Talking to the ’13 Reasons Why’ Cast About Stigmas, Storytelling, and Selena

Talking to the '13 Reasons Why' Cast About Stigmas, Storytelling, and Selena

V Magazine   |   Written by Adair Smith

How did you hear about the project and why were you drawn to it?

I read 13 Reasons Why in middle school and the story really resonated with me. It made me realize that there’s a domino effect to everything. When I got the audition for the show, I was so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of an important story.

Selena Gomez is someone who has been so open about her mental health journey. How was it working with her as a producer on the project?

I admire Selena for being transparent about her mental health issues and how she uses her platform to start a conversation and lift the stigma on mental health. She’s genuinely passionate about 13 Reasons Why and she believes in the message behind the show. It’s been a pleasure working with her.

What are some of the biggest similarities and differences between you and your character?

I relate the most to Jessica’s resilience. I would say our biggest difference is that I never had a boyfriend in high school.

What was your favorite part of the show to film?

My first day on set was with Katherine [Langford] and Miles [Heizer] doing our FML scenes. It’s probably my favorite memory because it was such a good introduction to filming 13 Reasons Why.

As soon as the show came out everyone was talking about it. Were you surprised at the response?

I knew the show was going to be popular because of the huge following the book already has, but I had no idea it was going to be this huge! It was definitely exciting to see how quickly people responded to it.

Was the prep any different for this role versus other projects you’ve been a part of, and if so, why?

I did a lot of research when prepping for Jessica. The producers made sure I had enough resources to educate myself on rape survivors. I was able to consult with Rebecca Kaplan from It’s On Us and a psychiatrist that deals specifically with rape survivors.

What would you like to see from season two?

I would love to see Jessica’s road to recovery and justice for Hannah.