How do you even prepare to meet teen drama royalty in the flesh?
Last week, Netflix gave us that chance by bringing in the dreamboats of mid-2000s teen television, Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl’s resident lonely boy), and Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars’ resident good girl Emily Fields).
The pair star in new Netflix Original You, a thriller-drama characterized by stalking and murder, except packaged liked your average RomCom. Penn plays Joe, the charming bookstore manager-slash-sociopathic stalker of Beck, a girl he meets at the bookstore. Shay plays Peach, Beck’s controlling best friend who is highly suspicious of Joe.
Here’s the thing: most of the assumptions Joe makes about Beck and the people around her come from the way they present themselves online, and as you get further on into the series you see how badly those assumptions can backfire. Knowing a person in that way doesn’t mean you really know the person.
So as a writer about to interview the celebrities who brought these (and other iconic) characters to life, you’d be right to assume that I was intimidated. These guys are the prime example of people thinking that we know them.
My solution? Keep it light and turn to memes. I end the interview by saying “Thank you! ILYSM.” (I love you so much or I love you Shay Mitchell? We’ll never know. Video proof is up on our IGTV). Here’s the rest of our short conversation, in which Penn and Shay discuss their realizations about social media and turon.