It’s not surprising that the cast of 13 Reasons Why would need a little pick-me-up during filming. The new Netflix series tackles many tough topics like suicide, sexual assault and bullying. Watching the episodes is already hard so it’s pretty easy to imagine how challenging acting in the roles would be, physically and emotionally. Dylan Minnette, who plays the male lead Clay, told Popsugar that therapy dogs were brought on set for an hour each day. “They really tried to help out,” he said. “The puppies helped.”
In the series, you follow Minnette’s character in the present day. During the flashbacks, the point of view alternates between him and Hannah, a girl who left Clay some very upsetting tapes after she committed suicide. Hannah is played by Katherine Langford and she had the most intense scenes to act out.
“She had the brunt of the emotional stuff,” Minette said. “I mean, we all have very emotional parts, but this is about her character.”
“We cover so many intense issues,” Langford explained. “I feel like so much of Hannah’s life, especially the last five episodes, is so tragic that you just have to put that shock aside and get through it. It’s only been after the show and after wrapping that I’ve gone, wow, we really did handle some really heavy stuff.”
Therapy dogs are often used to help diffuse stressful environments. Many colleges have a therapy dog day so students can come in and relieve stress with puppies. According to the Alliance of Therapy, therapy dogs are “on a mission of sharing smiles and joy.”