Justin Prentice Opens Up About Having Suicidal Thoughts When He Was Younger

20 June 2018, 17:17 | Updated: 19 November 2018, 15:59

Justin Prentice from 13 Reasons Why at the MTV Movie & TV Awards
Picture: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for MTV)

By Katie Louise Smith

The '13 Reasons Why' actor reveals he was fortunate enough to work through them with his mother.

While 13 Reasons Why has had it's fair share of criticisms in the past, there's no denying that the show has sparked a lot of important conversation about sexual violence, mental health issues and suicide. The cast haven't been afraid to open up and share their own personal experiences with it either. One of those people who has been opening up is Justin Prentice, who plays Bryce Walker.

Speaking to Variety at the Monte Carlo TV Festival, Prentice reveals that when he was younger, he had ideations of suicide (suicidal thoughts) but was fortunate enough to find the courage to talk about them with his mother and work through them together.

“When I was a kid, I was very much a perfectionist, and I had a bunch of different compulsions. And so through all of that I had high anxiety and high stress, so I did [experience ideations], actually,” he told Variety. “I brought it up with my mother because I was very fortunate to be close with my parents. And she was instrumental in helping me through it, which was awesome.”

Bryce Walker 13 Reasons Why
Picture: Netflix

He also opened up about how suicide and sexual assault have affected people close to him: “A buddy of mine took his life in high school; [there were] similarities [with the show’s storyline] there. There are some people very close to me who were sexually assaulted or raped when they were young.”

Prentice doesn't say how old he was when this occurred but given the nature of 13 Reasons Why, the fact that he's opening up about it now is incredibly inspiring and will probably prove helpful to young fans of the show who may not have found the advice or solution they were looking for when watching the show -especially in the first season.

Of course, the topics of the show are heavy and dark, particularly for Prentice who has the incredibly difficult job of portraying the heinous Bryce Walker, so it can take a toll on the actors too. Prentice spilled the tea on how the cast cope with tackling such heavy issues in the show.

"It’s hard sometimes to jump in and out of [such scenes]," he told Variety. "Sometimes after the very dark scenes it kind of stays with you for a little bit. But the cast…we are all a big family, so we will usually get together after the very dark scenes and just decompress, and take a breather for a second, and all have each other’s backs, which is nice,” he said.

If you're affected by any of the issues discussed in 13 Reasons Why, head to 13reasonswhy.info.