Penn Badgley aka Dan Humphrey talks about his overwhelming ‘Gossip Girl’ fame

Media News

We often remember Penn Badgley as sweet and simple Dan Humphrey from ‘Gossip Girl’. Penn made his TV debut with a 2007 show about the privileged upper-class adolescents living in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. 

The show was a major hit and all the cast of the show witnessed overnight success. Penn recently addressed the fame he got from the teen drama and how he felt it is a responsibility to use his fame to do good and better in the world. 

In the same interview, the ‘You’ star also shared his experience with anxiety. 

In a new interview with Rainn Wilson’s ‘Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson’, Badgle said, “The most meaningful form of action I saw, as a person who’d been on ‘Gossip Girl’, as a person who had at this point hundreds of thousands of followers—yeah, because I got on social media late. If I had gotten on in the middle of Gossip Girl, I very well could’ve had millions upon millions—so I was thinking, the most meaningful contribution I have to make as an individual is on these platforms.” 

He went on and shared, “And in trying to have a pure intention and honest interaction on these spaces, I also found that I was completely overwhelmed by being conscious of how many likes or retweets or whatever. It was such a convoluted way to be like, ‘acting.'”

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Further, he said, playing up his fame on social media was like being “wrapped up in ego and our materialist culture.”

“It was not the most fulfilling or meaningful contribution that I could make as an individual seeking to better the world,” the You star said.


Further,  Penn also has personal experience of a promotional appearance a couple of years back in the Philippines, when he travelled to a mall in Manila to meet with fans. 

“It was packed with thousands of screaming adults,” he recalled, noting that “in all of my years of witnessing some form of adulation, like the fan experience,” this one was really over the top. 

“I had an anxiety attack that press trip,” Penn revealed. “And I’m not a person who has that. I mean, look, I have anxieties I think. I’m human.” Adding, he said that time of his life “really was profound.”

“I was coming to terms with having lived half of my life at least in some kind of public eye. I felt the blessings descending, but it was in the form of an anxiety attack and it was pretty intense,” he said. “I was 32. I’d been through ‘Gossip Girl’ and processed that and it still was — I will tell you, the elevator doors opened and what I was met with, it was very hard to smile in the face of what it felt like… It was alarming and it was really hard to process in that moment.”