Penn Badgley Quits TV: Nothing “Could Drag Me Back” — Exclusive
Penn Badgley has starred on four WB-turned-CW TV shows since 2002, but when Gossip Girl came to an end in December 2012, so did his television career.
This isn’t because no one is courting him for pilot season — it’s because he’s done with the medium for good.
Considering that television has evolved so greatly over the past few years — and A-list film actors like Kevin Bacon heading to the small screen — it seems like the place to be. However, when Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with the 26-year-old actor at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival wrap party of Greetings From Tim Buckley at CATCH Roof sponsored by Bombay, he revealed that he has no intention of going back.
Read on for our full interview with Penn, including more about his anti-TV stance (and why he can’t even watch it anymore), intel about his new apocalyptic film Parts Per Billion with Alexis Bledel, and if he plans on channeling his inner Jeff Buckley with a full-fledged music career.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Congratulations on Greetings From Tim Buckley — it was fantastic. You did a lot of work for singing in this film. Is that something you’d like to do in future films, or just in general?
Penn Badgley: I mean, I think it will be rare that it ever makes sense for another role, you know, but in my own life, I do write and play music, and if that materializes one day into something, I would be thrilled, but I can’t really say yet.
You’re breaking so far away from Gossip Girl. Was that something you made a conscious decision to do, or just whatever happened, happened since you were doing that for so long?
I mean, it’s both. I definitely wanted to get away from it, but it was also something that I always sort of believed and knew was going to happen, so it is just that happening, you know?
The WB was such a big part of your life, then The CW, with Do Over, The Mountain, Bedford Diaries, and of course, Gossip Girl. Would you go back into television, or are you just done for good?
It’s no ill will toward any television that I’ve done or any other television shows, but I don’t think there is a thing in the world that could drag me back.
Even a big role on The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones?
Nope! [Shakes head]
Is there anything you’re watching now that you really love on TV?
On TV? No. I am so biased against television at this point because I’ve been doing it for like 14 years that I don’t think I could ever do it again — and I can’t even watch it really. I can’t handle it.
Do you have anything specific in mind now that you can really launch your big film career, given that you’re out of TV for good?
Yeah, I mean... just anything, really. I don’t have any ideas. You can’t plan it; you really can’t.
Is there a script that’s landed in front of you that really piqued your interest?
No, not yet.
You signed on to Parts Per Billion with Alexis Bledel and Josh Hartnett. Has that wrapped yet?
Yeah, yeah, we wrapped that in December.
Can you tell me a little bit about the film? It’s definitely not a traditional rom-com, more of a drama?
No, no, not at all. It’s very, like... it’s hard. It’s post-apocalyptic — well, it’s an apocalyptic scenario where it’s looking at... it’s vignettes of three different couples as they face the end.
Kind of like in New York I Love You, just...
Yeah! But the world is ending. [Laughs]
Are you surprised that Penn is done with TV for good? Sound off below.
Alyse Whitney is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @AlyseWhitney.