Badgley at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival
Penn Dayton Badgley
November 1, 1986
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Alma mater||Lewis & Clark College|
|Origin||New York City, U.S.|
|Labels||Washington Square Music, Kitsuné|
Penn Dayton Badgley (born November 1, 1986) is an American actor and musician. He has starred as Dan Humphrey in The CW teen drama series Gossip Girl (2007-2012) and as Joe Goldberg in the Netflix thriller series You (2018-present).
Badgley has also appeared in a number of films, including John Tucker Must Die (2006), The Stepfather (2009), Easy A (2010), Margin Call (2011), and Greetings from Tim Buckley (2012). He is also the lead singer for Brooklyn-based indie band MOTHXR, whose studio album, Centerfold, was released in 2016.
Badgley was born Penn Dayton Badgley on November 1, 1986, in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Duff and Lynne Murphy Badgley. His father had worked as a newspaper reporter and then as a carpenter and home builder, and was the Green Party candidate for governor of Washington in 2008. An only child, he attended Woolridge Elementary (where his mother served as a PTA president), before he transferred to St. Christopher's School. He attended Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington. As a child, Badgley was involved with the Seattle Children's Theatre and the Pine Nut Players community theater in Monroe, Washington. His mother supported his acting efforts, and worked various jobs (later, beginning a business in jewelry design with Badgley's godmother, Jan Sneed).
Badgley and his mother relocated to California so that he could pursue an acting career, and he recalls in interview departing for Los Angeles at age 11. He soon began doing voiceovers for children's radio stations in Hollywood. In that period, he is said to have been home schooled alongside Blake Lively, his future co-star and partner. His parents divorced when he was 12. He recalls having "wanted to make music... as a 12-year-old", and recorded an unreleased pop single in 1998, referring in interview to the effort as "terrible" and "misguided". Badgley, whose acting work has included several long stints playing high school characters, actually "skipped high school altogether"; at age 14, he took a proficiency exam and began attending Santa Monica College.[a] He was later accepted to the University of Southern California, but deferred admission due to contractual obligations, later enrolling for two years at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Penn Badgley also practiced "Krav Maga", which he was an expert in his early career years.
Badgley's first credit was voice work for the video games Mario Golf 64 and Mario Tennis 64 in 1999 and 2000. His first screen acting credit was on an episode of Will & Grace and he subsequently appeared on shows such as Daddio, The Brothers García, and What I Like About You. His first noticeable role was as Phillip Chancellor IV on the soap opera The Young and the Restless, from 2000 to 2001. He was nominated for a 2001 Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Daytime Series for his work.
In 2002, he starred in The WB's comedy-drama series Do Over as Joel Larsen, a 34-year-old man who gets a second chance to get his life right, thanks to a freakish accident that catapults him back to 1980, as a 14-year-old. Badgley went on to star in two other WB series: The Mountain (2004-2005) and The Bedford Diaries (2006). Badgley's first major film credit was 2006's John Tucker Must Die, playing the role of Scott Tucker. In its opening weekend, the film grossed a total of $14.3 million, ranking third in the US box office results for that weekend. Badgley later appeared in Drive-Thru, co-starring future castmate Leighton Meester.
In 2007, Badgley was cast in The CW's teen drama series Gossip Girl as Dan Humphrey, based on the book series of the same name by Cecily von Ziegesar. He initially turned down the role, but accepted after the producers struggled finding someone to fill the role. In 2009, he starred in thriller film The Stepfather, a remake of the 1987 film, as the stepson of the serial killer. Badgley then played Todd, the love interest of Emma Stone's character, in the teen comedy film Easy A (2010).
In 2011, he was named one of People's "25 Beauties (and Hotties) at 25" and BuddyTV ranked him number 75 on its "TV's 100 Sexiest Men of 2011" list. He also appeared in the financial thriller drama Margin Call (2011). In late June of that year, Badgley reportedly would portray Jeff Buckley in Greetings from Tim Buckley. The movie follows the journey Jeff Buckley took in grappling with the legacy of his late musician father, Tim, leading up to and culminating with his 1991 performance of his father's songs. For the role, Badgley said he took guitar and vocal lessons. Badgley joined the cast of Parts per Billion in December 2012, opposite Alexis Bledel and Teresa Palmer. The film was released in 2014.
Badgley joined the cast of the 2013 adaptation of Cymbeline as the orphan Posthumus. In early 2014, Badgley and bandmates released a song titled "Easy" on SoundCloud under the name M O T H E R; the song quickly gained popularity and was posted on numerous blogs. Months later, the band changed the spelling to MOTHXR, citing a cease-and-desist from another band with a similar name. In 2015, the band signed with the labels Kitsuné and Washington Square Music, the New York City-based subdivision of the Razor & Tie label. The band has supported acts such as Streets of Laredo,San Cisco,Sir Sly,Har Mar Superstar,The Neighbourhood, and Miami Horror. MOTHXR's debut album, Centerfold, was released February 26, 2016.
Badgley had a recurring role in NBC's 2015 miniseries The Slap, based upon the Australian series of the same name. He had a minor role in Adam Green's Aladdin and starred in Lifetime's former television adaptation of You as Joe Goldberg, which premiered on September 9, 2018. On December 3, 2018, it was announced that You would move to Netflix as a "Netflix Original" title, ahead of the premiere of the second season. The second season was released on Netflix on December 26, 2019. On January 14, 2020, You was renewed for a third season by Netflix. The third season is scheduled for release sometime in 2021.
During the 2008 United States presidential election, Badgley supported Barack Obama. He and Blake Lively appeared in an Obama commercial as part of MoveOn's Youth Vote program, which aired during Gossip Girl on The CW, MTV, and Comedy Central. In March 2010, the American Red Cross announced Badgley as a member of the National Celebrity Cabinet, a group of celebrities who promote Red Cross services. Badgley supported the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 and considers himself an ally of the Black Lives Matter movement. Badgley wants the police brutality dialogue to include female victims and he supports LGBT rights.
Badgley began a search for spirituality in 2010, while shooting an early season of Gossip Girl. In an interview with Shadi Toloui-Wallace, Penn describes how the BP oil spill prompted his exploration into the connection between justice and spirituality, and led him to the rainforests of Colombia and the teaching of Bahá'u'lláh and the Bahá'í Faith.[full ][verification needed] In the interview, Badgley shares how Baha'u'llah's "The Seven Valleys", and Baha'i faith's "The Promise of World Peace" were important in his spiritual pursuits.[verification needed] Badgley has been a member of the Baha'i Faith since 2015 and is an outspoken activist against the persecution of Bahá'ís by Iran.
Badgley began dating singer Domino Kirke in 2014. Badgley married Kirke in a New York courthouse on February 27, 2017. He is the stepfather of Kirke's son, Cassius. In February 2020, Kirke and Badgley announced they are expecting their first child together, after suffering two miscarriages. On September 20, 2020, Domino Kirke announced on her Instagram that they welcomed their first child together, a boy who was born 40 days prior. He was previously in relationships with Seneca Rice, Gossip Girl co-star Blake Lively, and actress Zoë Kravitz.
|2000||The Fluffer||Young Sean McGinnis|
|2003||Debating Robert Lee||Debator|
|2006||John Tucker Must Die||Scott Tucker|
|2009||The Stepfather||Michael Harding|
|2010||Easy A||"Woodchuck" Todd|
|2011||Margin Call||Seth Bregman|
|2012||Greetings from Tim Buckley||Jeff Buckley|
|2014||Parts per Billion||Erik|
|2016||The Paper Store||Sigurd Rossdale|
|2016||Adam Green's Aladdin||Prince of Monaco|
|1999||Will & Grace||Todd||Episode: "I Never Promised You an Olive Garden"|
|2000-2001||The Young and the Restless||Phillip "Chance" Chancellor||Role held: May 12, 2000 - February 1, 2001|
|2000-2002||The Brothers García||Eddie Bauer||2 episodes|
|2002||The Nightmare Room||Mike||Episode: "My Name Is Evil"; uncredited|
|2002||Do Over||Joel Larsen||Main role|
|2002||What I Like About You||Jake Wood||Episode: "Copy That"|
|2003||The Twilight Zone||Trace Malone||Episode: "Homecoming"|
|2004-2005||The Mountain||Sam Tunney||Main role|
|2006||The Bedford Diaries||Owen Gregory||Main role|
|2007-2012||Gossip Girl||Daniel "Dan" Humphrey||Main role; 121 episodes|
|2015||The Slap||Jamie||2 episodes|
|2018-present||You||Joe Goldberg||Main role; 20 episodes|
|2001||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Daytime TV Series: Young Actor||The Young and the Restless||Nominated|
|2008||Teen Choice Award||Choice TV Actor: Drama||Gossip Girl||Nominated|
|2009||Teen Choice Award||Choice TV Actor: Drama||Gossip Girl||Nominated|
|2010||Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Actor: Horror/Thriller||The Stepfather||Nominated|
|Choice TV Actor: Drama||Gossip Girl||Nominated|
|2011||Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Actor: Romantic Comedy||Easy A||Nominated|
|Choice TV Actor: Drama||Gossip Girl||Nominated|
|Gotham Independent Film Award||Best Ensemble Performance||Margin Call||Nominated|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award||Best Cast||Margin Call||Nominated|
|San Diego Film Critics Society Award||Best Performance by an Ensemble||Margin Call||Nominated|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society Award||Best Ensemble Acting||Margin Call||Nominated|
|2012||Independent Spirit Award||Robert Altman Award||Margin Call||Won|
|Teen Choice Award||Choice TV Actor: Drama||Gossip Girl||Nominated|
|2013||Teen Choice Award||Choice TV Actor: Drama||Gossip Girl||Nominated|
|2016||Manchester Film Festival||Jury Special Mention - Lead Actor||The Paper Store||Won|
|Oxford Film Festival||Best Actor||The Paper Store||Won|
|2019||Saturn Awards||Best Actor in Streaming Presentation||You||Nominated|||
[Gossip girl] is his fourth prime-time series... Ironically, in real life Penn skipped high school altogether. He took a proficiency exam at 14 and entered Santa Monica College soon after... Penn... was home-schooled with Blake a decade ago, when both were child actors, calls the relationship 'wonderful...'... He didn't grow up poor, but his parents divorced when he was 12, and there were lean-ish times after he and his mother, who'd worked at Home Depot, left Washington State for California so that he could pursue acting. For him, acting is work it's how you make sure you can pay for your own car and make your rent... He talks about his love for writing music... 'I hope in five years... I no longer look at acting as a job but as a creative passion. That's how I want to be different.'
[...] for the 2007 teen horror flick "Drive Thru" (which also featured "GG" star Penn Badgley)
he did appear in Adam Green's drug-fueled Aladdin alongside Natasha Lyonne and Macaulay Culkin last year