By Prutha S. Patel (@PSPatel)
Watchtivist: Can you tell us a bit more about Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why?
Tommy Dorfman: 13 Reasons Why was originally a novel written by Jay Asher and it follows the aftermath of a teen suicide. It’s about what happens to all the people in the high school after something like that happens. It’s a mystery and in the TV show, just like the book, you’re figuring out the “13 Reasons Why” she did it.
W: For those who don’t know, how does your character fit in to the show?
TD: He’s one of the reasons.
W: With the first season being 13 episodes, what are you most interested to have people see over the course of those first 13?
TD: Oh wow! There’s so much that happens on this show. As I’m sure you know, there’s a big ensemble cast. Everything is beautiful in a lot of ways and you know the concepts. The topics that we’re handling on the show are very serious. As it pertains to my character rather than the other characters in the show, I think more than anything throughout the 13 episodes, I’m looking forward to seeing what viewers maybe learn about teen suicide, the setting, and the aftermath. And how it affects not only the person who committed the act, but also the family and the entire school afterwards.
W: If there is a season 2, where would you like to see it go – both overall and for your character?
TD: I think what I’d be excited about is to see sort of what happens or what continues happening to these characters. Because so much of Season 1, like the book, is primarily focused on Clay (Dylan Minnette) and Hannah (Katherine Langford), but you’re getting an introduction to characters in the book that were maybe just touched on. The book goes over their takes, but less expanded on. I think the season does a really good job of laying the foundation for who these people are and if we’re lucky and fortunate enough to have a season two, I would like to see more about the other people involved, and what their future holds. How this can sort of affect young people, not for just that one or two months afterwards, but for their lives. It changes the course of their lives.
W: What was the most interesting part about being a part of a project like this?
TD: I think for me, working with the people. Working with the creative team and the other actors on the show, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It’s such a talented and diverse cast and since it was one of my first jobs, the six months working on the show, I was just learning from everyone else and sort of being a part of this bigger thing. Working with incredible artists and actors, people who are passionate about the story that we’re telling and wanting to sort of do it justice. Especially since its an adaption from a book, and making sure that we are following the book guidelines. But then making it its own thing as well.
W: What’s maybe one or two things that people don’t know about the show yet?
TD: I’ll say from at least the friends and people who just saw the teaser, no one knew it was mystery. No one really knew that it was a mystery drama. And it is! Each episode is very suspenseful, having watched some of it myself. That’s one thing people might not know going into it.
W: Anything else you’d like to say those reading and watching?
TD: It’s a huge cast of young people, and for a lot of people it’s their first jobs too. Some of our characters are rarely mentioned in the book. A lot of it is just about Clay’s experience and I think something that’s exciting on what the show’s going to offer is more information about who all these other people are. What their family lives are like and what relationships are going on at school. I think that’s going to be really exciting for people to be like, “Oh! This person was in like two pages of the book and now I am getting to watch them for 12 episodes.” We’ll see how they respond to what happened, for better or for worse.
13 Reasons Why is now streaming on Netflix