When a book you love is adapted for television, the excitement is always tinged with anxiety. Excitement, because the story that speaks to you is about to be shared with a whole new group of people. Anxiety, because the characters you know intimately might not be the ones who end up on screen.
Enter 13 Reasons Why, Netflix's new series based on the bestselling YA novel by Jay Asher.
This is a story that readers can't help but hold close. An American teen, Clay Jensen, arrives home from school one day to find a box of cassette tapes on his doorstep. The tapes are from Hannah Baker, a girl in his class. A girl who had tragically died by suicide just weeks earlier.
In the Netflix series, 20-year-old newcomer Katherine Langford plays Hannah, while Prison Break and Let Me In actor Dylan Minnette stars as Clay. Did they feel the pressure of stepping in to these roles?
Of course they did. Who wouldn't.
"The book is so huge," Langford tells RadioTimes.com ahead of the series launch. "I hadn't read [it] prior; 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 love and are protective of, which makes total sense."
Dylan Minnette agrees: "There’s definitely a sort of pressure, because people are so attached to the stories and the characters. I will say, particularly in Clay’s case, [in the book] he listens in one night to all the tapes. In the show he listens to the tapes in the course of like a week-and-a-half, two weeks. There's a lot more to Clay in the show than in the book."
That's not to say he's not nervously aware of just how big a deal this series is.
"Last week I was mini-golfing with a friend back home," Minnette says. "The girl who was giving us our golf clubs was like, ‘You’re going to be in 13 Reasons Why?’ I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s so funny.’ She was like, ‘Oh that’s cool. Don’t screw it up.’ I was like, ‘Thank you, I won't!’"
13 Reasons Why: watch the full video interview below