Flexing her acting muscles. Tati Gabrielle opened up about the obstacles she faced while having to film from within a glass cage during season 4 of You.
“It was a lot [and] it was very intense,” Gabrielle, 27, exclusively told Us Weekly about exploring Marienne’s new normal. “Rachel Leiterman, who directed the episode [where we learn about Marienne’s imprisonment], had plotted out what emotions would come at what time. That was probably the time that I was the most isolated in the cage and not really speaking to anyone.”
The actress added that filming certain scenes in season 4 felt “extremely emotionally draining” at the time. “I remember one day I had sort of hit my peak of emotions and couldn’t stop. So, I had a mini breakdown on set, and they took me outside and they brought me juice,” she shared. “[They were] like, ‘It’s OK. It’s exhausting — we understand.’”
In part two of the hit Netflix series’ fourth season, viewers saw Joe (Penn Badgley) kidnap Marienne and keep her trapped. While he initially believes he killed her by the season finale — it is later revealed that Marienne managed to escape and reunite with her daughter in Paris.
Gabrielle praised the chance to bring such a heightened arc to life for her character.
“It was intense. But I think it was a really good challenge for me as an actor. It really forced me to push the bounds of myself and sort of discover new colors in an emotional spectrum,” she explained to Us. “It’s not as simple as saying that somebody’s afraid or that somebody’s sad. You go through all of the emotions of one’s life — especially when you don’t know if you’re gonna get out or you don’t know what an end is gonna look like. I really enjoyed it from the actor standpoint.”
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina alum joked that off screen the cage allowed her some much-appreciated space on set. “It’s hard to feel isolated when you’re actually on [set] every day surrounded by crew and cast. So, I wanted to make the isolation feel as real for myself as possible so that I could show that as honestly as I could,” she continued. “Then it actually ended up becoming really comfortable. The cage became my little studio apartment and I had everything I needed in there. My phone was hidden somewhere. My music and headphones were in my little trash can. I always had a water. It actually became like I didn’t wanna come out. I was like, ‘No, I’m happy in here. I’m a happy little hermit.’”
Gabrielle said it was fascinating to see Marienne return amid Joe’s personal ups and downs.
“I was really excited and I also was just really enthralled by the twist in general of Joe’s mind having broken in this way. He sort of fully is going off the rails,” she added. “I give big props to [showrunner] Sera Gamble and our writing team of continuing to top themselves as far as Joe’s arc. Because at first it’s like, ‘Oh, he’s just a serial killer that goes around stalking and killing people.’ But to show such, like, a very real devolution of someone’s mind. I think is really clever on their part.”
The California native also credited costar Badgley, 36, for collaborating on the intense sequences. “Penn is an incredible actor [and] I love working with him. Even from last season — when he would switch in from Penn to Joe — was the craziest thing. His eyes would change,” she shared. “This season when [we were filming the scenes] where he’s in this dissociative state — it was eerie and so scary. I was already trapped in this cage and can’t physically connect with anyone.”
Gabrielle continued: “But Penn turned off his energy and fully became this shell of a human. It added so much for me as both Tati and Marienne. [It felt] way too real. So, it was trippy.”
You season 4 is currently streaming on Netflix.
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With reporting by Christina Garibaldi