You stars Penn Badgley, Victoria Pedretti on filming intimate scenes during COVID: 'It felt strange'
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Warning: This post contains spoilers from season 3 of You.
For Joe (Penn Badgley) and Love (Victoria Pedretti) You season 3 presented a variety of new challenges as they tied the knot, moved to the suburbs, and became first-time parents. But for the stars, the season's biggest challenge was all about something else: COVID-19.
"We were really lucky that we could do it at all, and it was very fun to write this story and actually shoot it," says showrunner Sera Gamble. "It's a really fun show to work on, but it was easily the hardest thing I've ever done in my career."
The pandemic forced them to cut a number of scenes from the season. "There were significant rewrites throughout the whole season to try and negotiate around these scenes that would require a lot of people," Badgley says.
But when it comes to the scenes that they kept, the biggest challenge for Badgley and Pedretti were the intimate scenes. "I felt very lucky that they start off their relationships at odds with each other, navigating the awkwardness of being new parents, because it felt strange to be physically intimate very early on, even though we're supposed to be a married couple," Pedretti says.
As Gamble puts it, "This is not a show where you can be like, 'Nobody's going to kiss. It'll be fine.' So it took months to figure out how to do it safely."
As time went on during the filming process, Pedretti says she started to feel more at ease. "It's weird. We have a rapport," she says. "We played a couple before, but it didn't just immediately come back after being in a global pandemic."
Badgley agrees, adding, "It's really true, the implications of all that stuff was really felt."
Gamble admits that had they started working on the season later — as opposed to February of 2020 — they might've thought about incorporating the pandemic into the story. "Maybe we would've been like, 'Joe in a pandemic wearing a mask is interesting,'" she says. But it was so early, they didn't think of it, something she feels was ultimately a good thing. "I think it helps that we were making something that was fun and that wasn't about what the news was that morning."
After all, Joe and Love have enough drama to deal with.
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