She was "so nervous."
Season 3 of You was different from the preceding seasons in a lot of ways. OK, so Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) still managed to find a new woman to stalk, and there was still an impenetrable basement cage, but the cast got a major upgrade with the latest object of Joe’s overzealous affection: Marienne Bellamy, played by Tati Gabrielle. Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from You Season 3. Although her performance came together seamlessly on-screen, Gabrielle had some jitters while filming one scene in particular. Per a recent interview with Page Six, it was her first-ever sex scene — and now she’s opening up about it.
In case you haven’t finished all 10 episodes of Season 3 yet, here’s a rundown of Joe and Marienne’s relationship. In the beginning, they start off as co-workers at the local library, then move on to friends, and eventually fall for each other — though, of course, Marienne has no idea who Joe really is or what he (or his wife) is capable of. And, yes, their relationship does involve an explicit sex scene that was actually pretty nerve-racking for Gabrielle.
Speaking to Page Six, Gabrielle explained that she “freaked out” when it was time to shoot her sex scene with Badgley. “I was so nervous,” she explained. Fortunately, her co-star helped put her at ease. “I told Penn upfront, ‘Hey, I’ve never done this before.’ And he was like, ‘It’s gonna be OK.’” (Joe Goldberg could never.)
Plus, according to Gabrielle, production helped set her up for success. She continued, “We had a great intimacy coordinator on set. So we were able to walk through everything and have a good idea [of what to do].”
That apparently helped diffuse some of the awkward tension. She added, “It became more of a dance, like a choreographed dance than it was, like, having to feel that nervousness and be awkward or weird.” I love that for her.
Beyond acing her sex scene, nerves and all, Gabrielle also weighed in on her character’s story arc in the show. When perfecting her character, she told Page Six that she didn’t want Marienne to fall completely for Joe’s act, and she didn’t want the narrative to “insult the intelligence of people of color and allow there to be room for a good BS detector.” Per Gabrielle, Marienne “would be able to see something coming and not be so oblivious.”
And Gabrielle more than succeeded in bringing this refreshingly perceptive character to life. Without a doubt, Marienne is one of the best leading ladies this show has seen so far, and I’m currently stuck between wanting her to continue to bring her good sense to season Season 4 and hoping she managed to get away from Joe once and for all.