The Untold Truth Of Victoria Pedretti

Victoria Pedretti's Hollywood career began in a big way with Netflix horror super-hit The Haunting of Hill House, but it was her turn in another binge-tastic show from the streaming giant that elevated the actress to another level. As the brilliantly-monikered Love Quinn, Pedretti proved the perfect foil for You's resident sociopath, Joe.

Love marks the second time Pedretti has played a young widow struggling to handle a sibling with a substance abuse problem, but her roles in Hill House and You couldn't be more different — though the up-and-coming actress admits she's drawn to the darker side of life. Her other job right out the gate was in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood from one Quentin Tarantino.

Pedretti is a fascinating Hollywood transplant, equal parts outspoken feminist, eager performer, and grateful just to be in the conversation. This is the untold truth of Victoria Pedretti. Warning: There are some spoilers concerning Pedretti's work on The Haunting of Hill House and You.

Victoria Pedretti's still just a regular woman from Philly

It goes without saying Victoria Pedretti isn't your typical Hollywood up-and-comer. A proud Philly native, she nabbed the role in The Haunting of Hill House just when her post-college money had run out, according to an interview with Cosmopolitan (which she showed up to wearing a fanny pack and a vintage Siegfried and Roy tee, natch). In fact, Pedretti had resigned herself to taking up a regular day job like the rest of us before Netflix came calling.

Neither cynical about the business nor overly invested in it, Pedretti's Instagram account isn't populated with drool-worthy aspirational shots of her abs or peppered with sponsored posts; it's barely used, which is unheard of for a young starlet such as herself. Likewise, when Pedretti spotted Mad Men star Jon Hamm in a restaurant, she was so starstruck she walked into a wall.

She's so open about who she is and completely unfazed by her quickly elevating position in La La Land that Pedretti told the Cosmopolitan interviewer plainly, "Honestly, if you and I were just hanging out, I'd tell you any f***ing thing." And we believe her.

Victoria Pedretti was part of a tiny drama club in high school

Growing up in and around Philadelphia, Victoria Pedretti's passion for the arts was nurtured in a less intense way than those who matriculate in Los Angeles-based institutions geared towards making them The Next Big Thing. As Pedretti explained to W magazine, her public high school "didn't really have a theater program." As for extracurricular activities, well, she was out of luck there too. "We had a drama club but it was barely operating. In my year, I was one of, like, four students in the club," the actress admitted.

A stint in Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama solidified her interest in acting, with Pedretti graduating in 2017. Funnily enough, though, before she finished up, Pedretti was alerted to the existence of You, not realizing how the show would subsequently impact her life. "One of the first auditions I ever had was for the first season ... It was the first callback I ever had for a show. I was still in college and visiting Los Angeles for school because we had a showcase," she explained of the serendipitous occurrence. 

Victoria Pedretti is fully prepared for failure

Although she booked The Haunting of Hill House almost straight out of college, Victoria Pedretti had it tough in her time between graduating Carnegie Mellon and working for Netflix. Even as an established actress, Pedretti is fully aware that her career could come crashing down at any moment. She knew performing was her goal, telling V Magazine, "I was one of those kids who demanded attention," but she is realistic about her life goals regardless. 

As she explained, "[I've known people] who worked their whole lives developing [a craft] that may never support them financially; people who are willing to compromise everything for their art." As a result, although parts came relatively quickly after her move to L.A., she "very much prepared" herself "for going years with never having the opportunity to work in [her] field." Pedretti understands the difference between being passionate and being a starving artist, and she is clear about chasing her artistic pursuits while still being smart.

Victoria Pedretti loves Love unconditionally

Love Quinn is a difficult, complex character — maybe even more so than Joe, as the finale of the second season of Netflix's You showcased. To play her accurately, Victoria Pedretti had to find a way into Love's mind, and, in spite of the character's glaring faults, the actress totally fell for her. As she gushed to The New York Times, "I love Love wholeheartedly," noting, "The things that she does that are difficult, she finds difficult."

Pedretti struggled to empathize with Love, however, admitting to Elle, "Do I want to be the person having sympathy for [her]? I don't know, but I do. I have to, I play her. I am her, to a certain extent. I've embodied that, so I have a strong sense of what's motivating her... She's trying to protect what she has, and what she's allowed to call her own." In spite of everything, as the actress told W, Love is "very self possessed" and Pedretti appreciates that.

Victoria Pedretti was empowered by You, not scared

You has come under fire for glamorizing the behavior of a stalker, particularly given how "dreamy" Gossip Girl's Penn Badgley is despite playing the devious Joe. When questioned by O, The Oprah Magazine about if she gets scared watching, Victoria Pedretti took the opportunity to make a case for why it shouldn't be considered horror in the first place, arguing, "You has some really funny moments that make you think, and challenge your perspective on these scary things that exist in our real world." The actress reasoned it's actually like a wake-up call for female viewers, pointing out, "No one's forcing you to accept sh***y behavior from stupid, creepy men." 

When it came down to it, Pedretti learned a lot from being on the show. "I still felt empowered in You to be careful. Know how to protect yourself. Those people can't scare me," she advised for anybody watching who might have gotten carried away in the so-called romance of obsession. 

Victoria Pedretti frightened herself shooting The Haunting of Hill House

There was plenty for Victoria Pedretti to contend with on The Haunting of Hill House. As Nell, the youngest member of the doomed Crain family, she played both a ghostly apparition and a human in flashbacks. "Yeah, that was really fun! I get to scare people," Pedretti described the experience of being a specter to Decider. 

For one of Nell's biggest jump scares, which occurs mid-fight in a car, the actress dug deep, advising, "When I jump out and scare them, what's in my mind is, 'Shut the f**k up and get over this fight!' It's not about like, 'Boo, boo!' It came from a deeper place and a real need, so that's why it's so loud and like immediate." The actress was so invested in her ghostly side that she got scared shooting that particular sequence. "I knew it was happening [and] I screamed — at myself!" she laughed.

Victoria Pedretti believes women should stop fighting each other

Joe's vengeful ex Candace, who spends much of You's sophomore season trying to punish the man who ruined her life, has an intriguing rapport with Love. As Victoria Pedretti gushed to Glamour, "Her character is so incredible. ... as one of the only sane people who's really fighting for some form of justice. [Love] doesn't really always understand her methods, but she's trying to protect people from this person who wronged her when she doesn't really need to." Although Candace is trying to keep other women from making the same mistake she did, Love doesn't exactly see it that way. 

In reality, though, Pedretti reckons women should join forces more often. "I'm definitely a woman who believes in sisterhood and the important place that women supporting other women plays in the whole movement towards equality," she explained. The actress noted women are an oppressed majority in part because they're constantly fighting. She sees Love's purpose as, "reminding [people] that Joe is benefiting not only from the way in which we are programmed, but also by other people who protect him," which also speaks to the plight of women generally. 

Victoria Pedretti nerded out on set for Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

Victoria Pedretti was lucky enough to appear in a high-profile project from a famous film director ... none other than Quentin Tarantino. "I'd never gotten that far in a film audition before... It was an insane experience," she told V Magazine of the process. Next thing she knew, Pedretti was on set alongside Leonardo DiCaprio.

Appearing in a small role as Manson family member Lulu in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood would be a dream come true regardless, but Pedretti appreciated the experience on another level, too. She recalled, "I'm sitting there between takes, and someone pulls film out of the camera, and my jaw just dropped." Nerding out over the use of actual film stock, the actress enthused, "I was like, 'Oh my God, I forgot [about film cameras!] Is everyone seeing this?!' Just knowing [some films are still shot that way] — that alone was very cool."

Victoria Pedretti tried (and failed) to play it cool with Quentin Tarantino

Working with a legend like Quentin Tarantino was always going to be overwhelming, at least at first, especially as Victoria Pedretti joined the Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood cast midway through the shoot. She told Flaunt, when she was first approached for the role, "I was handed the audition sides with no context of what the story was."

When the time finally arrived to meet the man himself, Pedretti wanted to "play it cool." Recalling the humiliation of not even being able to properly greet her director, she said, "I did everything you shouldn't do when someone tries to give you a handshake. He did the 'dap' handshake that bros do when you smack hands and go down and I can't do that! I don't know what it was but it was awkward as f**k and he ended up just giving me a hug because I failed so miserably."

Why Victoria Pedretti is attracted to darkness

Taking on three dark characters in a row with her work in The Haunting of Hill House, You, and Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood signals that Victoria Pedretti may be more into retreating from the light than basking in it. Although she's quick to point out the differences between characters Nell and Love, in particular, the Philly native is open about her desire to play in the shade. She revealed in an interview with Vanity Fair, "Even my favorite things that are funny are also pretty dark. I think that's just because that reflects life truthfully to me."

Pedretti may eventually transition to lighter fare, but she admitted typical sitcoms might not appeal as they "present really unaccomplishable fantasies that can make you feel s***ty about your life," noting, "Even though they're supposed to lure you into this beautiful false reality in which everything is sunshine and roses and we can go to sleep smiling and dreaming about a perfect tomorrow." 

The actress argued black comedies more accurately reflect "the life we're living in and we can laugh and cry from this place of feeling understood and not feeling alone."

Victoria Pedretti doesn't believe women actually fancy serial killers

With all the headlines surrounding You's resident hot serial killer Joe (not to mention Zac Efron as Ted Bundy in another Netflix production, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile), it makes sense Victoria Pedretti, who plays Joe's love interest, would be asked how she feels about women drooling over murderers in real life. "The idea that people actually want to be with the psychopath and the murderer is a joke. Nobody actually wants to cozy up at night with somebody they know is going out f***ing murdering people. I think it's bulls**t. It's a joke, it's funny," she told Glamour plainly.

However, the actress also recognizes the inherent danger with propagating this kind of behavior, even if only in relation to fictional characters. "It's making other people think that women actually want to do that. I don't like that kind of conversation in which, especially men, think that other people actually are drawn to these qualities in them," she argued.

The surprising challenge Victoria Pedretti faced when playing Love

Prepping to play a character as complicated as You's Love is understandably daunting, but one of the most difficult parts for Victoria Pedretti was finding her inner rich kid. As she told Cosmopolitan, the actress shacked up in trendy Silver Lake, studied socialites, and indulged in snooty L.A. rituals, including following astrology and using the word "yacht" in normal conversation to get a proper feel for the character. 

Pedretti admitted to Variety that the biggest challenge for her overall was getting used to being a Cali girl. "Being in California, understanding that there's a different way of thinking, a different mentality — there are a lot of things that she either chooses to be a part of or not, but she is extremely aware of the environment she's in and how she moves through it and what she likes and doesn't like," she explained. She noted that finding her inner Love, therefore, was all about "mapping that all out and understanding how she relates to this place that is personally foreign to me."

How Victoria Pedretti really felt about You's Season 2 finale

The Season 2 finale of You was a major moment for Love, as she finally revealed her true nature to Joe. It was the highlight of an exciting season of television, but Victoria Pedretti kind of hated watching it — and the reason isn't the one you'd expect. "Even though it's her name, she has a warped sense of what love is," Pedretti explained to Entertainment Weekly in December 2019

Rather than bringing them closer together, Love's darker side confuses Joe. "It really disrupts their relationship. I mean, clearly, with the 'Hey, you' at the end," she said. Pedretti admitted the season finale really affected her, noting, "I hated watching that. I felt so sorry for her." Of Love and Joe's complicated relationship, Pedretti explained to Entertainment Weekly, "After all she goes through, nothing is ever enough, but that's him. He is never satisfied."

Victoria Pedretti doesn't believe in going method

Given the depths of darkness to which Victoria Pedretti is willing to subject herself for her art, it wouldn't be surprising to learn she'd sequestered herself off, Heath Ledger-style, to fully get into Nell's head, or even Love's (though the latter would probably involve plenty of California rays, rather than literal darkness). But this is one actress who's a realist when it comes to performance, extolling the virtues of the fun The Haunting of Hill House set with O, The Oprah Magazine

She explained, "I don't like this bulls**t about people being method and losing their minds over their work. F*** that. No one's getting anything from you abusing your body and your mind." Pedretti sees the performance as making an impact, "no matter what." So, she said, "...We might as well try to be as happy and healthy outside of the imaginary world." To stay healthy, she noted, "You gotta keep it light."

Victoria Pedretti sees acting as a very personal responsibility

Victoria Pedretti takes her craft very seriously. The Netflix star explained to Flaunt, "The thing about being an actor is that nobody tells you what you're supposed to do. You kind of define that for yourself." As Pedretti sees it, acting is her opportunity to communicate with an audience. Regardless of the scale of the project or the depth of the role, Pedretti feels her "responsibility as an actor is to bring characters to life," noting, "Not stereotypes. Not tropes. But to bring true human people to life so that audiences can have their own relationship with them. That's all." 

She further gushed to The New York Times, "I feel incredibly gifted and blessed to have the opportunity to do what I love. I look at every experience as a learning experience." She shared, "Your acting muscle is the muscle of empathy."