New Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why, which is exec produced by Selena Gomez, premiered on the streaming channel last week.
Based on Jay Asher’s 2007 young adult novel, it focuses on Clay (Dylan Minnette), a high school student who receives a set of cassette tapes from his former classmate Hannah (Katherine Langford), who recently died from suicide. On each tape, Hannah explains the reasons for her actions, revealing how several of her classmates hurt her in some way. The story unfolds through Clay and Hannah’s dual narratives, before and after her death. “It’s high school, so you put on a front. Everyone puts on a front,” Langford told TVLine. “Everyone pretends to be someone they’re not, because they want to fit in.”
While she does not act in the show, Selena Gomez was on set for the shooting of the final episode. “She was saying hello to everyone, being super polite and giving us our space,” Langford recalled. “Then when we wrapped, I just remember her coming up to me and giving me the biggest hug. I’m like, ‘I’m so glad I get to meet you’. She was amazing.”
The series is clearly a passion project for Gomez, who was originally going to star, but ultimately stayed behind the camera as executive producer. “I’m just glad I still got to watch it happen,” Gomez said.
Meanwhile, Minnette said of Gomez: “She’s been working this for years, and then to have this finally pieced together is a real achievement for her. It’s infectious, her love for it. It really spread.”
Kate Walsh, known for Private Practice and as Dr Addison Montgomery on Grey’s Anatomy, plays Hannah’s grieving mother. Tom McCarthy (who won an Oscar for Spotlight) directs two episodes and is also on board as executive producer. Tony and Pulitzer Prize Winner Brian Yorkey developed the series.
The 13-part 13 Reasons Why is available on Netflix now.
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