Ask any of the 13 Reasons Why cast — Justin Prentice may play the most disgusting character on TV, Bryce Walker, but in real life he’s an incredible guy. While his character is a self-absorbed d-bag who has no empathy for anyone around him, the 24-year-old actor really can relate to all the mental health issues depicted on the Netflix series because he, too, had his own battles.
“When I was a kid, I was very much a perfectionist, and I had a bunch of different compulsions. And so through all of that I had high anxiety and high stress, so I did, actually,” he said of having suicidal thoughts when he was younger.
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How did he deal with those scary thoughts?
“I brought it up with my mother because I was very fortunate to be close with my parents,” he told Variety at the Monte Carlo TV Festival yesterday. “And she was instrumental in helping me through it, which was awesome.”
Justin also feels very connected to the topics featured on 13RW because they emulate things that actually happened around him when he was in high school.
He explained, “A buddy of mine took his life in high school; [there were] similarities [with the show’s storyline] there. There are some people very close to me who were sexually assaulted or raped when they were young.
“It’s hard sometimes to jump in and out of [such scenes],” continued. “Sometimes after the very dark scenes it kind of stays with you for a little bit. But the cast…we are all a big family, so we will usually get together after the very dark scenes and just decompress, and take a breather for a second, and all have each other’s backs, which is nice.”
13 Reasons Why started airing warnings before each episode of both seasons after facing backlash for the graphic nature of the show. It also set up a website to provide resources for people who are struggling with any mental health issues.
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