Warning: Major spoilers ahead for season 2 of You.
In Netflix’s psychological romance thriller You, Victoria Pedretti plays Love Quinn, a young woman in Los Angeles still grieving the death of her husband when she meets murderous boyfriend Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), who is now going by the name Will Bettelheim. But Victoria first auditioned for a very different You character: Season 1’s Guinevere Beck (played by Elizabeth Lail).
Beck and Love are a world apart, but it’s difficult not to compare them, since Joe spends basically the entire second season doing just that. “I think Beck carried a lot of insecurities that made her very easily manipulated,” Victoria tells Teen Vogue. “Love is written as a character who is not easily moved, and [who is] very strong in her beliefs. So, there’s a lot of contrast right there. It wasn’t going to be the same season. It wasn’t going to be the same thing because this person that he’s fixated on is very, very different.”
If you haven’t read Caroline Kepnes’s original books, you’d be forgiven for thinking season 2 was going to go down just like season 1. A pretty, vulnerable love interest. A carefully plotted meet-cute. A honeymoon phase, a realization of bad behavior, and a violent end. Season 2 does cover those plot points — but it twists them into something new, something more complicated.
At the center of that twist is Victoria’s Love, so it’s not such a bad thing that she didn’t end up with the role of Beck. Plus, 24-year-old Victoria got to play another dynamic character for her debut professional acting role: Nell Crane in the hit horror anthology, The Haunting of Hill House, a part she won just a few months after graduating from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2017. When she spoke to Teen Vogue about You season 2, she was already filming the second installment, The Haunting of Bly Manor, which will air later in 2020.
In comparison to the Haunting series, You’s brand of terror is subtler. Often, You’s best trick is letting viewers lapse into comfortable acceptance of Joe Goldberg’s frequent internal monologues. We see the world how Joe does, and he typically fails to see women as actual people, instead preferring to see them as broken, or traumatized, or in need of saving and monitoring and stalking and kidnapping and—yeah, doesn’t seem so romantic anymore, does it?