Graduating from Liberty High! 13 Reasons Why might have come to an end in June 2020, but fans are still obsessed with the Netflix show. Did you know that while the actors were playing high schoolers on screen, they were actually way older than their characters? Ross Butler, for one, was over 30 years old while playing high school student Zach Dempsey.
“I wasn’t a jock at all in high school. I was kind of like this drifter who, because I’m half white and half Asian, I didn’t really fit in with the Asian crowd, and I didn’t really fit in with my white friends, or at least I didn’t feel like I did,” the actor told Seventeen in May 2017 about how his onscreen persona differed from his real high school experience. “I was so self-conscious. I like to say I was a creature in high school. A weird creature who had my hands in a lot of different things.”
Now, the actor is ready to move on from teenage roles.
“I’ve been playing high school for longer than I’ve been in high school. I’m ready. I’ve been growing out the facial hair. I’m ready to hang up all the jerseys of all the sports I’ve played in fake high schools,” he joked to E! News in June 2020. “I still could, if a really good role comes along or if it’s somebody that’s been held back for a few years. But, besides those two exceptions, yeah, I’m ready to move on.”
What does moving on mean for the actor? Well, taking older roles and stepping behind the camera.
“I’ve started moving to the production side of things and I’m starting to get more creatively involved, which is something that I’ve been enjoying a lot and I’ve been wanting to do, but I’ve been shooting pretty constantly the last two and a half years. The silver lining in this whole COVID situation is that I’ve had time to just slow down and really work on what is more important to me,” he said at the time. “Of course acting is important and doing the job is important, but at the core of it all is telling stories that can reach across the aisle and actually make change in people, in the future generations.”
Scroll through our gallery to uncover the 13 Reasons Why cast’s real ages.
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