It’s time to say goodbye to 13 Reasons Why, with the fourth and final season premiering on Netflix this Friday, June 5.
The show’s star, Dylan Minnette (who put his new pink ‘do on display for us during our Zoom interview), is feeling a mixture of emotions bidding farewell to his character, Clay Jensen.
“Yeah, it's weird. I'm very excited for the season to come out. I'm happy ‘cause it's something that people can look forward to watching or having during this time because I think any sort of, you know, a lot of stuff is on standstill right now… but yeah, it's strange,” he tells ET. “It's always a staple of my year. I always know that in the last four years I've been like, ‘OK, I'm gonna go spend six or so months in the Bay Area and the show is gonna come out this year too and I'm gonna have press and all this stuff’ and this is the last time and it's really, really strange to not have that to look forward to and it definitely makes you miss it even more."
“But I'm just excited and it's the right time ending the show on the terms that we want to and I feel like we're giving a sendoff to these characters and one that is deserved," he says. "It's emotional but I'm mainly just excited.”
This season will take a major glimpse at Clay’s mental health, something Minnette has expressed interest in doing for years.
“It was important… I've been wanting that for Clay since season 1,” he shares. “There's so much going on inside of him, you know, what is it? How do you pinpoint it? How do you label it? How much does it actually affect him? How deep does it go? I had all of these questions and I feel like it's perfect that in season 4, Clay is seeing Dr. Altman because Dr. Altman has been name-dropped since season 2 of the show. I feel like it's just the perfect way to help tell Clay's story in the final season and it feels very rounded… I'm glad that season 4 is sort of what it is, a deep dive into Clay's mind.”
While we don’t know how the season ends yet, Minnette is hoping the finale will bring closure to fans who have been with the show since the beginning.
“I like to hope that he ends up overcoming most of the struggles... I think everyone wants Clay to overcome the struggles that he's gone through since the beginning of the show and for all of these characters,” he explains. “I think when I got the scripts, there were so many moments like, ‘Oh, we're going there, we're going to that spot in Clay's mind, we're going to that kind of thought that he can have or this sort of thing that he could do that we couldn't imagine Clay doing’ and I don't know, there's a lot of those moments this season that were done really well to me.”
“There's some things that I wanted to see happen and they happened exactly in that way that -- I can't get into specifics about but there were a lot of conversations with Brian [Yorkey] before this season about things that I felt like we should see with Clay and then low and behold, there they are in the script later, so it definitely felt like a real collaboration with Brian this year on a lot of the storytelling of Clay.”
Clay has certainly been put through the ringer during the show’s tenure, but Minnette wouldn’t have really changed that because it brought the character to where he is now.
“For storytelling purposes, no, but for Clay, I'd change everything... but look, you can't,” he says. “I mean, the struggles that Clay goes through… I think that Clay ultimately has become a stronger, better sort of person and he's learned so much and the person that he does and doesn't want to be, and I think those were really important for Clay to grow and hopefully be any sort of step closer to be the man he truly wants to be and I wouldn't change anything.”
A lot of Clay’s struggles stem from Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) suicide in season 1.
“All Clay wanted to be, he wanted to be a hero and that has been a downfall of his time and time again on the show. That's all he wanted for Hannah and he wanted to be a positive influence for her and to be that person so badly for so many people along the way, and I think that Clay does end up being that for certain people on this show by the end and I think it's great to explore that and to see that all sort of wrapped up in the end,” Minnette shares. “I think it's just some real poetic things in the writing at the end of the show that I'm very happy about.”
As for whether there is room for a spinoff? Minnette isn’t saying no. But we also don’t know how the series ends just yet.
“Oh man! I wouldn't even begin to imagine what it would be, but I have no idea,” he says coyly while laughing. “Would Clay Jensen be around? Who knows. I don't know.”
The 23-year-old actor just hopes fans will enjoy the sendoff the Netflix series gives to the characters.
“I hope that everyone feels rewarded enough in the end and feels like they got the closure they needed with these characters 'cause that's what this season is... it's just to finish a story that we started," Minnette says. "There's a real positive message in the end of this season and I hope that it resonates with people and that everyone feels fulfilled and uplifted.”
For more from Minnette, check out the video above.
13 Reasons Why season 4 will begin streaming on Netflix on June 5.