Last week I saw the Netflix 13 Reasons Why cast at the FYC event in Beverly Hills. FYC, for your consideration, events are held so that those who can vote on the Emmy awards can make informed decisions. For some of these events, non-guild members can get a free ticket to attend. However, guild members get priority entrance so there’s a chance that you won’t make it inside the event.
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The event began with a screening of episode 11. If you have not watched 13 Reasons Why I need to warn you that this post will contain spoilers. So, if you would not like to know what happens you will need to stop reading here.
Prior to this event, I watched the first season of 13 Reasons Why. The show had an impact on me and I truly hope that it has a powerful impact on other people too. Following the screening of episode 11 Tom McCarthy, Dylan Minniette, Katherine Langford, Kate Walsh, and Brian Yorkey. Tom is an executive producer of the show who also directed the first two episodes. Dylan and Katherine play the two main characters, Clay and Hannah. Kate plays Hannah’s Mom on the show and Brian is the showrunner.
Jenelle Riley from Variety moderated the q&a with the cast & crew. Her first question was what was the first project that made you feel like you could call yourself an actor. For Katherine, 13 Reasons Why was that project for her because it is the first big thing that she has ever done. They talked about the audition process. Dylan received an email and began a standard audition process. He was surprised that they kept calling him back and he even mentioned that he was surprised to be at the event. Katherine is from Australia and received an email and a request to submit a self-taped audition. After her first audition was well-received Tom skyped with her to finish the casting process.
Katherine and Dylan did not meet until the night before filming began. They met at the hotel where the cast and crew were staying. Jenelle asked Tom and Bryan how they knew Katherine and Dylan would be good together if they never had a chemistry read. Bryan shared that they didn’t know it would work. However, he said, “good actors tend to have chemistry together”. This is such a great reminder that sometimes you just have to take a risk and in cases like this, the risk is successful. My favorite scenes from the series are with Katherine and Dylan.
Kate shared that her research for her role as Hannah’s Mom involved speaking with a psychiatrist and parents whose children committed suicide. Her main concern and objective were to honor and be faithful for parents who have had to endure the unimaginable. They were asked what the hardest scene to film was and Kate was very honest to say that the entire process was hard. Dylan shared that the emotions took a toll on everyone. That doesn’t just include the actors, the crew was also heavily impacted by the material.
It was emotional for me to listen to Katherine share about filming Hannah’s final scene. She shared that Hannah went from being so full of life to being diminished to someone who isn’t full of life. When she was filming her final scene she had the memory of living through someone’s life vicariously for six months. Katherine saw what Hannah went through and that she’s a person and these are real issues. Even though she always knew how the story would end she kept thinking “Hannah, I don’t want you to do it.” I get so much out of these events as a fan, but I get even more out of them as an actor.
Bryan shared that they have been surprised by the level and number of how many people who have responded to the show. The book has saved lives so when filming began Bryan shared with the cast and the crew that this show has the potential to save lives just as the book has done.
Following the q&a both Katherine and Dylan took the time to meet as many fans as they could. Filming for Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why begins this week and I cannot wait to watch it once it is released on Netflix. If you have never watched the show I recommend adding it to your must-watch list.