Christian Navarro had to learn to drive and get his license before filming started to be able to drive the red Ford Mustang seen in the series.
On the "Thirteen Reasons Why" book website, you can listen to the entire series of recorded tapes. They're quite eerie, but they play out in an interesting (and spoiler-filled!) way.
Neither Katherine Langford (Hannah) nor Dylan Minnette (Clay) had read the book "Thirteen Reasons Why" before being cast to star in the series. Langford read it in between being cast and filming, but Minette didn't want to confuse the character in the book with the character in the show, so he didn't read it.
Katherine Langford (Hannah) auditioned for both the roles of Hannah and Jessica, before she landed the former.
Jay Asher originally wanted to title the book "Baker's Dozen: The Autobiography of Hannah Baker." A baker's dozen is one more than a normal dozen, or 13.
Originally supposed to be a movie. But in order to fit Hannah's whole story, it was turned into a T.V. series.
Jay Asher was inspired to write the book when a family member tried to commit suicide. Some of the events that happen to Hannah are events that happened to teen girls in real life. He interviewed his wife and female colleagues for things that were hard or things they have never gotten over.
Tony's (Christian Navarro) cross tattoo on his wrist contains a semicolon, which is the symbol for depression and suicide awareness.
Katherine Langford (Hannah) purchased a piano while staying in San Rafael, California during filming. She would play it to help comfort herself between takes when feelings would become overly intense.
Scenes that take place prior to Hannah's (Katherine Langford) suicide tend to have a warm color palette; those that occur after are cooler in tone.
Author Jay Asher was fine with the differences between the book and Netflix series, stating "the message is what matters most."
Shooting was so difficult, they had therapy dogs visit the set. The series covers many heavy issues, including depression, suicide, and sexual assault, to name a few, so naturally the stars would need cheering up every once in awhile. "I know there was one scene, I wasn't around, but they had therapy dogs on set. There was a puppy per hour," Dylan Minnette recalled in a recent interview.
Kate Walsh did a lot of prep to get into her role. She tried to make her performance as Hannah Baker's (Katherine Langford) mother as honorable as she could. "I spoke to two parents that had a child that died by suicide and I spoke to a psychiatrist, who deals with family therapists, but particularly with families that lost someone in the family to suicide," she told E! News.
While the series contains many character interactions in the present, the book does not. The book deals mostly in the past.
The sets for Monet's Cafe, Baker's Drugstore and The Crestmont were all built on location in empty stores in downtown Vallejo, California within a few blocks of each other.
After reading the book the series is based on, Selena Gomez, along with her mother Mandy Teefey and producer Kristel Laiblin, brought the book to producing company Anonymous Content for a screen adaptation. Gomez was previously attached to star in the project back in 2012 when it was still set up as a film at Universal.
Selena Gomez was originally attached to earlier film attempts as early as 2011, however after multiple delays she had grown too old for the role and thus serves as an executive producer for this project.
The New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification created a new certificate (rating) of RP18 (restricted to persons under 18 unless accompanied by a parent or guardian) specifically for the series.
Alex (Miles Heizer) has a Joy Division poster on his wall, whose lead singer died by suicide. Also, the cassette Tony (Christian Navarro) plays for Clay (Dylan Minnette) when he's driving him home in the first episode is Joy Division.
Reportedly, Katherine Langford was cast for the role of Hannah Baker through a Skype audition.
The reason Clay (Dylan Minnette) had the scar on his head was so you could know whether we were seeing the past or the present.
Many of the cast members met with specialists and psychologists to learn and understand their characters' situations.
The song that Clay (Dylan Minnette) and Hannah (Katherine Langford) dance to is "The Night We Met" by Lord Huron from their album, "Strange Trails".
The actress who plays Hannah, Katherine Langford, is Australian and carried out her entire role faking an American accent.
The character Skye is played by Sosie Bacon, who is the daughter of actor Kevin Bacon and actress Kyra Sedgwick.
After wrapping production, Selena Gomez, Alisha Boe (Jessica), and Tommy Dorfman (Ryan) all got matching tattoos on their forearms of a subtle black semicolon, which represents and symbolizes mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
Ross Butler was cast in the show Riverdale (2016) at the same time. When season 2 for both shows were announced, he felt doing 2 shows at once was too much and dropped out of Riverdale (2016) so he could focus mainly on 13 Reasons Why (2017).
The character of Skye (Sosie Bacon) is a amalgamation of two people from the novel, a friend of Clay's named Skye, who is a social outcast, and an unnamed Coffee house waitress, who knows Clay but Clay does not remember.
The winter formal scene took over a week to shoot because the crew wanted so many different camera angles and wanted to capture so many plot points.
The post punk band Joy Division is featured throughout the series such as in the tape Tony (Christian Navarro) plays in his car and the poster on Alex's (Miles Heizer) bedroom wall. The band's lyrical themes include that of self loathing and coming to terms with death, culminating in the real life suicide of frontman Ian Curtis on May 18, 1980, at the age of 23.
The show filmed high school exteriors (and some interiors) at an actual high school in Sebastopol, California, called Analy High School. Like real-life Analy, Liberty High School shares the same mascot, the Tigers.
In the book, Sheri's (Ajiona Alexus) character does not exist, or at least not under the name of Sheri. Instead, the character goes by the name of Jenny.
Every time Clay (Dylan Minnette) is thinking of Hannah (Katherine Langford) and there is a flashback, the scene is brighter than in regular time in the show . This has been done to signify that she is the light of the show and when she is not on camera the scene is a lot darker, signifying the unhappiness that's in the scene.
The nail polish Hannah (Katherine Langford) is wearing the day she dies and uses to write on the tapes is Sinful Colors Endless Blue.
The name Clay has symbolic meaning because in the story he will continue to be reshaped in many ways, just like Clay (Dylan Minnette). By telling her story, Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) "bakes" Clay into the person he becomes.
The name Hannah is a palindrome that represents the two sides of the tapes she records.
Although Selena Gomez was an executive producer, she was only on set for the last day of filming because she was also on a world tour at the time. In an interview, Dylan Minnette (Clay) and Katherine Langford (Hannah) said she was very involved through email the entire filming process, and when she arrived for the last day, it was like she had been there the whole time.
Dylan Minnette (Clay) had a dialogue with producer Brian Yorkey from the get-go about what songs should be on the soundtrack. "I love that he was so open and it was very much a collaboration. There are so many artists on the soundtrack that I'm so proud of. And Clay's room is filled with posters of my favorite bands. There are other artists that I would love to have in there, but they aren't artists that I feel Clay would listen to."
Scenes that include Hannah Baker, played by Katherine Langford, have been overlaid with a yellow tint in post production.
Katherine Langford (Hannah) didn't actually read the book before making the show. "I hadn't read the book prior," she told RadioTimes.com. "I think if I had, I probably would have put a lot more pressure on myself because it's a book that so many people identify with and are protective of."
Interiors for the school classrooms and hallways were filmed on-location at an actual school for the first two episodes, until the show's Set Construction crew could catch up. For the remainder of the show, school interiors were filmed in an exact replica of Analy High School built on a soundstage, to accommodate easier filming logistics.
The first season was filmed in the San Francisco Bay Area during the summer and fall of 2016 concurrently with the Hulu series, Chance (2016).
Executive producer, Selena Gomez, performed a song for the series called 'Only You,' a cover of a song by Yazoo.
This is the second project Dylan Minnette has done where his love interest is named Hannah. The other one is Goosebumps (2015).
Alisha Boe (Jessica), Ross Butler (Zach) and Henry Zaga all had cameos on MTV's Teen Wolf (2011).
Alisha Boe (Jessica Davis) appeared briefly in an episode of Parenthood (2010) in 2012. Miles Heizer (Alex Standall) had a main role on the show as Drew Holt.
In episode 1.2, 13 Reasons Why: Tape 1, Side B (2017), at the coffee shop Hannah (Katherine Langford) and Jess (Alisha Boe) ask Alex (Miles Heizer) about a new picture on the wall. He first says it looks like a bleeding man. Dylan Minnette (Clay) has a real life band and one of their songs is "Bleeding Man".
The show has an age rating of 18, in the UK, for a graphic suicide scene, sexual violence, and strong language.
Justin Prentice (Bryce) plays another high school jock/bully named Bryce in the TV series Those Who Can't (2016). Additionally, he played Lauren Potter's (Becky Jackson's) love interest in Glee (2009).
Clay's (Dylan Minnette) last name is Jensen, and Jensen is a brand of cassette player. The show revolves around listening to cassette tapes.
Towards the end of the season 1 finale (13 Reasons Why: Tape 7, Side A (2017)), a song by Selena Gomez is played in the background. Selena Gomez is an executive producer for this show and was originally cast as Hannah when the project was a movie from Universal.
This is the first collaboration between Tom McCarthy and Brian d'Arcy James since Spotlight (2015).
Wilson Cruz (Dennis Vasquez) played Ricky, one of the lead characters in another ground breaking teenage drama, My So-Called Life (1994). Coincidentally Ricky's last name was also Vasquez.
Second time Alisha Boe and Ross Butler have worked together - previously they appeared in two episodes of Teen Wolf (2011) together.
Jason Pagan was rumored to play the lead role of Clay. Ultimately, Dylan Minnette was cast instead.
The second season completed principal photography between June 12, 2017 and December 17, 2017. This included a two week pause in filming during Northern California wildfires in October 2017.
Both Miles Heizer (Alex) and Keiko Agena (Mrs. Bradley) have worked with Lauren Graham. Heizer played her son, Drew, in Parenthood (2010) and Agena played her daughter Rory's best friend, Lane, in Gilmore Girls (2000).
This is the second time Dylan Minnette has portrayed a character named Clay in a TV series. The first time was in Saving Grace (2007).
Author Jay Asher graduated from San Luis Obispo High School whose mascot is the same as Liberty High School in the series, the Tigers.
Alisha Boe (Jessica Davis) and Ross Butler (Zach Dempsey) also appeared together on two episodes of Teen Wolf (2011) as Gwen & Nathan respectively.
Brandon Flynn (Justin) and Alisha Boe (Jessica) were room mates while filming season 2 of the show.
Kate Walsh and Dylan Minnette have both played characters on the show Grey's Anatomy. Kate Walsh played Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd, whereas Dylan Minnette played a young child who needed an ear replacement transplant.
13 Reasons Why creator Brian Yorkey wrote the book for Broadway musical "Next to Normal" in which Brian d'Arcy James (Andy Baker) starred as Dan, the father of a teenage girl.
Miles Heizer (Alex) previously worked with producer Selena Gomez on Rudderless (2014), although they did not share the screen together.
Dylan Minnette (Clay) has played a character named Clay twice (Saving Grace (2007), and 13 Reasons Why) and has been in three different acting roles where his character interacted with a character named Hannah (Awake (2012), Goosebumps (2015), and 13 Reasons Why).
Steven Weber (Principal Gary Bolan) & Justin Prentice (Bryce Walker) both appeared in episode 2.17, iZombie: Reflections of the Way Liv Used to Be (2016) of iZombie (2015) as Vaughn Du Clark and Brody Johnson respectively.
Justin Prentice (Bryce Walker) previously played another character by the name of Bryce in four episodes of Those Who Can't (2016).
Amy Hargreaves (Lainie Jensen) & Jake Weber (Barry Walker) both worked on four episodes of Homeland (2011) together as Maggie Mathison & Brett O'Keefe respectively.
a cover of the song "The Killing Moon" by Roman Remains is played on 13 Reasons Why: Tape 6, Side B (2017) (Bryce Walker's tape) ,the original song by Echo & The Bunnymen is also played on 13 Reasons Why: Bryce and Chloe (2018) (Bryce Walker's court day).
Alisha Boe (Jessica), Ross Butler (Zach), Henry Zaga (Brad), and Samantha Logan (Nina) have all previously starred in MTV's Teen Wolf.
Will Walker (Jeffrey Vincent Parise) and Deputy Standall (Mark Pellegrino) both starred together in Supernatural as Asmodeus and Lucifer, respectively.
Dylan Minnette was in an episode of 'Grey's Anatomy', in which he plays a young boy without ears. He asks Dr. Grey to help him get some. Kate Walsh, who plays Hannah Baker's mom, was also on 'Grey's Anatomy'. It could be said that Clay was asking for ears so he could listen to Olivia's daughter's tapes. Mark Pellegrino, who plays Alex's father, was also in an episode of 'Grey's Anatomy'.