People have been buzzing about Netflix’s latest young adult series, Thirteen Reasons Why, since it debuted on the network March 31 … and for good reason.
Executive produced by Selena Gomez and based on the best-selling novel by Jay Asher, the dramatic episodic centers on teens who experience real-life traumatic events, including sexual assault, bullying, mental illness, and teen suicide.
The “Kill em With Kindness” singer, who has had her own struggles, felt a special connection to main character, Hannah Baker, who decides to take her own life and leave behind 13 cassette tapes to reveal the reasons why she did. “I see myself as Hannah so much … seven years ago I did and even more so today,” Gomez told The Hollywood Reporter.
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“The older I get, the more insecure I get, which is odd. But that’s something a lot of people can relate to,” she continued. “Her personality is a quiet strength. I’ve never really been the one to be in anyone’s face. A lot of girls feel like they have to be a certain way for attention. Social media has amplified all of that. I get that she didn’t want that to be what her life was.”
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“I wanted it to feel like anyone can see themselves in this,” she continued. Back in 2011, Gomez was originally cast to star as Hannah in a film adaptation of the novel, but decided to stay behind the cameras as executive producer of the series instead. “A book is frightening for me because I know the cult following it has, which is the reason why I didn’t want to be in it.”
The series appears to have hit close to home for others, too. It has already racked up quite the following, but there’s no guarantee just yet that there will be a season two. “We don’t know what is going to go beyond it, but we know there are so many stories that lie beneath each character,” Gomez said. “That’s why it became a series in the first place. So we’ll see.”