Penn Badgley Explores ASMR

In this Celebrity ASMR interview, actor Penn Badgley explores autonomous sensory meridian response with whispers and sounds. The "You" star talks about the braces and ponytail he had at his audition for "John Tucker Must Die," finishing his album in 28 days with his band Mothxr, and plays with a retro cell phones while reflecting on his time playing Dan Humphrey on "Gossip Girl."

Released on 9/12/2019

Credits

Starring: Penn Badgley

Transcript

00:00
Are you telling me that I'm whispering
00:01
like this the entire time?
00:04
[laughing]
00:05
For 15 minutes?
00:09
My name is Penn Badgley.
00:12
I'm doing an ASMR interview for W Magazine.
00:18
John Tucker Must Die.
00:23
Recalling all of these memories while I'm whispering
00:26
makes them very different, and I can't help but laugh.
00:29
Okay so, when I went on the audition
00:34
I had braces and a ponytail.
00:38
You imagine those two things together?
00:41
Braces, and a ponytail
00:44
on a 17 year old male.
00:47
Just think about that for a second.
00:50
And I remember when we took my braces off,
00:55
oh, I can't believe I had braces at 17.
00:59
'Cause also, look at my teeth now.
01:03
They're, my publicist didn't like that.
01:06
But seriously.
01:07
So, they said when they took the braces off
01:13
and let my hair down that I no longer
01:17
looked like the ugly younger brother.
01:20
Wait, there's another interesting story about this.
01:25
The first time you see me in John Tucker Must Die
01:31
I am singing a Cheap Trick song.
01:36
Which became the song in the previews
01:41
for the show that I'm currently on, You.
01:43
So that's like a 15 year bookend.
01:46
I was 17 years old when I did that, and I'm 32 now.
01:51
Nearly half of my life ago
01:54
is being book ended by this Cheap Trick song.
01:57
That I first think I saw in a Diet Coke commercial.
02:00
To represent my role as Scott Tucker,
02:04
the other Tucker, in John Tucker Must Die,
02:08
I will be handling beakers, chemistry beakers,
02:12
for the average chemistry student in high school.
02:15
Which I never attended, myself.
02:22
[clanking]
02:23
That's a good sound.
02:27
Seriously, who's listening to this?
02:30
[squealing]
02:30
Ooh, uh.
02:31
That's terrible, I apologize.
02:34
All right, I got.
02:35
I wish there was water.
02:37
Oh, there's water in this one.
02:39
Okay.
02:42
Let's see if I can...
02:46
All right.
02:50
Okay you're gonna like this.
02:55
[splashing]
02:57
Come on.
03:04
I wonder what percentage of people now
03:06
feel they have to go to the bathroom?
03:08
Okay, I'm gonna...
03:19
All right, now this is the one I think.
03:22
This might be the one.
03:28
[splashing]
03:35
It's kind of similar, it's really just the same.
03:38
It's more satisfying to pour this one
03:40
somehow, I'm not sure why.
03:43
Now let's see if there's anything to do here.
03:45
[clinking]
03:55
It's a bit clumsy, that one, I'm not sure about that.
03:59
Let's see if I can get a drop.
04:06
Hang on.
04:22
[dripping]
04:27
I'm trying for something here, and I'm not,
04:28
I don't know if I'm getting it.
04:30
Let's just get a little...
04:32
[clinking]
04:34
Okay, fair.
04:37
Gossip Girl.
04:40
Gossip Girl.
04:44
Have you heard of it?
04:46
I think I'm curious what it is that
04:54
people actually think of Dan Humphrey
04:56
because it seemed to me while I was on the show,
05:00
and I think now, that the purpose of the show
05:04
and the reason that people enjoyed it
05:06
was more for the voyeurism of watching characters
05:12
like Chuck, and Blair, or Nate, or Serena,
05:16
or really anyone else other than Dan Humphrey.
05:22
Because he was intended to be
05:23
the moral center of the whole show.
05:30
And then we discovered the purpose was that
05:35
people were less interested in a moral center
05:37
than they were in the fantastical vision
05:45
of wealth, and excess, and privilege,
05:52
and all the things that attend that.
05:56
So Chuck and Blair very understandably
05:58
became the heart of the show, I think.
06:01
I mean they were more interesting,
06:02
well they were interesting characters.
06:07
And so I think I as an actor, and even the writers
06:10
at some point, wondered hm, so what do we do with Dan?
06:16
What do we do with Dan?
06:18
And I think he became necessarily
06:27
less fun for the viewer because in striving
06:33
for his morality he unfortunately was judgemental.
06:37
So I think, yeah, the experience I had
06:42
of playing him was an introspective one.
06:46
That now finds its meta-progression and expression
06:51
in basically being Dan who murders people.
06:59
To represent my time on Gossip Girl
07:01
I'm gonna be playing with some retro cellphones.
07:07
Oh my goodness.
07:09
What is this, a Sidekick?
07:12
Okay, let's see how satisfying this is.
07:14
I remember these flip open and they're really...
07:18
[clacking]
07:19
Whoa.
07:20
That seems really high-tech now.
07:26
Hang on, let's do that again.
07:31
That might be quite loud for you.
07:32
I hope I haven't disturbed your peace.
07:37
Okay now let's text.
07:38
I never had one of these.
07:40
[clicking]
07:44
All right, can you guess what I'm texting?
07:56
I'm not telling you.
07:58
You'll have to comment.
07:59
Below, way below.
08:03
Okay, I'm closing it.
08:08
I don't even know what this is.
08:10
LG didn't do a great job.
08:15
[clicking]
08:18
This one is less satisfying for me
08:20
so I'm just gonna pop it like it's bubble wrap.
08:25
This has a bubble wrap kind of feel to it.
08:27
Have you had anybody do bubble wrap?
08:30
All right, I'm into this.
08:34
I'm gonna, it's gonna be loud, so I'm gonna do it down here.
08:39
You can even hear just the,
08:42
[rattling]
08:43
listen to the, when phones had moving pieces
08:46
and they weren't just a slab of metal and glass.
08:51
Before they could break and lacerate your finger.
08:57
This is...
09:00
You guys remember Cingular, what ever happened to them?
09:02
Who did they merge with?
09:04
Which parent companies own us all right now?
09:07
And am I unwittingly biting the hand that feeds me.
09:13
I don't know, I probably am.
09:15
They're gonna have to edit this out.
09:20
I'll do another bubble wrap one with this.
09:22
[clicking]
09:24
I don't know what it sounds like,
09:25
but it's very satisfying tactilely to do this.
09:35
Okay, what does this have in it?
09:37
Ooh, get this going.
09:40
[scraping]
09:53
All right, we're done with Gossip Girl, next.
09:57
Mothxr.
09:58
So the band first formed, I hate the word band,
10:01
it sounds like I'm a teenager.
10:05
The musical project started when I first met
10:08
Jimmy Giannopoulos who's a producer, a music producer,
10:11
and a writer, and a director, and a songwriter.
10:14
And then we formed friendships with Simon Oscroft
10:20
and Darren Will who played bass and keys,
10:22
both instrumentalists, and songwriters themselves.
10:24
And the four of us spent initially like 10 days
10:27
in an Airbnb in Echo Park like five years ago.
10:30
This is in Los Angeles.
10:32
We recorded I think five songs in that time.
10:34
And then after that we finished the record in Chicago,
10:37
in the dead of winter.
10:40
And, you know, we mixed and mastered,
10:42
we recorded, we wrote, recorded, then mixed and mastered
10:44
the whole thing in 28 days.
10:47
And then we toured it for like three and a half years,
10:49
it was a great learning experience.
10:52
I grew my hair out.
10:54
And that was that.
10:57
You can find us on Spotify.
10:59
And all of those things.
11:00
Now I'm gonna play with a CD,
11:02
which everyone's familiar with, but...
11:09
[crunching]
11:17
This used to be the most satisfying part
11:19
of consuming music.
11:22
[crinkling]
11:24
You'd go to like Tower Records,
11:26
or Virgin Records, none of which you have anymore.
11:30
And they had these like obnoxiously long
11:33
plastic like cassettes that the CDs came in,
11:35
so you couldn't steal them.
11:36
But you could also hold a bunch
11:38
while you were in the store shopping.
11:41
I used to love that.
11:43
How do I open my own CD?
11:44
Okay.
11:49
It's beautiful looking, but you can't hear it unless...
11:54
[thumping]
11:59
I wanna like.
12:01
I wanna drop it on something.
12:03
Has anybody ever put a CD in a microwave?
12:06
Not that I'd recommend it, but I wouldn't not recommend it,
12:09
it's an interesting vision.
12:12
Okay now.
12:19
This is the like liner notes, which I drew.
12:25
I drew that.
12:26
I don't know if you can see it.
12:29
But these are the lyrics to the whole record,
12:32
and some doodles.
12:36
And then, let's see, here's,
12:38
this is something, I'm not gonna read my own lyrics at all,
12:41
I'm gonna read the thing at the bottom
12:43
that I thought was the most interesting part for me.
12:44
Was that I wrote all of the legal like mumbo-jumbo.
12:48
And I got in at the end.
12:51
What did I say?
12:51
I said, okay, so it says, used by permission,
12:54
all right reserved.
12:55
And this is what I added, thinking it was so radical.
12:59
All rights reserved, save those quietly stripped away
13:03
from our bodies our souls preserve.
13:06
What?
13:08
Brilliant.
13:11
You.
13:14
You.
13:17
It's still ongoing so I'm not sure what to say about it
13:19
except that, as I said before, it's a little bit
13:21
of a meta-progression of Dan Humphrey.
13:24
Just now he's murdering people.
13:25
And now no one can get enough of him.
13:30
Why is that?
13:30
Why are we so attracted to murderous people.
13:34
Why are we so willing to forgive them?
13:37
No matter who they murder.
13:39
No matter how violent they are towards women,
13:42
how is it we're willing to forgive this guy?
13:45
I know it's probably my fault because of the way I play him.
13:48
And the way I look.
13:50
So my apologies.
13:52
Now to represent my character, Joe from You,
13:55
I'm gonna play with some keys.
14:01
[crunching]
14:14
It's quite loud.
14:17
[clanking]
14:23
Ooh.
14:27
[clinking]
14:38
I never thought I would do anything like this, to be honest.
14:41
This is very interesting.
14:42
Okay.
14:45
[clattering]
14:54
[clinking]
15:01
I'm trying not to drop them
15:03
so that we can get this nice jingle.
15:04
Hang on.
15:09
[clicking]
15:19
I mean I think we did it.
15:30
Thank you for watching.
15:32
I hope you feel relaxed.
15:34
I hope you learned about me.
15:37
Not that you need to learn about me.
15:39
I hope mostly that you're quite relaxed.
15:42
And if you've listened to this before going to bed
15:45
that it leaves you with a sense of peace
15:49
and accompanies you in your dreams
15:50
to a place of progress and spiritual,
15:59
I don't wanna say satisfaction, I wanna say satiation.
16:01
Sasiety, is that a...
16:06
Yeah, we'll go for it.
16:08
Thanks.