Portraying the role of Bryce Walker, the dangerous and entitled sexual predator, in "13 Reasons Why" changed Justin Prentice's worldview and the actor says starring in the Netflix Original series has been "rewarding".
The season three of the teenage drama, which starts streaming August 23, will see Bryce being found dead making everyone at Liberty High School a potential suspect. The actor, who has received critical acclaim for the role, said the character shone a light on the gravity of sexual crimes prevalent in the society.
"It has been really rewarding. Playing the role and diving into the research for a show like this changes your mindset and perspective on things. For me, playing a character who is essentially a rapist and has sexually assaulted many women just shows how much of an issue it is in our society. It has been really eye-opening for me. I noticed I sort of take things in a different light just having played this character," Prentice told PTI in a telephonic interview from the US.
Bryce is also a manipulative bully and the 25-year-old actor said the upcoming installment will reveal more "interesting" facets to his personality. "He definitely has a bit of an arc throughout the seasons. We get to see the monstrous side of him aplenty. But in this new season, we get to see a kind of a different colour from Bryce, which was a joy to play. To work on a character that you've been honing for several years and add a different flavour to it was incredible."
Prentice said the entire cast was surprised by the breakout success of the series, which debuted in 2017, adding it has "transformed" all of their lives. "Fame sort of alters your life in the day-to-day things. But I think more importantly, it's the issues that the show touches upon. It's been beautiful to see how much it resonates with the audience, that in turn affects us as individuals," he said.
The actor said the fact that people across all age groups connect with "13 Reasons Why" is what makes being a part of a show worth it. "I've had parents come up to me on the streets and say, 'Hey, I watch this show with my child'. The amount of issues that have been brought up that they were able to relate to and talk to us about was incredible.
"It makes it worthwhile. The show does a lot of good in raising awareness and getting people talking about these issues," Prentice said. The show has been renewed for the fourth and final run.