Gina Rodriguez, Penn Badgley, Actors on
Gina Rodriguez, Penn Badgley, Actors on jwplayer jhIYqwpC

Penn Badgley on the Real Meaning of 'Fame'

“You” star, who has known the spotlight intimately since his “Gossip Girl” days, has a very different opinion on fame. In fact, he has an acronym for the term, “f—ing awful man, extremely.”

Since being catapulted into fame with the instant success of “Jane the Virgin,” Gina Rodriguez admits that easing into the spotlight hasn’t been easy either.

“It’s that bizarre space between blessing and burden. And it’s that sliver that like hangs out and touches them both,” Rodriguez told Penn Badgley during the pair’s Actors on Actors interview.

The “Gossip Girl” star went even further than the actress, pulling out an acronym he has for the word fame: ‘It’s f—ing awful man, extremely!” he exclaimed.

While Rodriguez agrees, she makes sure to remain appreciative of what fame has afforded her. Before landing the role of Jane at 30 years old. she had been struggling to make end’s meat for 13 years straight.

“I had been poor for so long, I had been a struggling actor for so long,” she said. “I had not paid off my debt like a lot of other artists out there. It always feels immediate because you definitely go from ‘Oh I’ve been struggling for 13 years’ to like, ‘Yay! I get to pay my rent.’”

But despite the immediacy of her rise to fame (the series earned a Golden Globe after its first season), she also noted that it took years of grueling work and fruitless auditions before being recognized for her work. “It’s like, ‘Oh my god, people are watching me. Oh my god, people are watching my acting that I’ve been working so hard on for so long.’”

Of course, not everything about fame is what the actress signed up for. Both Badgley and Rodriguez reveled in frustration over paparazzi stalkers and dating rumors.

“That’s not what 15 year-old Gina dreamt of. It’s the Apple contract that you agree to but you don’t read,” she said. “But you want it, you want — you want to act every day and I still want to act every day of my life. Between action and cut, [it’s the] best time in the world.”

Actors on Actors” will air on PBS June 18th and 20th.

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