Boy and girl smiling at premiere

’13 Reasons Why’ Cast Opens Up About Using Therapy Dogs On Set

13 Reasons Why is the controversial new series that has taken Netflix by storm, and with tons of difficult scenes, the cast had to find a way to cope with their emotions. Luckily, the crew was prepared and provided them with therapy dogs to help take the edge off some of the most intense scenes.

Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah Baker, dealt with some of the most intense scenes in the series, including events that would be classified as traumatic in real life. While she didn’t have to live the scenes, Langford still says she had a heavy burden on her when having to re-enact them. The actress revealed that she bought a piano and put it in her Northern California apartment during filming so that she could decompress on the weekends.

But there were other ways the cast coped with the stress of the show, and some particularly innovative techniques, including using therapy dogs to help keep them calm and grounded during some of the hardest material.

Dylan Minnette, who plays the male lead, Clay Jensen, said that there was one scene that was so difficult for the cast that the crew provided dogs on set to help them decompress during the tough material.

“I know there was one scene, I wasn’t around, but they had therapy dogs on set. There was a puppy per hour. They really tried to help out. The puppies helped. She had the brunt of the emotional stuff. I mean, we all have very emotional parts, but this is about her character,” he said.

Therapy dogs are used in a variety of situations to help people cope with tough times. Some colleges use them for less serious events like helping students de-stress before an exam period. Other times, therapy dogs can be used to comfort kids after a school tragedy. Man’s best friend is also on hand to help children learn to read by helping them gain the confidence to read aloud to them, and dogs are often taken to homes for the elderly to help destress or aid in Alzheimer patients’ therapy by helping them talk about some of their best memories with dogs.

Katherine Langford talked to PopSugar about some of the more intense scenes they had to deal with on the set, and how the cast handled it.

“We always read a new script at a table read, and once we hit episode nine, there was silence. That’s when we realised what we were doing was important. That’s the moment that’s kind of ingrained in my head as, “This is really important.” We cover so many intense issues. I also want to reiterate how much support was there for me. When I was shooting with Justin Prentice, who plays Bryce, there’s a scene we do in episode 12 which is physically hard to do, just as a human being. I feel like so much of Hannah’s life, especially the last five episodes, is so tragic that you just have to put that shock aside and get through it. It’s only been after the show and after wrapping that I’ve gone, wow, we really did handle some really heavy stuff. I’m really proud of how we handle it, because as you said we don’t shy away from them,” she said.

Though some suicide prevention groups have slammed 13 Reasons Why for glamorizing teen suicide, many other critics have given it high praise for tackling real issues adolescents face head on. The show has been groundbreaking for Netflix and one of its most popular series in history.

While there is no word on a Season 2, the cast is certainly hopeful.

[Featured Image by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Netflix/AP Images]

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