – likely see elements of themselves in him.

We know; a sobering thought to say the least.

While appearing on The Today Show, the former Gossip Girl actor said that he believes Joe represents a darker side of all of us, and, as such, we can relate to him more readily than we might have initially assumed.

pp Source: Giphy

“The whole point is he’s meant to garner a conflicted reaction,” Penn told his hosts. “I don’t see him as a portrayal of a real person, I see him as a representation of the part of us that identifies with him.”

The part of us that is a troll; that part of us that is victim blaming; the part of us that is privileged and blind. We’re meant to identify with him.

“The whole point is that Joe is actually not a mastermind. He’s actually, in some ways, extremely average,” Penn added.

Penn touched on the warped reasoning exhibited by his character, and implied that – on some level – Joe considers his behavior as evidence that he is little more than a little lovelorn.

It’s this really interesting thing where you’re seeing the trajectory of a soul, of a man and he’s just completely obsessive and compulsive and believing that he’s operating by the logic of a true romantic.

You can watch the full interview here.

Source: TODAY/YouTube

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Niamh McClelland

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