To all my fellow bookworms and library crawlers out there, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Netflix adaptation of Jay Asher’s popular YA novel Thirteen Reasons Why. The plot revolves around the suicide of Hannah Baker and the reasons that led up to the event. The novel was widely popular among teens due to its relatable adolescent themes like bullying, gossip, objectification and revenge. The adaptation is a 13 episode series produced by Selena Gomez and is currently streaming on Netflix. Get ready to binge-watch.
So who was chosen to play the mysterious role of Hannah Baker? Katherine Langford. She’s a Hollywood newcomer, but this definitely won’t be the last we hear of her.
20-year-old Katherine Langford was first discovered through a Skype audition from Perth, Australia. Prior to 13 Reasons Why, she only worked on an indie crowd-funded film. Despite this, her audition must have sparked something because she hadn’t even had a chemistry test with co-star Dylan Minnette before landing the role.
“Prior to making this huge television series, our two lead actors had never been in a room together,” Brian Yorkey, a series creator, told Radio Times. “But we adored them both so much, we knew there was going to be chemistry — and we were right.”
When preparing for book adaptations, some actors and actresses read the book first. However, Langford wisely chose not to. She admitted to RadioTimes that “I would have put a lot more pressure on myself because it’s a book that so many people identify with and are protective of.”
Because this is her first TV series (and the fact that it’s a highly anticipated production), Langford also confessed that there was a steep learning curve with the dark and serious nature of the adaptation. 13 Reasons Why will definitely test her as an actress and prepare her for future roles. If she can pull off Hannah Baker, then hopefully we can expect to see her on the red carpet soon.