Penn Badgley Refuses Sex Scenes in New Season of YOU to Honor Wife: ‘Fidelity In Marriage is Important to Me’

Photo from Penn Badgely’s Instagram

Penn Badgley Refuses Sex Scenes in New Season of YOU to Honor Wife: ‘Fidelity In Marriage is Important to Me’

By Movieguide® Staff

Actor Pen Badgely, known for his role as the central character of the Netflix hit series YOU, recently opened up about his request to not do intimate scenes on set.

Badgley said that before the start of Season 4 of the show, he told the director that he found the sex scenes from previous seasons of YOU, “disturbing” and wanted “zero” in the new season.

Despite fan backlash, Badgely doubled-down on his stance, noting that his decision also comes from his desire to honor his wife, Domino Kirke-Badgley.

“It’s not a place where I’ve blurred lines,” Badgley, 36, told PEOPLE in a recent interview. “There’s almost nothing I could say with more consecration. That aspect of Hollywood has always been very disturbing to me — and that aspect of the job, that mercurial boundary — has always been something that I actually don’t want to play with at all.”

“It’s important to me in my real life to not have them,” Badgely added, noting that he wants to honor his wife and their 2-year-old son, James.

“My fidelity in my relationship. It’s important to me,” he explained. “And actually, it was one of the reasons that I initially wanted to turn the role down. I didn’t tell anybody that. But that is why.”

The TV-MA series follows a writer, who obsessively stalks those that peak his interest.

While the fourth season still contains sex scenes, PEOPLE reported that there is no nudity and a much smaller amount of sexual scenes compared to previous seasons.

“Netflix’s You returned with the first five episodes of its fourth season on Feb. 9. While there are sex scenes included, all of them are performed while fully clothed. There’s also far less than in previous seasons,” PEOPLE wrote.

“I asked Sera Gamble, [the] creator, ‘Can I just do no more intimacy scenes?’ This was actually a decision I had made before I took the show,” he said on a recent episode of the Stitcher Studios’ Podcrushed podcast. “I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it publicly, but one of the main things is, ‘Do I want to put myself back on a career path where I’m always [the] romantic lead?'”

“Fidelity in every relationship — especially in a marriage — is important to me,” he added. “It got to a point where [I thought], ‘I don’t want to do that,’ so I said to Sera, like, ‘My desire would be zero [intimate scenes], to go from 100 to zero.'”

Badgely joins a growing list of celebrities that have opened up about Hollywood’s obsession with sex.

Movieguide® previously reported:

52-year-old actor Neal McDonough (DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS) is getting some attention for something that should be praised. According to an interview with McDonough, when he was set to star in the ABC series SCOUNDRELS years ago, he refused to be in sex scenes with his female co-star.

Three days into filming the series, McDonough, a devout Catholic, was replaced with David James Elliott, something ABC referred to as a “casting change.” Closer Weekly recently spoke to McDonough about the ordeal that occurred in 2010 and brought the public’s attention to the debacle. The actor said, “I was [surprised], and it was a horrible situation for me. After that, I couldn’t get a job because everybody thought I was this religious zealot. I am very religious. I put God and family first, and me second. That’s what I live by. It was hard for a few years.”

McDonough met his wife of 16 years, Ruvé McDonough, while shooting BAND OF BROTHERS. The couple has five children together and McDonough won’t kiss another woman due to his beliefs, stating, “these lips are for one woman.”

Movieguide® has not yet reviewed Season 4 of YOU and cannot advise on its content.

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