13 Reasons Why (2017) | 10 Facts That Will Make You Watch The Full Movie
13 Reasons Why (stylized onscreen as TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY) is an American teen drama web television series developed for Netflix by Brian Yorkey, based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
The series revolves around seventeen year old high school student, Clay Jensen, and his deceased female friend Hannah Baker, who has committed suicide after failing to cope with the culture, gossip and lack of support from her friends and her school. A box of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah in the lead up to her suicide detail thirteen reasons why she ended her life.
The series is produced by July Moon Productions, Kicked to the Curb Productions, Anonymous Content and Paramount Television, with Yorkey and Diana Son serving as showrunners.
Dylan Minnette stars as Clay, while Katherine Langford plays Hannah. Christian Navarro, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, Justin Prentice, Miles Heizer, Ross Butler, Devin Druid, Amy Hargreaves, Derek Luke, Kate Walsh, and Brian d’Arcy James also star.
A film from Universal Pictures based on Thirteen Reasons Why began development in February 2011, with Selena Gomez set to star as Hannah, before being shelved in favor of a television series and Netflix ordering the show straight to series in October 2015, with Gomez instead serving as an executive producer.
The first season was released on Netflix on March 31, 2017. It received positive reviews from critics and audiences, who praised its subject matter and acting, particularly the performances of Minnette and Langford. For her performance, Langford received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Drama Series.
However, its graphic depiction of issues such as suicide and rape, along with other mature content prompted concerns from mental health professionals. In response, Netflix added a warning card and from March 2018, a video that plays at the start of each season warning viewers about its themes.
In May 2017, Netflix renewed 13 Reasons Why for a second season; filming began the next month and concluded that December. The second season was released on May 18, 2018, and received negative reviews from critics. A third season was ordered in June 2018 and is set to be released in 2019.
Critical and audience reaction to the series has been divided, with the program generating controversy between audiences and industry reviewers.
Cast and characters
Dylan Minnette as Clay Jensen, a close friend of Hannah who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her.
Katherine Langford as Hannah Baker, a teenager whose suicide and recorded audio cassettes spark the events of the series. (seasons 1–2)
Christian Navarro as Tony Padilla, Clay’s best friend at Liberty High who tries to help him deal with Hannah’s death.
Alisha Boe as Jessica Davis, a student who starts attending Liberty High at the same time as Hannah.
Brandon Flynn as Justin Foley, a student at Liberty High who comes from an abusive family and is in a relationship with Jessica.
Justin Prentice as Bryce Walker, a student from a rich family and the captain of the football team at Liberty High.
Miles Heizer as Alex Standall, a student at Liberty High, the ex-boyfriend of Jessica and a former friend of Hannah.
Ross Butler as Zach Dempsey, a cowardly but kindhearted friend of Justin and Bryce at Liberty High.
Devin Druid as Tyler Down, a bullied student at Liberty High and an avid photographer.
Amy Hargreaves as Lainie Jensen, Clay’s attorney mother.
Derek Luke as Kevin Porter, a guidance counselor at Liberty High.
Kate Walsh as Olivia Baker, Hannah’s mother, who is determined to uncover the truth about the events leading to her daughter’s suicide.
Brian d’Arcy James as Andy Baker, Hannah’s father and Olivia’s husband. (season 2; recurring season 1)
Christian Navarro had to learn to drive and get his license before filming started to be able to drive the red Ford Mustang seen in the series.
On the “Thirteen Reasons Why” book website, you can listen to the entire series of recorded tapes. They’re quite eerie, but they play out in an interesting (and spoiler-filled!) way.
Neither Katherine Langford (Hannah) nor Dylan Minnette (Clay) had read the book “Thirteen Reasons Why” before being cast to star in the series. Langford read it in between being cast and filming, but Minette didn’t want to confuse the character in the book with the character in the show, so he didn’t read it.
Katherine Langford (Hannah) auditioned for both the roles of Hannah and Jessica, before she landed the former.
Jay Asher originally wanted to title the book “Baker’s Dozen: The Autobiography of Hannah Baker.” A baker’s dozen is one more than a normal dozen, or 13.
Originally supposed to be a movie. But in order to fit Hannah’s whole story, it was turned into a T.V. series.
Jay Asher was inspired to write the book when a family member tried to commit suicide. Some of the events that happen to Hannah are events that happened to teen girls in real life. He interviewed his wife and female colleagues for things that were hard or things they have never gotten over.
Tony’s (Christian Navarro) cross tattoo on his wrist contains a semicolon, which is the symbol for depression and suicide awareness.
Katherine Langford (Hannah) purchased a piano while staying in San Rafael, California during filming. She would play it to help comfort herself between takes when feelings would become overly intense.
Scenes that take place prior to Hannah’s (Katherine Langford) suicide tend to have a warm color palette; those that occur after are cooler in tone.
Shooting was so difficult, they had therapy dogs visit the set. The series covers many heavy issues, including depression, suicide, and sexual assault, to name a few, so naturally the stars would need cheering up every once in awhile. “I know there was one scene, I wasn’t around, but they had therapy dogs on set. There was a puppy per hour,” Dylan Minnette recalled in a recent interview.
Author Jay Asher was fine with the differences between the book and Netflix series, stating “the message is what matters most.”
While the series contains many character interactions in the present, the book does not. The book deals mostly in the past.
Kate Walsh did a lot of prep to get into her role. She tried to make her performance as Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) mother as honorable as she could. “I spoke to two parents that had a child that died by suicide and I spoke to a psychiatrist, who deals with family therapists, but particularly with families that lost someone in the family to suicide,” she told E! News.
The sets for Monet’s Cafe, Baker’s Drugstore and The Crestmont were all built on location in empty stores in downtown Vallejo, California within a few blocks of each other.
After reading the book the series is based on, Selena Gomez, along with her mother Mandy Teefey and producer Kristel Laiblin, brought the book to producing company Anonymous Content for a screen adaptation. Gomez was previously attached to star in the project back in 2012 when it was still set up as a film at Universal.
The New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification created a new certificate (rating) of RP18 (restricted to persons under 18 unless accompanied by a parent or guardian) specifically for the series.
Alex (Miles Heizer) has a Joy Division poster on his wall, whose lead singer died by suicide. Also, the cassette Tony (Christian Navarro) plays for Clay (Dylan Minnette) when he’s driving him home in the first episode is Joy Division.
Many of the cast members met with specialists and psychologists to learn and understand their characters’ situations.
Reportedly, Katherine Langford was cast for the role of Hannah Baker through a Skype audition.
The reason Clay (Dylan Minnette) had the scar on his head was so you could know whether we were seeing the past or the present.
Selena Gomez was originally attached to earlier film attempts as early as 2011, however after multiple delays she had grown too old for the role and thus serves as an executive producer for this project.
The song that Clay (Dylan Minnette) and Hannah (Katherine Langford) dance to is “The Night We Met” by Lord Huron from their album, “Strange Trails”.
The character Skye is played by Sosie Bacon, who is the daughter of actor Kevin Baconand actress Kyra Sedgwick.
The actress who plays Hannah, Katherine Langford, is Australian and carried out her entire role faking an American accent.
Ross Butler was cast in the show Riverdale (2016) at the same time. When season 2 for both shows were announced, he felt doing 2 shows at once was too much and dropped out of Riverdale (2016) so he could focus mainly on 13 Reasons Why (2017).
After wrapping production, Selena Gomez, Alisha Boe (Jessica), and Tommy Dorfman(Ryan) all got matching tattoos on their forearms of a subtle black semicolon, which represents and symbolizes mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
The character of Skye (Sosie Bacon) is a amalgamation of two people from the novel, a friend of Clay’s named Skye, who is a social outcast, and an unnamed Coffee house waitress, who knows Clay but Clay does not remember.
The winter formal scene took over a week to shoot because the crew wanted so many different camera angles and wanted to capture so many plot points.
The post punk band Joy Division is featured throughout the series such as in the tape Tony (Christian Navarro) plays in his car and the poster on Alex’s (Miles Heizer) bedroom wall. The band’s lyrical themes include that of self loathing and coming to terms with death, culminating in the real life suicide of frontman Ian Curtis on May 18, 1980, at the age of 23.
The show filmed high school exteriors (and some interiors) at an actual high school in Sebastopol, California, called Analy High School. Like real-life Analy, Liberty High School shares the same mascot, the Tigers.
In the book, Sheri’s (Ajiona Alexus) character does not exist, or at least not under the name of Sheri. Instead, the character goes by the name of Jenny.
The nail polish Hannah (Katherine Langford) is wearing the day she dies and uses to write on the tapes is Sinful Colors Endless Blue.
Every time Clay (Dylan Minnette) is thinking of Hannah (Katherine Langford) and there is a flashback, the scene is brighter than in regular time in the show . This has been done to signify that she is the light of the show and when she is not on camera the scene is a lot darker, signifying the unhappiness that’s in the scene.
Second season announced on May 7, 2017.
The name Clay has symbolic meaning because in the story he will continue to be reshaped in many ways, just like Clay (Dylan Minnette). By telling her story, Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) “bakes” Clay into the person he becomes.
Although Selena Gomez was an executive producer, she was only on set for the last day of filming because she was also on a world tour at the time. In an interview, Dylan Minnette(Clay) and Katherine Langford (Hannah) said she was very involved through email the entire filming process, and when she arrived for the last day, it was like she had been there the whole time.
Dylan Minnette (Clay) had a dialogue with producer Brian Yorkey from the get-go about what songs should be on the soundtrack. “I love that he was so open and it was very much a collaboration. There are so many artists on the soundtrack that I’m so proud of. And Clay’s room is filled with posters of my favorite bands. There are other artists that I would love to have in there, but they aren’t artists that I feel Clay would listen to.”
The name Hannah is a palindrome that represents the two sides of the tapes she records.
Scenes that include Hannah Baker, played by Katherine Langford, have been overlaid with a yellow tint in post production.
Katherine Langford (Hannah) didn’t actually read the book before making the show. “I hadn’t read the book prior,” she told RadioTimes.com. “I think if I had, I probably would have put a lot more pressure on myself because it’s a book that so many people identify with and are protective of.”
Interiors for the school classrooms and hallways were filmed on-location at an actual school for the first two episodes, until the show’s Set Construction crew could catch up. For the remainder of the show, school interiors were filmed in an exact replica of Analy High School built on a soundstage, to accommodate easier filming logistics.
The first season was filmed in the San Francisco Bay Area during the summer and fall of 2016 concurrently with the Hulu series, Chance (2016).
Executive producer, Selena Gomez, performed a song for the series called ‘Only You,’ a cover of a song by Yazoo.
This is the second project Dylan Minnette has done where his love interest is named Hannah. The other one is Goosebumps (2015).
Alisha Boe (Jessica), Ross Butler (Zach) and Henry Zaga all had cameos on MTV’s Teen Wolf (2011).
Alisha Boe (Jessica Davis) appeared briefly in an episode of Parenthood (2010) in 2012. Miles Heizer (Alex Standall) had a main role on the show as Drew Holt.
Brandon Flynn (Justin) and Alisha Boe (Jessica) were room mates while filming season 2 of the show.
Kate Walsh and Dylan Minnette have both played characters on the show Grey’s Anatomy. Kate Walsh played Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd, whereas Dylan Minnette played a young child who needed an ear replacement transplant.
The show has an age rating of 18, in the UK, for a graphic suicide scene, sexual violence, and strong language.
Justin Prentice (Bryce) plays another high school jock/bully named Bryce in the TV series Those Who Can’t (2016). Additionally, he played Lauren Potter’s (Becky Jackson’s) love interest in Glee (2009).
In episode 1.2, 13 Reasons Why: Tape 1, Side B (2017), at the coffee shop Hannah (Katherine Langford) and Jess (Alisha Boe) ask Alex (Miles Heizer) about a new picture on the wall. He first says it looks like a bleeding man. Dylan Minnette (Clay) has a real life band and one of their songs is “Bleeding Man”.
Towards the end of the season 1 finale (13 Reasons Why: Tape 7, Side A (2017)), a song by Selena Gomez is played in the background. Selena Gomez is an executive producer for this show and was originally cast as Hannah when the project was a movie from Universal.
Clay’s (Dylan Minnette) last name is Jensen, and Jensen is a brand of cassette player. The show revolves around listening to cassette tapes.
This is the first collaboration between Tom McCarthy and Brian d’Arcy James since Spotlight (2015).
Wilson Cruz (Dennis Vasquez) played Ricky, one of the lead characters in another ground breaking teenage drama, My So-Called Life (1994). Coincidentally Ricky’s last name was also Vasquez.
Second time Alisha Boe and Ross Butler have worked together – previously they appeared in two episodes of Teen Wolf (2011) together.
Jason Pagan was rumored to play the lead role of Clay. Ultimately, Dylan Minnette was cast instead.
The second season completed principal photography between June 12, 2017 and December 17, 2017. This included a two week pause in filming during Northern California wildfires in October 2017.
Both Miles Heizer (Alex) and Keiko Agena (Mrs. Bradley) have worked with Lauren Graham. Heizer played her son, Drew, in Parenthood (2010) and Agena played her daughter Rory’s best friend, Lane, in Gilmore Girls (2000).
This is the second time Dylan Minnette has portrayed a character named Clay in a TV series. The first time was in Saving Grace (2007).
Author Jay Asher graduated from San Luis Obispo High School whose mascot is the same as Liberty High School in the series, the Tigers.
13 Reasons Why creator Brian Yorkey wrote the book for Broadway musical “Next to Normal” in which Brian d’Arcy James (Andy Baker) starred as Dan, the father of a teenage girl.
Alisha Boe (Jessica Davis) and Ross Butler (Zach Dempsey) also appeared together on two episodes of Teen Wolf (2011) as Gwen & Nathan respectively.
Miles Heizer (Alex) previously worked with producer Selena Gomez on Rudderless (2014), although they did not share the screen together.
Based off the book “Thirteen Reasons Why”, by JJay Asher.
Steven Weber (Principal Gary Bolan) & Justin Prentice (Bryce Walker) both appeared in episode 2.17, iZombie: Reflections of the Way Liv Used to Be (2016) of iZombie (2015) as Vaughn Du Clark and Brody Johnson respectively.
Dylan Minnette (Clay) has played a character named Clay twice (Saving Grace (2007), and 13 Reasons Why) and has been in three different acting roles where his character interacted with a character named Hannah (Awake (2012), Goosebumps (2015), and 13 Reasons Why).
Justin Prentice (Bryce Walker) previously played another character by the name of Bryce in four episodes of Those Who Can’t (2016).
Dylan Minnette was in an episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, in which he plays a young boy without ears. He asks Dr. Grey to help him get some. Kate Walsh, who plays Hannah Baker’s mom, was also on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. It could be said that Clay was asking for ears so he could listen to Olivia’s daughter’s tapes. Mark Pellegrino, who plays Alex’s father, was also in an episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.
Amy Hargreaves (Lainie Jensen) & Jake Weber (Barry Walker) both worked on four episodes of Homeland (2011) together as Maggie Mathison & Brett O’Keefe respectively.
Alisha Boe (Jessica), Ross Butler (Zach), Henry Zaga (Brad), and Samantha Logan (Nina) have all previously starred in MTV’s Teen Wolf.
Will Walker (Jeffrey Vincent Parise) and Deputy Standall (Mark Pellegrino) both starred together in Supernatural as Asmodeus and Lucifer, respectively.
a cover of the song “The Killing Moon” by Roman Remains is played on 13 Reasons Why: Tape 6, Side B (2017) (Bryce Walker’s tape) ,the original song by Echo & The Bunnymenis also played on 13 Reasons Why: Bryce and Chloe (2018) (Bryce Walker’s court day).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The book which the series is based on, Jay Asher’s “Thirteen Reasons Why”, focuses almost solely on Clay’s personal experience listening to the tapes, and his feelings about what he hears. He does not seek revenge on the students Hannah blames for her suicide, and there is no lawsuit, or full storyline about the Baker family. Also, he only realizes Tony is the one who has the other set of tapes when he, Clay, is going to stop listening before hearing his own, and Tony intervenes, exposing himself, in order to get him to keep listening; it does not occur near the start of the story, like in the series; it’s a surprise reveal.
The author (Jay Asher) considered Hannah (Katherine Langford) surviving the suicide but ultimately changed his mind, thinking the original darker ending had more of an impact, and would help raise awareness for suicide.
Jeff (Brandon Larracuente) is only seen in flashbacks and never in the present day, which gives a clue of his death before it’s actually shown.
In episode 1.8, 13 Reasons Why: Tape 4, Side B (2017), near the end of the episode when Clay (Dylan Minnette) is looking for his old copy of the school zine in lost and found, you can see a book on his shelf titled “Broken Symmetry.” Broken symmetry is a physics term which describes a phenomenon in which small fluctions to a system ultimately decide its fate. This also describes Hannah’s (Katherine Langford) story and how everyone’s actions, or inactions, lead to her decision to commit suicide.
When talking to Clay (Dylan Minnette), Alex (Miles Heizer) says that he listened to the tapes all in one night. In the book that is how long it takes Clay to listen to the tapes.
In the book, Hannah (Katherine Langford) commits suicide by overdosing on pills. In the show, she gets into a full tub, fully clothed, slits her wrists, and bleeds to death. The crew filmed it like this to send a clear message about suicide prevention.
At the beginning of the series when Clay (Dylan Minnette) is first listening to the tapes, Mr Porter (Derek Luke) asks what he’s listening to. His reply is ‘Ultravox’. In the last episode when Hannah (Katherine Langford) leaves Mr Porter’s office, “Vienna” by Ultravox is played.
It is implied Alex (Miles Heizer) shot himself and he also complained about stomach pains. This mirrors Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide by shooting himself and had similar undiagnosed stomach pains.
While confronting Bryce (Justin Prentice), Clay (Dylan Minnette) has a T-shirt that says “Hero”, in allusion to his role in the story.
In the novel Hannah considers suicide by a gun shot and hanging, before ultimately choosing pills.
The order of the tapes is slightly different in the book. Alex is #2 and Jessica is #3, they are the reverse on the show. Clay is #9 (11 on the show), followed by Justin #10 (9 on the show) and Jenny Kurtz #11 (10 on the show and the character’s name was changed to Sheri Holland). Most of the story points are the same with the exception of Courtney Crimsen (Michele Selene Ang), whose story is completely different from the novel.
In the beginning of the first episode, 13 Reasons Why: Tape 1, Side A (2017), after Clay (Dylan Minnette) accepts Tony’s (Christian Navarro) offer for a ride home, Tony asks Clay if he can play him a cassette tape. In the novel, Tony uses this ploy with everyone else, prior to Clay, who’s on the tapes in order to gauge if they’ve listened to them or not. This scene, between Tony and Clay, is not in the novel. In the novel Tony realizes Clay has the tapes after Clay steals his walkman. During the episode, as Clay reacts normally when shown the cassette tape, Tony knows Clay hasn’t listened to the tapes yet.
The character of Jeffrey (Brandon Larracuente), the senior Clay (Dylan Minnette) tutors, does not appear in the novel. In the novel, the senior involved in the car crash during Sheri’s (Ajiona Alexus) tape (Jenny in the novel) is unnamed and has no past friendship with Clay.
In the novel, Tony Christian Navarro isn’t gay and neither are Courtney’s Michele Selene Ang parents.
in the novel by Jay Asher, Clay doesn’t have a conversation about Hannah with Mr. Porter Derek Luke , although he did send the tapes to him and Sheri Ajiona Alexus (Jenny) in the book.
in the novel tape 4, side A, instead of leaving a note to Zach Ross Butler as in the show, Hannah instead takes her bag off the rack and reattach it with a tiny piece of duct tape, and as Zach reaches for her note, the bag falls off.
Anne Winters (Chloe) and Samantha Logan (Nina) both previously guest starred on Freeform’s The Fosters as Kelsey and Tia, respectively.