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Variety Magazine August 8, 2017 Scans

Katherine and her co-star Dylan Minnette talked about how 13 Reasons Why’s popularity and controversy impacted their careers with Variety in new interview and photoshoot. Digital scans have been added to the gallery (thanks to our friend Mouza).


VARIETY – “13 Reasons Why” landed with a bang heard round the internet: The series, about a high school girl who commits suicide, became the most tweeted-about show of 2017 just one month after its premiere, and made overnight stars out of its two leads, Katherine Langford and Dylan Minnette.

It also sparked a national conversation about suicide — and what’s appropriate to be shown on TV.

The actors, who were thrust into the spotlight, faced a crash course in the power and pressure of social media.

“You have an idea of what fame is and what celebrities are like and what acting is like, and you think you can just focus on the work, but in reality, you can’t just necessarily focus on the work because it comes with the privilege and responsibility of having a larger platform,” says Langford. “That’s something that I’ve tried to deal with in a very levelheaded way.”

She points to her Instagram account: It was private at the time the show premiered; now that she’s made it public, the number of followers has jumped to nearly 7 million.

“I like to have moments and periods of life that are expressive and where you can be creative, and I think that’s harder when you have more people that are more aware of you and watching you because if they don’t understand the context and they see a picture of you doing something crazy, then it can get taken the wrong way,” she says. “I don’t think it’s ever something that feels normal, especially as a 21-year-old.”

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13 Reasons Why actor Katherine Langford: ‘I feel lucky to have this platform’

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD – Just three short months ago, the world had no idea who Katherine Langford was.

But playing the lead role in the controversial Netflix drama, 13 Reasons Why, which tells the story of teenager Hannah Baker, who takes her own life after sustained bullying at her northern California high school, has propelled Katherine to international stardom.

In the wake of her critically acclaimed performance, the 21-year-old from Perth has garnered six million Instagram followers and appeared on both the Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres talk shows in the US.

However it was the loveheart tweet from her idol Lady Gaga that brought home just how big 13 Reasons Why – and Katherine herself – had become. “This woman, this artist, performer, who I love and admire so much, knows who I am,” Katherine says, still sounding slightly amazed. “That’s when I was like, ‘Okay, this is big because she’s seen it. Lady Gaga watches the show.’ ”

By tackling the potent adolescent issues of social media, bullying, rape, mental illness and suicide in an unflinching manner, 13 Reasons Why is very much a show for, and of, the times. Katherine is still digesting the profound impact it has had on viewers, the overnight fame it has delivered, and the life lessons it has taught her.

“I think my story is a bit bizarre,” she confesses. “I don’t think anyone had any idea [13 Reasons Why] was going to be as big as it has been. I feel like it happened for a reason, and I know that sounds silly. It’s definitely been the hardest – but it’s been the best – first job I could have ever asked for.”

When I meet Katherine during her fleeting visit to Sydney earlier this month, she’s dressed down in jeans and a black cord jacket. But even in casual clothes she has a prettiness that is reminiscent of a medieval princess, with her trademark brunette curls cascading down her back, breathtakingly beautiful porcelain skin and clear green eyes that meet yours.

She dips her head in a sort of curtsey when she shakes hands, is quick to laugh, and given to long, thoughtful pauses as she ponders her answers to questions.

Katherine’s own high school experience at Perth Modern, a school for gifted and talented children in innercity Subiaco, was vastly different from Hannah Baker’s. The stress of year 12 exams was as bad as it got for her, although she was aware that slut-shaming and bullying – exacerbated by social media – existed.
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Katherine Langford is thrilled to bring socially conscious ’13 Reasons Why’ to TV — the pizookies were a bonus

LA TIMES – What is it like to play a teenager preparing to kill herself? At just 20, Australian actress Katherine Langford flew across the Pacific to take on her first major acting job: starring as Hannah Baker in “13 Reasons Why.” The controversial Netflix drama, executive-produced by “Spotlight” director Tom McCarthy, inspired a disturbing Internet meme and provoked furious discussion of its many themes, among them bullying, sexual assault, depression, slut-shaming and teen suicide. Langford’s character has taken her own life, leaving behind 13 cassette tapes to explain why she did it.

Once “13 Reasons” wrapped, Langford quickly slipped into another American role in the forthcoming Greg Berlanti movie “Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” which revolves around a gay teen trying to come out on his own terms. Langford — who cites anti-bullying icon Lady Gaga as her biggest creative influence — seems genuinely thrilled to immerse herself in projects with a socially conscious edge. “It’s lovely because you feel like you are part of something that has made a difference,” she says, adding that she hopes “13 Reasons Why” fans “may be a little kinder” to those around them. “Even though it’s just a piece of entertainment, it’s generated conversation that might make people more aware that tiny things you do can affect somebody else in a big way.”

How did your high school experience compare to the one in “13 Reasons Why”?

My high school experience was a lot happier than Hannah Baker’s. I went to a gifted and talented school, so I was surrounded by really interesting people from all different walks of life and I had a really strong friend group. The school was very liberal in that I had freedom. During my study periods I wasn’t being watched by a teacher so I would go to the auditorium and write songs. That’s maybe one of the reasons why I was able to become an actor, because I was given the freedom to do that.

Your character undergoes some very graphic, hard-to-watch experiences. How did you prepare?

Particularly for Hannah’s later scenes, I spoke with a psychiatrist who deals with adolescent development and that helped inform me from a medical and factual point of view. What was really special about the project was the way it was written. These characters are so fleshed out and real that it made it easy for me to relate to Hannah and to understand what she was going through. I feel that we respect the intellect of the audience. Sixteen, 15-year-olds are a lot smarter than people give them credit for.

Kate Walsh and Brian d’Arcy James, who play my parents, also offered me a lot of support. It was like there was an invisible net I was never going to slip through. While we were shooting, it hit home for me: I am acting this, but there are people out there who are going through this [suffering] every day.
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Katherine Langford and Dylan Minnette for Entertainment Weekly

The stars of ’13 Reasons Why’ grace the cover of Entertainment Weekly (May 19) featuring an all new (adorable!) photoshoot. We’ve updated the gallery with high quality outtakes and scans will be added as soon as they become available. And of course, you can watch the behind the scenes video below. Enjoy!

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The stars and creator of ’13 Reasons Why’ talk about the show’s success and the backlash

LA TIMES – For a moment, the conversation is light. It’s a blustery spring day on the Paramount lot and Katherine Langford, who just turned 21, and Dylan Minnette, 20, are talking about some of the Internet’s more playful obsessions — the face-transforming software FaceApp and unicorn frappuccinos.

“It looks disgusting,” Langford says, her Australian accent undisguised, of the vibrant, multi-colored Starbucks concoction.

Minnette chimes in: “It looks like the wet dream of frappuccinos.”

Then the conversation gets a bit heavier. It’s been a few weeks since the March 31 release of “13 Reasons Why,” the Netflix drama about a teenage girl’s suicide in which the pair stars, and they are in the thick of it, juggling appearances on “Ellen” with this weekend’s MTV Movie & TV Awards.

And then there’s the other part of it. The part they knew would inevitably take shape given the show’s fraught subject matter: the backlash.

The 13-episode adaptation of Jay Asher’s bestselling novel quickly blew up laptops of American teenagers, and one by one, anxious-to-angry headlines followed. “Does ‘13 Reasons Why’ Glamorize Teen Suicide?” “Critics say 13 Reasons Why has artistic merit. Suicide prevention experts say it’s dangerous.” “‘13 Reasons Why’ Is Not the Force for Mental Health Awareness People Say It Is”

As hot takes and think pieces about the show’s merits and flaws began to pile up across the Web, superintendents, teachers and other school officials around the country began issuing warnings to parents: that its content may be inappropriate for young viewers — for its depiction of suicide and sexual assault, among them — and that it might be viewed as glamorizing suicide.

But then too came comments like the ones on Langford and Minnette’s Instagram pages: “I hope that a lot of people will reflect about the consequences that the harassment on the life of somebody can have” and “I watched the whole series with my dad” and “I’m a mother of a 17 year old and i finished watching it today, every parent should watch this show.”

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