Katherine Langford passed the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2016 but went to LA to audition for a pilot drama, even before enrollment. I crossed. Although he couldn’t win the role on his first trip to the United States, he sent an audition video to “13 Reasons Why” after returning to Australia. To her surprise, she was later called to pack up her luggage and come to the United States because she had been assigned a role.
The drama, whose fundamental theme is teenage suicide, was the first big stage for a new actress from Perth. She rarely touches the internet world (until the show started, she had only about 1000 followers on Twitter), and although she tends to dream, she is still at a turning point in her life. I didn’t flinch at my turn. Her success was assured, partly because the drama’s original Jay Asher novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, was cult-popular.
She is currently shooting an LGBTQ-supported feature film.
This work is your acting debut. What kind of person is Katherine Langford, who was previously unknown?
I’ve always been a center-left kid. I was an Australian swimmer, but I wanted to be a singer after that, and then I became interested in acting. Because it’s Taurus (laughs). I went to a particular school for the chosen kids. Various creativity blossomed there. After I stopped swimming, I would go to the school hall and write songs on the piano there if I had free time. I was acting with other kids, but when I graduated from high school, I thought, “I want to do this.” So far, it feels like it’s working.
Was it easy? Seeming at it from the boundary, it appears that the debut work rolled in well, and it was an ample opportunity.
If you look at the progress so far, you can see that things seemed easy. But looking back, I had a lot of trouble. I started (acting) late. I caught my first acting school in March 2015. The year of 19 years old. It was just barely there. Immediately I had to devote myself to the pilot drama and this debut. This show is excellent, but it was the most complex and best debut ever. I’ve been told this because I’m a very enthusiastic, ambitious, and stubborn young man. “You’re 19 years old. You can’t be an actress. It’s too late.” I was thinking, “Look at it now” (laughs).
What kind of person is Hana you play?
She’s brave and witty, and I don’t think she needs to fit around. It feels like there is pressure to match. Sometimes I try to match her, but in the end, she doesn’t change, and I don’t like being able to change her. She is sincere to others and trusts them, and she wants to believe that everyone is a good person. I understand this part. But that’s her big mistake.
I’ve never attended acting school, so it’s often said that acting is intuitive.
Do you feel that you have grown by working?
On the contrary, I feel rejuvenated. You’re working in the adult world right now. That’s good, but I’m worried that I might be a little old to play a girl aged 16-17. But in the world of acting and drama, the kids inside me wake up. You have to be open to everything that’s happening in front of you. It would be best if you didn’t have an attitude of “like a fool.” If you’re told, “Go on stage and be a monkey,” do that.
Did you use your high school experience for the show?
I went to three schools. Two of them were private schools, and I rebelled against them. I wasn’t interested in what a naive girl would do. At the age of 14, I was fooling around while I was there. I hated such a dishonest self who was trapped in my shell. After that, I was thrown into a third school. There were only children like me who weren’t very familiar with ordinary schools and different drawing ideas. That’s why it worked so well. While I had the freedom to do what I needed, I also felt responsible for doing it.
I don’t think I have essential memories to play the role of Hana. You can get into the role with the existing set and environment. Because this is my first drama, there is no comparison. But I treasure when I was in high school, I missed memories of my school, children who survived great anxiety and despair. First love, joy and pressure, feelings when stepping into school, and feeling left alone from the world. That feeling of loneliness is devastating.
The novel and the program are advertised for young people, but older people can feel nostalgia for the story and sympathize with the theme.
I think that show is for adults. The approach is unwavering, and it’s not just about what’s happening in high school. It also describes Hana’s teacher’s perspective and what happened to her parents. It’s one of the shows that want to tell the viewer something. 16-year-olds routinely see their peers having sex and using drugs, which parents and teachers overlook. This show also cares about that.
What is the essential feeling when acting? Or do you think acting sharpens your senses?
I’ve never attended acting school, so it’s often said that acting is intuitive. The essential thing for me is to exist. Because it exists, I’m curious about how things look and hear and what I say. You’re thinking about what I’m looking for now. But I understand what you’re looking for by looking at and listening to you. It’s not just what you say, but it’s how you speak.
And make it something that another person can experience.
I need to be able to understand what other people are considering. And make it something that another person can experience.
Do you think TV and movies will be better if you can smell them from the screen?
I think it feels bizarre. After all, if you can feel it with all your senses, it’s not the same as you’re experiencing it. You can’t just see it from a safe place. Seeing or hearing something makes you cry or shake your emotions. If you add the scent to it, it might be too honest and traumatic. If I could feel the scent of “Titanic,” I might be dead.
The managing yielder of “13 Reasons Why” is Selena Gomez. Did she give you any advice based on her interpretation? Or did you tell them to act normally?
Well, she was on a world tour. Still, even when she couldn’t be physically here, Serena and her mom Mandy watched the editing film every day and supported us by email. .. When Serena was here, she stayed on the scene all day. She took everyone out at night to advise on shows and fans. She taught me SNS. I was always in my world, so at dinner, Serena leaned forward and said: “Come out in public.” I ran it a few days later. I wanted to do that for those who came to see the show and say their lives had changed. For those who watch the show or have overcome similar hardships. I don’t understand I have any responsibility to do that, but I’m taking it for a moment. Besides, I want to use a platform called SNS to help people. I’m interested in LGBTQ, bullying, and mental illness. I want to give the correct information. I want to show that not everyone is alone. I’ll always be there if everyone sees the show and sympathizes with Hana and then finds me as Catherine and superpositions with me.
So you’re a very empathetic person.
(Laughs) That’s right! It also helps to act. And also music. If someone opens my heart to me, I don’t just listen to him. I start to feel the same. My mother called it a superpower. After watching the first two episodes, there was a woman who visited me. She was crying and looking at me, and I wrapped her hand and started crying as well. I require to be able to understand what other people are considering. And make it something that another person can experience. But it’s also dangerous at times because it is impossible to take on all the pain.