Penn Badgley Demonstrates How Easily He Shifts From Charming To Creepy In ‘You’

"It is shockingly simple," he told Stephen Colbert.

Penn Badgley does an exceptional job playing every single girl’s worst nightmare, Joe Goldberg, on the Netflix’s smash hit “You.”

And what makes his portrayal of his character so intriguing is how swiftly and seamlessly Badgley can transition from a charming — and seemingly dateable — guy into a sociopathic murderer who will lock you in a glass cage… or bury you alive… or throw you in a meat grinder.

On Friday, Badgley appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to talk all about “You” Season 2 when Colbert asked if he used a trick to go from Romeo to Ted Bundy (or we suppose Ted Bundy to Ted Bundy) so quickly.

“It is shockingly simple,” Badgley replied. “[But] it does not mean it’s easy.”

Penn Badgley (Joe) and Elizabeth Lail (Beck) in Season 1 of “You.”
Penn Badgley (Joe) and Elizabeth Lail (Beck) in Season 1 of “You.”

Before revealing what the trick is, Badgley explained the trick’s origin story.

He told Colbert that he discovered the trick while shooting promo photos for the first season of the show. For the photos, Badgley’s co-star Elizabeth Lail (who played his doomed love-interest, Beck) laid in a bed in a T-shirt and underwear while he stood “fully clothed with a windbreaker and … a hat” (aka Joe’s stalking outfit that he seems to think is like an invisibility cloak) and just stared at her.

Joe sporting his stalker outfit.
Joe sporting his stalker outfit.

“I arrive on the mark, I do nothing but look up, and the entire crew behind the camera goes, ‘Oh! Whoa man! That is phenomenal! That’s so creepy!’ … And I did nothing.”

And that’s the trick — he literally does nothing.

“If you put a fully clothed person staring at a woman in her underwear in bed when he’s not supposed to be there, it’s inherently creepy,” Badgley explained. “So you put yourself in a really questionable circumstance … and then you do nothing.”

Colbert then put Badgley to task and asked if he could demonstrate the shiver-inducing shift for the audience — and boy did he deliver.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube

Now excuse us while we delete our dating profiles.

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