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Penn Badgley Finding Faith & Love

GOSSIP GIRL BROUGHT HIM FAME, BUT A SPIRITUAL PATH LED THE ACTOR TO MARRIAGE AND HIS NEW ACCLAIM
A Star at Peace Badgley’s favorite moments: “That time from 8 to 11, the morning light, a book, a coffee, a squinting dog next to you and nothing to do.”

How do you play a character you detest? When Penn Badgley started portraying Joe Goldberg, the terrifying—and terrifyingly charming—stalker at the center of Lifetime’s new drama series You, he turned to religion. “I’d pray a lot. I’d meditate,” he says. “If anything, I was trying to understand the humanity of Joe because I hated him personally. The spiritual aspect helped me be unconcerned enough with [the show] having some kind of negative effect on me, my soul and my spirit.”

Eleven years after Gossip Girl shot him to sudden stardom, Badgley, 31, says he

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