T he singer/actress serves as executive producer on the new drama, based on author Jay Asher’s 2007 novel about a teenager who details her reasons for taking her own life before committing suicide.
Selena cancelled a concert tour last August (16) and spent 90 days in rehab in a bid to battle a recurring health issue linked to her lupus diagnosis, and she admits the pain she was processing made her work on 13 Reasons Why much more personal and challenging.
“I think that my (own) high school experience was amplified (by the project),” she told Entertainment Tonight reporters during a New York City panel on Wednesday (08Feb17). “I wouldn’t say it was worse, but it made it harder. To be frank with you, I actually was going through a really difficult time when they started production.
“I went away for 90 days, and I actually met a ton of kids in this place that were talking about issues that these characters are experiencing.”
Selena grew up in the spotlight as a child Disney Channel star, thanks to her work on the U.S. network’s Wizards of Waverly Place, and although her teenage years were unconventional, the 24-year-old insists she was just as “confused” as any other adolescent.
“Whether it was just kids or growing up in the biggest high school in the world, which was Disney Channel, it was also adults that had the audacity to kind of tell me how I should live my life,” she recalls of her teenage struggle. “It was very confusing for me. I had no idea who I was going to be.”
Gomez’s teenage plight came to life on the set of 13 Reason Why: “I was there for the last episode,” she explains. “I was a mess, just seeing it all come to life, because I’ve experienced just that for sure. It hits a very important part of me.”
The new Netflix series becomes available on the streaming service from 31 March (17).