15 surprising things you didn't know about 'You'

insider@insider.com (Sara Hendricks)
Joe You

Netflix

  • Scenes in Mooney's bookstore in the thriller series "You" are filmed in an actual book store in New York City.
  • Peach Salinger's name is meant to sound annoying, according to the author of the book the series is based on.
  • Certain "You" filming locations, like the Greenpoint Avenue subway station and the Staten Island Ferry, are fictionalized versions of real places.
  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for "You."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more.

By now, you've likely heard about — or watched, or become wholly obsessed with — "You," a thrilling Lifetime-turned-Netflix series featuring Penn Badgley, who plays Joe.

The creepy show was just renewed for a third season, so what better way to prepare than by learning some behind-the-scenes facts?

Here are some surprising things you might not have known about "You."

The word "you" is said over 3,800 times throughout seasons one and two of the show.

Joe you

Netflix

The official Instagram for Netflix Australia and New Zealand calculated the times the word "you" has been said on the show throughout the first two seasons – and they got 3,857. 

They also noted that the word was said a bit more often during season one than it was during season two.

According to the account, the first episode of the series features the word "you" the most. 

Penn Badgley didn't want to play Joe at first.

Penn Badgley

Roy Rochlin/Getty

At first, Badgley was reluctant to take on the role of Joe.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said he was "conflicted" about the part, largely because the show is framed as a love story. "If this is a love story, what is it saying?" he said.

Ultimately, discussions with showrunners Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti convinced Badgley the part and show had enough nuance to make it worth taking.

The show is based on a book — and the author of that book has written on a number of TV shows.

screenshot from secret life

Facebook/The Secret Life of the American Teenager

The show is based on a book of the same name by Caroline Kepnes.

"You" was Kepnes' first book, but according to her website, she's written for shows including "7th Heaven" and "The Secret Life of the American Teenager."

Kepnes also wrote "You Got Me Babe," the eighth episode of "You."

The facade of the bookstore where Joe works is a real shop.

logos bookstore mooneys bookstore you

Google Maps/Netflix

"You" used Logos Bookstore, a specialty bookstore on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, as the exterior and front interior of Mooney's, according to Brick Underground.

Although little was changed about the actual bookstore, Logos does not have a cage in its basement. The basement scenes in "You" were filmed on a separate set in the Bronx.

Logos Bookstore has been featured in other productions, too.

Can you ever forgive me

Twentieth Century Fox

According to the American Booksellers Association, Logos is also featured in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?," a movie starring Melissa McCarthy as an out-of-work writer who begins forging old literary texts to make money.

To film on the subway tracks during season one, some actors had to take an eight-hour-long safety course.

beck subway tracks you one

Netflix

During season one, Beck (Elizabeth Lail) falls on the subway tracks and Joe helps her up. This scene was no joke to film since it was actually shot at a New York City subway station and many safety guidelines were in place. 

"I had to take an eight-hour course to be on those tracks," Lail told BUILD series. Badgley said he also took this course. 

Badgley also said that after the training course he and Lail received cards certifying them to go on subway tracks for a year and a half. 

The scene at the Greenpoint Avenue subway station likely wasn't filmed at the actual station.

greenpoint avenue joe subway beck you

Netflix

The real-life Greenpoint, Brooklyn, subway stop is accented with green. In the show, the stop is accented with red.

The scene on what's alluded to as the Staten Island Ferry was likely not filmed on the Staten Island Ferry.

you staten island ferry side by side big

Netflix/Wikimedia Commons

On episode eight, Beck asked Joe if he'd ever been to Staten Island.

They go on to have a romantic ride on what is not actually the Staten Island Ferry, the only major way to travel by boat from Manhattan to Staten Island.

"What could happen on the upper deck of an immensely popular tourist destination?" Joe asked as he boarded what was supposedly the ferry.

It is possible to film on the Staten Island Ferry, and movies and shows have done so in the past — but this scene likely didn't do so. The real-life Staten Island Ferry is much more orange than its TV counterpart. 

Candace (Ambyr Childers) wasn't always supposed to come back.

you candace sunglasses

Netflix

During the final scene of "You," Candace — Joe's subject of obsession before Beck who viewers were led to believe was dead — returns. She's also one of the leads on season two of the show. 

This is a departure from the book, and one that wasn't initially going to happen on the TV show.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gamble said she and Berlanti decided at about the middle of the first season to bring Candace back, and they started to "misdirect" viewers to make them think she was dead.

Candace had a different fate in the book.

candace you

Netflix

Part of the reason some viewers may have been surprised by Candace's return is that, in the novel, Joe drowns Candace at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn after she breaks up with him.

Peach Salinger got her name because author Caroline Kepnes thought it was "annoying."

you peach

Netflix

Kepnes told Refinery29 that she wanted the character to have a name that'd be "kind of annoying."

"I also thought peaches were perfect because they're ripe and delicious, and then they're spoiled, poison, they attract flies, they can make you sick," she added.

 

The band Nirvana has a large presence on "You."

beth trapped nirvana crying you

Netflix

On the first episode, Beck buys "Desperate Characters" by Paula Fox. Fox, as Joe tells her, is the grandmother of Courtney Love, who was married to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

During the show's finale, Beck wears Joe's Nirvana T-shirt. There's also a nail salon called Nirvana next to the onscreen and real-life location of the bookstore.

And, during season two, the show centers around the grocery and wellness store Anavrin, which is Nirvana spelled backward. 

Kepnes came up with the character of Joe while in a coffee shop.

Joe You

Netflix

Kepnes told Refinery29 that she was in a coffee shop scrolling through Facebook and noticed someone glaring at her.

"The voice clicked for me in that moment," she said. "I was obsessing about social media, and I had wanted to write something like this. But it was in that moment that I really got it. Joe is someone who is always the one looking and judging. He's very at ease with that in himself. That's where I found this great outlet for my little frustrations."

Victoria Pedretti, who plays Love, said the most awkward scene to film was a sex scene.

joe and love at wedding you s2

Netflix

Victoria Pedretti, who played Love during season two, said that the most disturbing scene to film was a sex scene between her and Joe. 

"I think the most unsettling thing is probably when we shot the sex scene where we were both meant to start having sex and come simultaneously in five seconds. I found that really disturbing," she told Harper's Bazaar. "I was like, 'How are we … ? That's not real.'"

The show was mostly written, directed, and created by women.

Caroline Kepnes

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

In 2018, Badgley told The Daily Beast that "by and large, all of the people responsible for this thing are women."

He added that the majority of the show's cast, directors, and writers are women.

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