Penn Badgley opens up dealing with 'Gossip Girl' fame; Says he felt 'overwhelmed'
Seems like Penn Badgley isn't the biggest fan of fame. As per E! News, Penn recently on the podcast Baha'i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson discussed how he felt a duty to utilize his celebrity (and consequent social media power) to accomplish good in the world. The 34-year-old actor claimed he's "processed" his experience on Gossip Girl and has some key lessons about why being a star in today's culture may be overwhelming.
The You actor further said that playing up his fame on social media was like being "caught up in ego and our materialist culture." He said, "It was not the most fulfilling or meaningful contribution that I could make as an individual seeking to better the world." Penn also has personal experience dealing with what he and host Rainn Wilson termed "another disadvantage of our celebrity-obsessed society." Penn said on the podcast that he had an anxiety attack while on a press tour two years ago, when he went to a mall in Manila, Philippines, to meet with fans.
Penn recalled, "It was packed with thousands of screaming adults. 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." He said that time of his life "really was profound."
Penn, who had his first child with Domino Kirke last year, said his Baha'i religion has lately helped him deal with his anxieties. As he explained, "Because I became Baha'i a number of years ago… It's such a pillar, it's such a thing I rely on, I will say that something like an anxiety attack is more and more a thing of the past." Penn ended by expressing his hope that the term "famous" would no longer have the same significance in the future.