’13 Reasons Why’ Star Justin Prentice On Playing The Villain, Doesn’t Believe Series Glories Rape

Katherine Langford has been praised for her ability to take on the challenging role of Hannah Baker in 13 Reasons Why, but one could argue Justin Prentice deserves just as much of an applause. Justin Prentice recently opened up to PEOPLE about his decision to take on the role of the villain and arguably most hated character of the series – Bryce.

Warning: May contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched 13 Reasons Why Season 1.

Who is Bryce?

Bryce is a character in 13 Reasons Why that most would describe as viler than anyone else in the show. In fact, he committed not one, but two counts of rape – with two different girls – during Season 1 of 13 Reasons Why. Given his personality and his level of comfort with the act, most would assume it wasn’t the first and wouldn’t be the last time Bryce raped someone.

Justin Prentice – who took on the challenging role of Bryce – revealed that a great deal of research went into making sure he portrayed the character properly.

“I had a psychiatrist and a sexual assault expert on speed dial.”

It was towards the end of the 13-episode Season of 13 Reasons Why that the audience learned Bryce raped Hannah Baker during a party when they were alone in a hot tub together.

Justin Prentice told PEOPLE he had to force himself to get into the mindset of a rapist in order to fully prepare to play the role of Bryce. He claimed it was the only way he would be able to understand how they were capable of committing such awful acts. According to Prentice, it was a combination of lack of education and arrogance that drives people like his character Bryce to commit acts of sexual assault.

“They’re not properly educated on what consent is and what sex should look like and what a healthy relationship should look like.”

Justin also took the interview with PEOPLE as an opportunity to give his opinion on whether or not 13 Reasons Why glorifies suicide. The actor firmly stands behind the writer’s decision to show the audience exactly how Hannah Baker ended her life. Prentice noted that suicide is both a dark and brutal thing. The actor just did not feel like it would have done the series the right amount of justice to not show the suicide as it would have sent off the message of “suicide is easy,” and it isn’t.

“It is hard to watch, it is very difficult, but suicide’s difficult.”

Justin Prentice also teased that justice would be coming for Bryce during Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why.

Justin Prentice, Katherine Langford, Dylan Minnette and Devin Druid attend Netflix kick-off event

Do you think it was hard for Prentice to take on the role of such a vile character? Should he be given an applause for his ability to play the character so well?

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