Badgley recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he demonstrated how he goes from charming to creepy so easily. The key is — and this might surprise you — to “do nothing.” You read that correctly. He does nothing.
To demonstrate, Badgley turned to one of the studio cameras and simply dropped his smile, instantly switching personas, a look which Colbert said gave a “real Charlie Manson vibe.”
“It’s shockingly simple,” Badgley said of the chilling trick. “That does not mean it’s easy, although sometimes it is.”
Badgley recalled the moment when he first perfected this look during a press photoshoot with season 1 co-star Elizabeth Lail (aka Beck), where he had to stand over her character’s bed.
“I arrive on the mark,” Badgley explained. “I do nothing but look up. And the entire crew behind the camera goes, ‘OH! Whoa, man. That is phenomenal. That is so creepy.’ And I did nothing.”
To reiterate: “Put yourself in a really questionable circumstance, an inappropriate circumstance, and then you do nothing.”
Speaking of Joe’s creepiness, Badgley also shared how conflicting it can be to play such a likable character that’s obviously no good for anyone. He doesn’t blame the audience for having such a “thirsty response to him,” though.
“We're purposefully creating a device that is meant to be provocative and hopefully thought-provoking, but not just titillating,” Badgley said, adding that the show is also “not a clinical portrait of a serial killer.”
Hmm. So, let me see if I understand: Joe is creepy, but we love him because he’s charming and does nothing except kill people, but not like a typical serial killer, which is why we love him? Yikes.