When you think of actor Charlotte Ritchie, you probably think of characters like hapless Oregon in university sitcom Fresh Meat or well-meaning George in romantic drama Feel Good. In You season 4, however, Ritchie plays Kate, the wealthy, ruthless girlfriend of serial stalker Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley). We sat down with Ritchie, along with her co-stars Tilly Keeper and The White Lotus' Lukas Gage, to unpack the end of the season, but be warned: there are major spoilers for You season 4 part 2 ahead, so proceed with caution if you're not up to date with the new episodes yet.
As the season ends, we see that Lady Phoebe (Keeper), Kate's closest friend, seemingly finds peace away from her fraught relationship with Adam (Gage), who she believes is using her for her money and status. Kate fights for Phoebe to get the help that she needs for her mental health, but she doesn't extend that same care to Joe, despite his suicide attempt in episode 10. She even goes so far as to enable him, covering up the evidence that he killed Rhys and helping him to rehabilitate his image in the public eye, even after she learns the truth about Marienne, Love, and Beck.
Why does Ritchie think that is? "For me, the most pure love in the show is between [Kate and Phoebe]," she explains. "The only thing that makes Kate sympathetic to me is the way she feels about Phoebe. Thinking about it, it's a bit of a Mr. Darcy vibe in terms of being horrible to everybody – I'm not saying as legendary [laughs] – but it's that thing of finding out that someone is doing something really caring, but they don't need everyone to know about it. [...] It's just really, really lovely because you do believe that that's where she gets her anchoring from as well. She doesn't have any family that she cares for."
"Phoebe gets a lot of strength from Kate as well," Keeper adds. "Because there's also a mutual respect, and Phoebe must have some strength that Kate recognizes because if she was just a bit of wet flannel Kate would not deal with it as kindly."
All signs point to Adam using Phoebe for her wealth and taking advantage of her kindness in order to fund his failing business ventures, and Kate's father Lockwood sends people to torture and kill him as punishment after he learns how much Adam's actions have upset Kate. But does Gage think Adam's feelings for Phoebe were real?
"I do," he says. "But it brings up a message about repressed feelings and the inability to communicate with your partner what you really want and this constant need for validation and acceptance and love, but not being able to fully show someone who you are and having to hide who you are from someone that you love, because you're scared to lose them. Adam has a lot of fear and he's afraid to be alone, but he is also afraid to show people the full totality of who he is."
He continues: "I think what's interesting about Adam is there is a lot of him that you don't see. There's a lot of secrets that he has, there's a lot of inconsistencies with his version of the truth. So I think, for me, it was just interesting to play someone who's so layered and complicated and having to never be able to trust what he's saying fully as a reader. That was so fun for me. I like playing characters that seem unlikable on the page because I think that people are complicated and messy. I began to love him, though."
You season 4 part 2 is streaming now on Netflix. For more on the show, check out our interview with Penn Badgley, Rhys Speleers, and more about the season's big twist, our guide to the You season 4 part 2 ending explained, and our breakdown of You season 5.