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Tommy Dorfman Reveals How She Was Tapped For Her 13 Reasons Why Role

With its divisive scenes that went too far, "13 Reasons Why" is a controversial teen drama that revolves around the suicide of a high school student called Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), and the tapes she leaves behind to detail her reasons. The tapes name several of her schoolmates, including Ryan Shaver (Tommy Dorfman), the subject of Hannah's eight tape. 

Ryan is not a simple character to play, being an ambitious, opinionated, and somewhat arrogant person who humiliates Hannah by publishing her poetry without permission. Though the character's quick to note that these actions are nowhere near the worst thing on the tapes, Hannah still considers the poem theft the final straw that broke her spirit. Dorfman has also told Time that in hindsight, playing the character caused trouble for her behind the scenes. "I think if I hadn't booked that job, I would've started transitioning a lot sooner," she said about playing Ryan. "I think because my work being so tied to my body and like face and like identity, and whatever I'd been identified as, it delayed some of my growth and maturation in my mid-20s".

But how did Dorfman end up in the role in the first place? Let's see what Dorfman herself has to say about the way she was tapped for her "13 Reasons Why" role.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Dorfman was tapped to play Ryan after auditioning for the role of Clay

In an interview with BUILD Series (via YouTube), Tommy Dorfman revealed that while she did audition for "13 Reasons Why," there was an important caveat: She didn't actually audition for the role of Ryan. "I think everyone auditioned for Clay and Hannah, even if we weren't right," she revealed. 

Dorfman also revealed that she had fairly little experience on the acting front at the time, and might not have auditioned at all if an actor friend of hers hadn't recommended the project for her. "I had a friend who was auditioning about the script who's a little bit further ahead in their career at that time, and he shared the script with me and was, like, 'look, I think you should go in for this if you can'," she said.

By her own admission, Dorfman didn't have an agent and didn't really expect to get any major roles, but she liked the script and the role of protagonist Clay Jensen enough to give it a shot. She managed to convince a casting associate to give her a chance to audition, and while the role of Clay ultimately went to "Don't Breathe" star and massive "Scream" fan Dylan Minnette, Dorfman nevertheless impressed enough to proceed in the lengthy audition process — and eventually landed the role of Ryan Shaver.