21 wild facts about Netflix's You that you probably didn't know
22 October 2021, 21:54 | Updated: 23 October 2021, 00:27
Penn Badgley turning down the role of Joe? Victoria Pedretti getting a callback for Beck? You could've almost been so different.
And just like that, another season of Netflix's You has flown by. You season 3 ended in spectacular – and shocking! – fashion, leaving us all on the edge of our seats waiting for Joe Goldberg's next round of escapades in You season 4.
If you're a fan of the show, you'll probably know everything there is to know about the ins-and-outs of the world of Joe Goldberg, but if you're a casual watcher who also hasn't read any of Caroline Kepnes' You novels, there's tons of behind-the-scenes facts for you to sink your teeth into.
From the all gory filming secrets to the differences between the show and the books, here's a whole bunch of facts from all three seasons of You that you might not know about.
1) You originally aired on Lifetime and was cancelled after one season.
Can you believe that we may not have even had more of Joe Goldberg if Netflix hadn't stepped in? Yep, You originally aired on Lifetime, and Netflix initially bought the exclusive international broadcast rights.
When Lifetime passed on renewing You for a second season, Netflix ended up saving the show, buying it outright and turned it into a global Netflix Original series... and one of the most popular and most talked about shows on the streaming service.
2) Penn Badgley almost turned down the role of Joe Goldberg.
At this point, it's hard to imagine anyone else playing Joe Goldberg other than Penn Badgley. But the actor was hesitant about taking the role at first. He also told Entertainment Weekly: "I didn’t want to do it — it was too much. I was conflicted with the nature of the role. If this is a love story, what is it saying?"
"And then what was key in me wanting to jump on board were my conversations with Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble, the creators, and understanding Joe’s humanity. I knew that I would be conflicted about the role from day one till the last day, and that is why they thought I would be good for it, is that I’m not psyched to play somebody of this nature."
3) Victoria Pedretti originally auditioned to play Beck way back in season 1.
In an interview with Elle, Victoria revealed that she even got a call back for the role of Guinevere Beck: "I auditioned for the first season, for Beck, and had a call-back with the producer. I didn't get the job, but I'm glad I didn't, because it meant that I was able to do 'The Haunting of Hill House,' and it meant that I was able to come back to play Love."
Victoria also revealed to Byrdie that producer Greg Berlanti and creator Sera Gamble reached out to her after they saw her as Nell Crain in Hill House and well... the rest is history!
4) Dylan Arnold, who played Theo, originally auditioned for Joe and Forty.
Dylan revealed his history with the series in an interview with Teen Vogue, saying: “So I auditioned for Joe for season one, and then I auditioned for Forty for season two, and now, third time’s the charm, I got Theo in season three."
5) The fake blood in the show is made of sugar.
Obviously, real blood is not used in the show. Duh. Instead, the substance is made up of a sticky sugar mixture and red dye which squirts out of machines.
In an interview with Oprah Daily, Victoria Pedretti also revealed that shooting those gory scenes are "more mechanical and less emotional" than some of the other scenes in the show. She also added that, at one point, the 'blood machine' used to create some of the more gory effects wasn’t squirting in the right way.
6) Penn Badgley wore a prosthetic arm during the scene where his finger is cut off.
One of the most gruesome moments in You season 2 is when we see Jasper cutting Joe's finger off. In order to film that scene and get a pretty realistic shot for the show, Penn wore a prosthetic arm that was then able to be cut to achieve the shot.
7) Penn also tore up a prosthetic body with real human hair during the meat grinder scene from season 2.
Penn told TVLine: “We had a life-sized, very authentic prosthetic body. It was a headless body that was extremely realistic to touch and sight. All of the body hair, each hair, was a real human hair that was applied individually. So the amount of human labor that went into this body was pretty great. It was rigged so that it would bleed when you cut into it. There was also a removable arm."
"In a way, it was exciting — and then came the time to cut into it. That part was nauseating, actually. Very surreal.”
8) Penn and James Scully partly improvised one of Joe and Forty’s scenes.
For Joe and Forty's emotional scene season 2, episode 8, James Scully revealed to Glamour that the pair actually created a version of that scene on their own: "It's not what was written in the script, but we talked a lot about the relationship between Forty and Joe, which at that point was a little more than a friendship, obviously."
He added: "I think it's a different kind of [love]. It was two, at least partially heterosexual men, being physically intimate with each other in a way that wasn't sexual or violent. That was really important to me, and it was really important to Penn."
9) Paco was created for the show for a specific reason.
Remember sweet little Paco? Neither he, his mother Claudia or her boyfriend Ron exist in the book series. He was added by show-runner Sera Gamble as a way of showing Joe's softer side – and also highlighting how manipulative he can be.
"Paco has been a character that illuminates the best, most compassionate side of Joe," Gamble told Variety. "He educates Paco, he gives Paco a sandwich when he’s hungry, he keeps Paco safe. And then [Paco] does this incredible thing in the finale [in return]."
At the end of season 1, Paco sees Beck trying to escape the basement and doesn't do anything to help because Joe has made him believe that he is a good and trustworthy person.
10) Ellie also does not exist in the books.
While You season 2's Delilah still exists in Hidden Bodies, her little sister was added to the show by the writers. Delilah's storyline in the books also wasn't as prominent as it is in the series.
11) Joe's neighbour Natalie also doesn't exist in the books.
Due to the fact that You season 2 ended completely differently to the Hidden Bodies book, the show needed a different plot to continue their narrative. In the show, Joe finds himself obsessed with his new neighbour, Natalie, when he moves to Madre Linda. However, the only woman that Joe obsesses over in the third book is librarian Mary Kay.
12) Marienne is also a completely different character in the books.
In the third book, You Love Me, Marienne is an altered version of the Mary Kay character. Mary Kay is a librarian, with a daughter, who ends up in a romantic relationship with Joe – but that's where the major similarities end. Mary Kay's daughter is much older than Marienne's and her, and Joe's relationship is much more serious than his and Marienne's, too.
13) In fact, book 3 has a totally different storyline to the series.
You season 3 sees Joe and Love embark on parenthood together in the suburb of Madre Linda, all the while dealing with multiple murders and nosy neighbours. In the book, Joe (who is fresh out of prison) actually moves to Bainbridge Island in Washington, separates from Love after being paid off by the Quinn family and starts a new relationship with Mary Kay.
Baby Henry, who is named Forty in the book, stays in Los Angeles.
Love barely features in the You Love Me book, and while she dies in both, the circumstances of her death are very different. In the show, she is killed by Joe. In the book, she takes her own life shortly after shooting Joe.
14) Love is not actually a murderer in the book series.
The shocking twist at the end of You season 2 that reveals Love is also a cold-blooded killer doesn't exist in the book. Love doesn't kill anyone.
While speaking at BUILD, Victoria Pedretti revealed that she was actually "disappointed" in the character after she found out that Love was capable of such things: "But, you know, then I had to let that go. When you really believe in a character, you want them to do good in the world, but, as we all know, we don’t always do that. Sometimes we do bad things and we hurt people."
15) The ending of You season 1 is also different in the original book.
Remember at the end of You season 1, when Candace shows up looking very much alive? Well, in the books, Joe really does kill her by drowning her at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn.
Showrunner Sera Gamble explained to The Hollywood Reporter the reason why they decided to bring Candace back: "We started by talking about how people would presume that he has killed her and be increasingly convinced that he had done so the more that they know about Joe throughout the season. So we just wanted to do something more surprising and realise that she was such a substantial and interesting character."
16) Amy Adam is actually a character in the second You book.
As viewers of the Netflix series will know, Amy Adam is the alias that Candace goes by in season 2. However, the name is a reference to an actual character that appears in the second book. Instead of fleeing, the reason why Joe goes to Los Angeles in book 2 is because he's following Amy who stole from the bookstore.
17) Peach's clothes in season 1 actually belonged to Shay Mitchell.
Peach Salinger. A legend and style icon! But actually, most of the clothes we saw her wearing came straight from Shay Mitchell's personal wardrobe. Speaking to Glamour, Shay said: "I learnt that I much prefer wearing heels over tennis shoes from being on Pretty Little Liars where my hair, make-up, and wardrobe was pretty minimal. I actually loved dressing up like Peach, wearing heels and clothes. I bought so many of my own bags to New York and worked with the costume designer on producing this look. A lot of the clothes are mine, too."
18) Mooney’s bookstore is a real place – but it has a different name.
If you're ever in Manhattan and fancy going on your own little tour of Joe Goldberg's world, then the first place you've gotta go is Logos Bookstore on the Upper East Side. (Our Gossip Girl senses are tingling!) The exterior and interiors of the shop were used in the show. There is no cage in the basement though. Sorry.
19) You season 3 is filmed on the same backlot as Gilmore Girls and Pretty Little Liars.
You season 3 was filmed in Los Angeles but while parts of it where shot on location, the majority of the season was filmed on the Warner Brothers backlot. Fans of Gilmore Girls and PLL might recognise a handful of locations. Love's 'A Fresh Tart' bakery is located on French St., just around the corner from Luke's Diner and the Apple Rose Grille.
You can actually visit the backlot on an official tour.
20) Penn's stand-in reads Joe's voiceovers while Penn films his own scenes.
As we all know, Joe narrates the entire show. That narration is added by Penn Badgley in post-production, which means he pretty much shoots all of his scenes without saying a word. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Penn revealed that Danny, his stand-in, will provide the voiceover while they're filming: "It's really strange. To be honest, it's very technical. It's not like normal acting at all."
21) Penn Badgley has confirmed that Joe Goldberg is essentially a surreal progression of who Dan Humphrey could've become.
Ah, Dan Humphrey. Our first favourite New York stalker. Speaking to the New York Times, Penn said: "First of all, 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.
"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.'"