Penn Badgley Says He Felt “Overwhelmed” by Gossip Girl Fame

Penn Badgley

isn’t the biggest fan of fame.

The 34-year-old actor said he has “processed” his time on Gossip Girl and has some crucial takeaways about why it can be overwhelming to be a celebrity in today’s society.

Speaking on the podcast Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson, Penn reflected on how he felt a responsibility to use his fame (and resulting social media influence) to do good in the world.

As Penn shared, “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 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.'”