13 Reasons Why’s Netflix adaptation was originally going to look totally different. While it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone but the flawless Katherine Langford playing Hannah Baker, another actress was initially slated to take on the role — Selena Gomez, according to Seventeen.
Back in 2011, Deadline reported that Selena would take the starring role, and her mom Mandy Teefey would serve as an executive producer. At the time, Selena was mostly known for her work on Wizards of Waverly Place and the movie Monte Carlo (co-starring Leighton Meester and Cory Monteith), as well as her music with Selena Gomez & the Scene. 13 Reasons Why was initially conceived as a movie for Universal Pictures, not a TV series airing on Netflix.
Obviously, by the time the project debuted in 2017, it had taken a different shape.
Selena took an executive producer role behind the cameras alongside her mom, and Katherine (then an unknown Australian actress) landed the part of Hannah.
“I see myself as Hannah so much,” Selena said. “Seven years ago I did and even more so today, which I think is funny because it’s backwards. The older I get the more insecure I get, which is odd. But that’s something a lot of people can relate to. Her personality is a quiet strength. I’ve never really been the one to be in anyone’s face. A lot of girls feel like they have to be a certain way for attention. Social media has amplified all of that. I get that she didn’t want that to be what her life was.”
Despite connecting to the role in such a personal way, Selena was happy to give another actress a chance at the part.
“A book is frightening for me because I know the cult following it has, which is the reason why I didn’t want to be in it,” she explained.
Katherine plays Hannah perfectly, and Selena got to try her hand at producing. It all worked out in the end.
Photo: Getty Images.