13 Reasons Why is Netflix’s latest binge hit, and its must-see streaming status is no surprise considering the series got a significant boost from a pop superstar. The teen drama, based on Jay Asher’s 2007 young adult book of the same name, was executive produced by Selena Gomez, who says the project has been close to her heart for years.
In an interview with CNN, Gomez revealed that 13 Reasons Why was a labor of love for her.
“I was very loyal to the project for 7 years,” Gomez told CNN at the 13 Reasons Why premiere. “I got a little controlling…When we first started working on this, I told my mom that I’m definitely harder at being a producer. I was a little more defensive. You get nervous, you don’t know if people are going to like something.”
She needn’t have worried. 13 Reasons Why is already getting rave reviews. Selena took to Instagram to express gratitude at seeing 13 Reasons Why come to life on the small screen.
“After 7 years of holding onto this book, I couldn’t of picked a better time for this message to exist,” Gomez wrote. “Jay Asher wrote a beautifully tragic, compelling story and we were lucky to have brought it to life. Thank you to every single soul that put their heart into this passion project.”
Our show @13reasonswhy came out tonight and I couldn't be more overwhelmed with pride and joy. After 7 years of holding onto this book, I couldn't of picked a better time for this message to exist. Jay Asher wrote a beautifully tragic, compelling story and we were lucky to have brought it to life. Thank you to every single soul that put their heart into this passion project
A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on
13 Reasons Why is the story of a teen girl named Hannah (Katherine Langford), who leaves behind a series of 13 cassette tapes that explain why she committed suicide. The tapes are dispersed to the people that made her life miserable.
Newcomer Katherine Langford told People both teens and adults can relate to the message in the show, which tackles bullying, LGBT issues, sexual assault, and of course, teen suicide.
“Everything that we do within the show is something that’s happening, has happened or is something that someone can relate too,” Langford said. “What I’m proud about is that we did not shy away from that. A lot of shows and movies that have tried to represent teenagers or the chaos that is coming at that age, they shy away from it, romanticize it or they kind of fantasize what it’s like to be a teenager. “
Still, the project wasn’t an easy sell for all of its stars. In an interview with TV Guide, Kate Walsh, who plays Hannah’s grieving mother on the series, revealed she initially considered passing on the project because the subject matter is so heavy.
“It was really appealing to me, [but] I really did consider it very seriously because it’s so heavy — my character, what she goes through — that I was like, do I want to put myself in that place for seven months?” Walsh admitted. “But I thought it’s such an important subject, between teen suicide, the LGBTQ issues, bullying, sexual assault, all of it, that I was like, ‘No, I have to be a part of this.'”
Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay Jensen, one of Hannah’s classmates and the recipient of the audio recordings, said Gomez came in at the end of production and welcomed everyone to the project.
“I think she just let the people who were physically making this, make it, and she just really put a lot of trust in us in that way,” Minnette said. “She came at the end, and as soon as she came was so warm and so welcoming and passionate about it, and made us feel so at home… She’s amazing.”
Ahead of the 13 Reasons Why Netflix debut, several of the show’s stars, including Dylan Minnette, Christian Navarro, Ross Butler, and Tommy Dorfman, hit social media to celebrate the premiere of the project. In addition, 13 Reasons Why author Jay Asher gave the Netflix adaption a thumbs up.
I'm really proud of 13 Reasons Why, and I hope that you enjoy it and love it as much as I already do. I'd love to know your thoughts.— Dylan Minnette (@dylanminnette) March 30, 2017
Shook from the loving and supportive reactions to @13reasonswhy ???????????????? so grateful to be a part of this powerful and pertinent show— Tommy Dorfman (@tommydorfman) April 1, 2017
So very proud of my 13 Reasons family. They fill me with love and laughter and I hope you enjoy our show as much as we enjoyed making it. ❤— Christian Navarro (@ChristianLN0821) March 31, 2017
Just wanted to say, before the avalanche of posts I'm about to share from last night's premiere, that it all wouldn't be possible without this immensely talented, passionate, and beautiful person. Thank you, @selenagomez for everything you stand for and allowing me to come on this journey. #13ReasonsWhy is now live on #Netflix! Watchwatchwatch
A post shared by Ross Butler (@rossbutler) on
All 13 episodes of 13 Reasons Why are now available on Netflix.
Take a look at the video below to see the official trailer for 13 Reasons Why.
[Featured Image by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images]