Selena Gomez’s latest project for Netflix is about a girl who takes her own life, and the songstress admits the story hits close to home. Jay Asher’s novel, 13 Reasons Why, tells the story of Hannah Baker who commits suicide, but before ending her life, she records 13 tapes and sends them to her high school classmates who in one way or another played a crucial role in her death.
The 24-year-old, who served as the show’s executive producer, said through The Hollywood Reporter that she was dealing with her personal battles when filming for 13 Reasons Why began.
“I was actually going through a really difficult time when they started production. I went away for 90 days, and I actually met tons of kids in this place that we’re talking about a lot of the issues that these characters are experiencing.”
In August, the former Disney actress took a step away from the limelight to concentrate on her health. She previously announced that her struggle with lupus caused anxiety and depression, which was why she wanted to take some time off to take care of her health and happiness. Selena had to cancel the rest of her Revival tour, and as per reports, she checked into a Tennessee facility.
Even if she already returned from the break, the “Who Says” songstress admits that she still cannot stand social media. Some might find her perspective odd because Selena is 2016’s Most Followed Celebrity on Instagram. Nonetheless, Vanity Fair once reported that Selena’s low-key attitude and her not trying to project a “Queen Bee or big-time movie star” image are some of the reasons why both fans and brands adore her.
The Wizards of Waverly Place actress hopes that the new Netflix show can stir conversations about alarming topics that young people face these days.
“My hope for 13 Reasons Why is… they can have these conversations about these incredibly difficult and really life-or-death topics without starting from the place of fear or having to protect their own secrets.”
Netflix already released the first batch of photos from the new series. Katherine Langford is Hannah; Kate Walsh is her mother; Miles Heizer is Hannah’s former pal, Alex, while Dylan Minnette is her classmate, Clay.
Producers originally planned for Selena to play Hannah, but when the casting decision did not push through, the “Hands to Myself” hit maker remained determined to be involved in the series. She became its executive producer together with her mother, Mandy Teefey.
She emphasized that 13 Reasons Why “definitely hits home” especially for someone like her who “grew up in the biggest high school in the world – the Disney Channel.” After all, many Disney childhood stars have succumbed to the industry’s untamed side.
“This is what [kids] need to see. They have to see something that’s going to shake them. They have to see something that’s frightening.” she remarked. Even if she did not get to play Hannah, she is satisfied. Selena claims that she “can’t picture anybody else playing Hannah but Katherine.”
Oscar winner Tom McCarthy directed 13 Reasons Why. He said in the same press junket that the series is a dark high school tale – something that young people wouldn’t find “condescending or easy.”
Jay, on the other hand, is pleased with how the adaptation of his book came out. He called the project “perfect.”
“It was very scary at times. It is an author’s dream but at the same time, you feel so protective of it. But I just trusted them so much and it turned out amazing. As an author, I could not be happier.”
13 Reasons Why premieres on March 31.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]