Penn Badgley Interview -- JustJared.com Exclusive!
Penn Badgley looks out on the balcony of a Los Angeles hotel while promoting his film Easy A back in August.
The 24-year-old actor also chatted with JustJared.com about the hit comedy, working with co-star Emma Stone (who received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the film!), and his thoughts on the Gossip Girl cast’s careers outside of TV.
FYI: Easy A comes out on DVD on Tuesday (December 21)!
Click inside for Just Jared‘s exclusive interview with PB…
JustJared.com’s Exclusive Penn Badgley Interview
JJ: What attracted you to your role in Easy A?
LM: First off, it was a smart movie. For a high school comedy it was strikingly adult and kind of honest, which I really liked. A lot of people have been drawing comparisons to John Hughes‘ films, not that we at all have hit that mark. There are a lot of winks and nods to John Hughes‘ films in the movie itself, and there are a couple of homages. I think it’s because of how in certain ways honest the movie is. The John Hughes movies were so iconic because they were just a brilliant snapshot of the ’80s American teenager, and this is sort of an evolution of that in a certain way. It’s a reflection of a way kids interact with social networking, like Facebook and Twitter and the way that really does change everything. It shapes the way we interact.
JJ: Social networking has evolved even since the beginning of Gossip Girl, which also is about how the digital world changes social lives.
PB: Yeah, exactly. Gossip Girl is a similar kind of thing and that’s why
people have responded to it, one of the reasons.
JJ: We didn’t even have Twitter at the beginning of Gossip Girl.
PB: No! Every six months I feel like something really changes about the way
we interact now, it’s a pretty fast passed thing. Generation gaps I think they’ve shrunk.
JJ:What do you think about that evolution? When you were in high school it wasn’t as important as prominent.
PB:Yeah, even then. I’m 24 and even in high school we had instant messaging and cell phones and you still very much talked to people and now it’s just bizarre. I can’t imagine having to be in high school as sensitive as everyone is and having to be responsible for your reputation at school and also creating this reputation of yourself online and micromanaging it and how you present yourself to people.
JJ: What did you like about your character Woodchuck Todd?
PB: For me really what I loved was how strange and of beat my character was, in some ways he’s a bit of the straight guy but he’s also kind of really weird. He’s wearing all the mascot uniforms and that kind of stuff. I loved how grounded he was and how he owned it. He’s not very high school in the sense that he sees beyond smoke and mirrors and he can see that high school is just another step as opposed to it being your world, being the end all be all. I liked how strange and how off the wall he was, but then at the same time he’s just effortless and cool.
JJ: How was it like working with Emma?
PB: She’s awesome. She’s super talented. She worked really hard for this. She had I believe the entire script memorized before we started shooting. The script is dense, it was really intelligently written by Bert Royal and the dialogue was snappy and she had an undertaking. She really proved herself in this, and I think people are going to see that. I’m sure she’s going to take off because she’s very talented.
JJ: What is it like on set at Gossip Girl with everyone having their own successes?
PB: Everybody’s really taking off which is great. Taylor [Momsen]‘s got her music
and she’s really loving that, I saw her after she played David Letterman and she was so thrilled. That’s wonderful for her. She’s getting to do what she loves.
JJ: Have you seen Piranha yet with Jessica Szohr?
PB: No, I haven’t seen it yet but I actually do want to see it. I hear it’s
a great return to the B horror films.
JJ: Blake Lively is achieving so much as well. (Penn and Blake were still dating at the time of this interview).
PB: She’s doing unbelievable things, in fashion and film. I couldn’t be more proud of her. She is in a really special position, I can see behind the scenes how she is making the most of it, and it’s really amazing to watch her because she’s such a strong woman. Women have a different path to cut out for themselves and they have different hurdles to leap and she’s doing it with such grace and such a wonderful way that it’s a really amazing thing to be a part of.
JJ: You also have to compete with Ryan Reynolds (her Green Lantern co-star). That must be hard?
JJ: (Laughs) You know what’s amazing about him, is that he’s such a great
guy that that doesn’t even cross my mind.
JJ: What’s your idea of a perfect day when you aren’t working?
PB: I hate to talk about it without having anything to show for it, a great day for me would involve playing music. Every time I’m around a real piano I’m so at ease. If I can spend a couple hours playing music with a friend and then go out to see a great show, that would