Dylan Minnette Talks 13 Reasons Why, Selena Gomez and Music Career
BY: KERRIS DORSEY
KERRIS: Were you surprised by the response to 13 Reasons Why, or did you expect it?
DYLAN: We were all hoping for a big audience but we never expected anything. The response has been slightly overwhelming, just because there’s a large amount of people watching… judging off of the Internet, people coming up to me, and just things that I hear. I’m thrilled with it, and everyone on the show is.
KERRIS: Is it weird that people just binge it and they’re done in two days, and you’re just, “Oh my god, that is my life for half of a year.”
DYLAN: It honestly is very weird. I worked over six and a half months, just as everybody did. And the fact that everyone can just watch it all in a day… But hey, it’s out there forever and new people will be watching it forever, so it is a long lasting product.
KERRIS: Whenever Clay got frustrated, I felt like it was Dylan in a lot of ways, but then there are parts of him that were so different from you. Is there another character you share some qualities in?
DYLAN: Tony or Jeff. Those guys are very, very good guys at heart and everybody should try to be more like Tony and Jeff, especially Jeff. A helpful Yoda, a classic term thanks to Brian Yorkey.
KERRIS: Clay is the one we kind of follow throughout the story, even though Hannah’s obviously the narrator and it’s largely her story. How do you think it shapes the story being through Clay’s eyes?
DYLAN: Over the series, you see more and more how much Clay cared about her and how much he loved her. By seeing their relationship grow, it only helps you love Hannah that much more and and wish she doesn’t do what she’s ultimately going to do even more. The majority of viewers can find themselves halfway through, hoping that in the end she doesn’t take her life, when you know what the outcome is. By the end, you’re yelling at the screen, “Don’t do it, don’t do it.” You know what’s going to happen. It gives you hope. Clay is keeping her alive in that way, just by trying to bring her justice and keep her memory around for the better.
KERRIS: It makes you feel so heartbroken that you’re watching this beautiful love story unfold. And at the same time, you know that it doesn’t have a happy ending. You can’t do anything but feel it and love it, and feel it so intensely.
DYLAN: Yeah, if you just took the flashbacks of Clay and Hannah, it would just be, besides Romeo and Juliet, the saddest, little, most awkward, tragic love story ever.
KERRIS: You have a lot of beautiful emotional scenes. Did you feel intimidated when you read them in the script, and how did they change when you actually filmed them?
DYLAN: I always feel really intimidated reading anything I have to do on the page. Even though, he worst thing for me, the hardest thing is to laugh. If it says, “Clay laughs uncontrollably,” I’m stressed for the whole couple weeks leading up to filming that scene. It’s impossible for me, I cannot fake laugh no matter what. But, funnily enough, Brian Yorkey, the showrunner, I feel like every time I would tell him something that I’m afraid of doing, the next week sure enough that would be in it. Brian just kept challenging me. It was evil, but in a great way because I’ve never had this prominent, this important of a character to play before.
KERRIS: You’ve said you read the book after having filmed the show because you wanted your Clay to be different.
DYLAN: I’m thankful that I didn’t read ’till afterwards just because I was Clay for so long, and then reading it, it just… I felt like I was inside the book and I felt responsible and I felt how you’re supposed to feel when you read that book. There’s no world where I would’ve been taken out of it at all.
KERRIS: The show never really talked down or sugar coated anything for kids or teens. How do you think that affected the final product?
DYLAN: We really surprised people because I don’t think anybody would expect us or anybody else to go there. You have to go there because if we’re making a PG, PG-13 or TV-14 version of this, you’re verging on romanticizing it because you can’t make it horrifying for anybody. You almost can’t get these messages across. You won’t be able to identify the Bryce’s of the world if you’re not forced to see the horrid acts that he’s done.
KERRIS: Kind of veering off course here. We both, me first, I have to take credit, got obsessed with Revival by Selena Gomez. So what’s your favorite song off that album?
DYLAN: I got into Revival too and my favorite song off of Revival is hands down “Me & the Rhythm”. That song.
DYLAN: So underrated. Why wasn’t that song a bigger hit? I mean, maybe it was. I just didn’t know. But I remember hearing that song and going, “Oh my god this is so good. This beat, and the melody, and the chorus. It’s so catchy.” I wish I could write a song as catchy as “Me & The Rhythm” by Selena Gomez. That is, I love that song.
KERRIS: Also, for those who don’t know, what’s your position in your band The Wallows?
DYLAN: As a collective, Cole, Braeden and I switch off on a lot of stuff in the studio. In the studio, we have no assigned job. We just kind of say, “Do you want to play this? I’ll play this.” We just kind of write the parts together. But live, I primarily play guitar, and I sing. But we all can switch around and do all that good stuff. It’s a group effort.
KERRIS: What was your last concert that you went to?
DYLAN: Car Seat Headrest at the Regent Theater in Downtown LA.
KERRIS: Well, everyone is very excited to watch you guys do your thing for another season of ’13’ because you all are amazing, so talented, and have genuine chemistry. And it’s not fake chemistry where people are like “we’re a family” and they’re not.
DYLAN: Everyone really loves each other and it really is a family now at this point. I think everyone would be so excited to work with each other again. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I want to see other people do more on the show. I want to see more stories from the other characters and Clay can take a seat on the sidelines.
KERRIS: I don’t think that’s going to be happening. Sorry Dylan.
DYLAN: Well, you never know. ᴿᴬᵂ
The second season of 13 Reasons Why is currently in production with a 2018 release. Kerris Dorsey stars in Ray Donovan, which premieres its fifth season on August 6th on Showtime.