Keep your eyes peeled. Lifetime and Netflix’s psychological thriller “You”—about serial killer Joe Goldberg and his complicated love life—is returning for another season. Season 4 is currently in production, which means potential casting opportunities are on the horizon.
For those interested in learning how to get cast on “You,” we’ve got you covered. Here, we share audition tips from casting directors and current cast members—including stars Penn Badgley and Victoria Pedretti—plus the latest updates about open Netflix auditions and casting calls for Season 4.
Based on Caroline Kepnes’ series of novels, “You” Season 1 follows the exploits of New York City bookstore manager Joe Goldberg (Badgley), a man with a penchant for murder. His obsession with customer Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) quickly turns sinister as he uses social media and other technology to stalk her and monitor her every move. Season 1 concludes with Joe killing Guinevere and framing her therapist, Dr. Nicky (John Stamos).
On Season 2, loosely based on Kepnes’ sequel, “Hidden Bodies,” Joe moves to Los Angeles to make a fresh start, changing his name to Will Bettelheim. While he strives to have a normal relationship with aspiring chef Love Quinn (Pedretti), it doesn’t take long before his old habits reemerge. However, Love is not who Joe thinks she is—on the season finale, it’s revealed that she is just as obsessive and murderous as he is. In fact, he has been her prey all along.
By Season 3, Love and Quinn have had a child and moved to the suburbs. But Joe’s killer instincts kick in once again, and he turns his attention to Marienne Bellamy (Tati Gabrielle). When Love learns of Joe’s new obsession, she plots his murder, but—always one step ahead—Joe kills Love instead, faking the perfect murder-suicide and escaping his life under the presumption that he’s dead.
Here’s who’s confirmed for “You” Season 4 so far:
- Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg
- Tati Gabrielle as Marienne Bellamy
- Lukas Gage as Adam
- Charlotte Ritchie as Kate
- Tilly Keeper as Lady Phoebe
- Amy Leigh Hickman as Nadia
- Ed Speleers as Rhys
- Brad Alexander as Edward
- Niccy Lin as Sophie
- Aidan Cheng as Simon
- Stephen Hagan as Malcolm
- Ben Wiggins as Roald
- Eve Austin as Gemma
- Ozioma Whenu as Blessing
- Dario Coates as Connie
- Sean Pertwee as Vic
- Alison Pargeter as Dawn
- Adam James as Elliot
In February, Netflix announced that “Euphoria” star Lukas Gage will join the Season 4 cast as Adam. Charlotte Ritchie (“Ghosts,” “Feel Good”) is also joining the cast as Kate, who, according to Netflix, “tends to be ‘the adult in the room’ and has embraced the moniker of ‘icy bitch.’ ”
Showrunner Sera Gamble (“The Magicians”) told TV Insider that the casting process for Season 1 “was extensive…. We were adamant that Joe is neither Mr. Robot nor Dexter. He’s an amateur. He’s a smart guy; he’s well-read and not that different from you and me.”
The role, of course, went to former “Gossip Girl” star Badgley. “As a casting director, I always keep an eye out for people that have sort of been in the family, so to speak,” CD David Rapaport, who also cast “Gossip Girl,” explained. “I love to use a lot of the same actors or see the same actors over and over again and give them a lot of opportunities. And so with [‘You’], we read a lot of men for that role that we had seen before or cast before. And so it’s just a matter of timing and kind of finding that perfect fit.”
For those looking to join the “You” cast—or the ensemble of any Netflix show, for that matter—here’s a refresher on how to audition for the streaming giant.
“You” Season 4 is currently filming. When viewers last saw Joe, he was chasing his latest obsession, Marienne Bellamy, around the streets of Paris. However, in March, Badgley was spotted strolling down the sidewalk in London in character, according to the Daily Mail. The images indicate that Joe’s now sporting a shaggy ’do and scruffy beard—along with his signature black baseball cap—while Marienne has traded her short dark locks for long blond dreads. Will Marienne remain the object of Joe’s obsession? With a number of new players on tap for Season 4, our antihero might have his work cut out for him.
While there are currently no open casting calls for “You,” the series has put out notices with us in the past. In 2017, the show announced it was casting extras. Producers and casting directors were also on the hunt for 10 additional actors to join Season 3 in 2020, including for three series regular roles.
As production continues on Season 4, we expect more notices to trickle in—so be sure to keep an eye on our casting page. In the meantime, we encourage you to check out these gigs if you are obsessed with “You.” These scary movies and horror projects also need talent.
For its first two seasons, Rapaport and Lyndsey Baldasare of the L.A.-based Rapaport/Baldasare Casting led the charge. The pair also assembled talent for “Legends of Tomorrow,” “Supergirl,” "Riverdale," and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” among others. CDs Beth Bowling and Kim Miscia of Bowling/Miscia Casting (“Blue Bloods,” “Mr. Robot,” “Gotham”) were also involved in casting Season 1. Rapaport remains the primary CD for “You” at this time.
Here are some audition tips from the series’ cast members and CDs:
- Be yourself in the room. “I’m looking for actors to offer up their unique selves,” Rapaport told Mashable. “I want actors to come in and share their unique perspective on material and their unique personalities.” He noted that he “can see right through someone when they are putting up a facade. Those fake performances are boring and inauthentic. Think about your favorite artists and musicians. They don’t hold back. They let you inside. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to walk into any casting room, to share yourself and be vulnerable. I get it. But those that are willing and able to share are the ones who excite me most.”
Berlanti echoed this advice in conversation with us: “[Actors] shouldn’t try to be something they think the director or showrunner wants them to be. The thing that’s unique about them is them.”
- The CDs are looking for new faces. For most of his projects, Rapaport casts a lot of younger actors. “What I like most about that is the opportunity to discover new talent,” he told Casting Frontier. “There are times when the roles feel similar in type, but no actors are the same, and I take joy in really digging deep in my quest to find new breakout talent. I think the shows are varied enough that I’m never bored creatively. The characters and actors required for a show like ‘The Flash’ can be so extremely different than those I cast on ‘You,’ for instance…. That contrast keeps me interested.”
- Even a no can be an opportunity. Pedretti wasted no time after graduating from college; she moved straight to NYC and jumped headfirst into auditions. “I was getting close already, pretty early on, to roles that I ultimately didn’t get. But I was like, ‘Damn, this is feeling good. Something’s working. People are responding,’ ’’ Pedretti told Collider. “Then, I’m like, ‘OK, let’s just keep it going.’ ” One of those early unsuccessful auditions was for Season 1 of “You.” “It was the first callback I ever had for a show,” she told W. Her hustle ultimately paid off with roles in “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and “The Haunting of Bly Manor”—and, of course, Season 2 of “You.”
- Don’t let the audition process limit you. Remember that auditions aren't the sole measure of your ability as an actor. “I hate auditioning,” Badgley told us. “It is a really hard process that I don’t think has as much to do with acting as it has to do with the audition…. The advice I would give to any young actor, and I would include myself in this, is: Don’t let the conventions and the desires of the industry and the people you are auditioning for become the thing you’re most concerned with. Don’t let the limitations of the industry become limitations for your expression as an artist and as an actor.”
- Find the darkness in yourself. On a show like “You,” there’s no telling which characters will end up being murderous, manipulative, or just plain creepy. It’s not easy to play the villain—just ask Badgley. “I didn’t want to do it—it was too much,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “I was conflicted with the nature of the role. If this is a love story, what is it saying? It’s not an average show; it’s a social experiment. And then what was key in me wanting to jump onboard were my conversations with Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble, the creators, and understanding Joe’s humanity. I knew that I would be conflicted about the role from day one till the last day; and that is why they thought I would be good for it, is that I’m not psyched to play somebody of this nature.”
When it comes to unlocking your inner baddie, acting coach Michelle Danner suggests doing a deep dive into your character’s psyche. “Is your character a sociopath, a psychopath, a person who snapped and became psychotic, or just someone who is plain evil?” she posited. “To know exactly how they would be diagnosed will help you to understand their pathology. Literally do the medical research on the person. People can have flaws they’ve acquired or the defects can be ingrained in their nature. Know the case study that applies to them and how they are wired.”