Netflix’s smash-hit series You is back for its fourth season and it sees Joe Goldberg assume a new identity as a university professor in London. He’s one of the most bookish characters on TV right now, but does Penn Badgley share this trait with his character and where did he go to college?
Badgley initially rose to prominence while playing Dan Humphrey in the cult teen drama Gossip Girl, but he’s actually been working as an actor since he was 12. His love for acting got in the way of his education, and he never had a real high school experience.
In his youth, Badgley changed two elementary schools before attending the Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington. He revealed he graduated early at 13 to avoid on-set tutoring and attended Santa Monica College after taking the proficiency exam.
Badgley took community college classes before being accepted to the University of Southern California, but he decided to focus on work instead of going to college.
“I was accepted to USC, but I never went. I was working as well, and I realized at that point I didn’t want to go to film school, I just really wanted to work and do what I was doing,” the actor told the New York Daily News.
Despite failing to go the USC, Badgley enrolled for two years at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. The lack of Ivy League education is just one tiny quirk he shares with his You character, who’s well-read enough to pose as a professor despite never going to college himself.