MANILA -- The new Netflix series “You” is about bookstore manager Joe (Penn Badgley) who falls in love with Beck (Elizabeth Lail). He then uses the Internet and social media to “get close” to Beck, which eventually turned into an obsession.
Joe does everything to make Beck fall in love with him too, even if it means clashing with some people in Beck’s life, particularly Peach (Shay Mitchell).
While many viewers probably dislike Peach for playing the controlling and manipulative girl in Beck’s inner circle of privileged friends, Mitchell shared in a roundtable interview on Monday what drew her to the role.
“I think it was more of the fact that I wanted to play opposite to what I've played before. I think it was fun to play the mean girl and she just had really fun one-liners. She's just funny in her own way. But again, because I saw through her reading it, I knew that she was insecure. She wasn't being nasty to just be nasty,” she said.
Mitchell is currently in Manila with Badgley to promote the show. This is the third visit for the actress, whose mom is a Filipina, while Badgley is here for the first time.
When asked how she channeled the darkness that was required of her role, Mitchell explained that there are many different layers to Peach but they weren’t just because she wanted to be mean.
“They came out of insecurity. I understand that. I think being in high school with mean girls, I really did understand that they were just insecure that's why they were mean. So that was very similar to Peach, her character. I had experience with Peaches in my life,” she said.
Does she want to be friends with her character?
“No. I think I would be friends with her because I want to be honest with her that nobody else was. I want to tell her, 'You are mean. It's not nice. You should go to therapy and you should work out your issues instead of putting them on other people.' I would want to be friends with her for that reason,” she said.
Despite the story painting Joe as a little too creepy, some of its viewers are still fond of Badgley’s character. Mitchell, however, believes they are only romanticizing Badgley but not Joe.
“You are not romanticizing the character because if you put in an unattractive person whose life you didn’t know, you would not want him to come and visit you at home or be in your house. So that’s the difference. People are just fascinated with Penn and they know that he’s not creepy in real life,” she said.
When asked if she has also “overly stalked” someone on social media, Mitchell wasn’t shy to admit that she also does the same.
“Yeah 100%. This is the difference. I feel like stalking to me is still following them around. I've never done that. I've never cared to do that for anybody. Creeping on somebody's page and getting to know as much about them as I can due to the information that they have put out there, yes I have,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mitchell shared how grateful she is that “You” is now doing very well worldwide.
“I think with any role that I take on, fortunately I am not doing it because I have to. I am doing it because I want to whether there’s something about the script or the character that draws me into it. For this, I did not care if it was successful or not. I mean you always hope for it to be but the fun that I had on set and what I love so much about reading the scripts was enough for me. The fact that now it’s successful is just a cherry on top,” she said.
The first season of “You” is now streaming on Netflix. But even before it became available, the show has already been picked up for a second season.
Considering what happened to Peach in the first season, Mitchell teased she might just be on Season 2.
“You may be seeing a scene with her twin sister. You never know,” she said. “I just keep saying that because I’m like, maybe the director sees it. We could have flashbacks. There’s many different ways. We definitely did that a lot on ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ Even on this show since Candace was a flashback. You never really know. It would be really fun. They will also shoot in LA so it will be pretty convenient.”
To complete their Manila visit, Mitchell and Badgley are set to hold a fan event at Greenbelt 5 on Tuesday.