"13 Reasons Why" opened a giant can of worms about teen suicide and how it should be depicted on TV when the first season of the Netflix series dropped earlier this year, and Season 2 star Wilson Cruz is expecting more difficult conversations to arise in 2018 when the drama returns.
Cruz, who will return as Baker family lawyer Dennis Vasquez, explained why he thinks Season 2 will "blow people's minds" while speaking with TooFab at the TrevorLIVE LA carpet on Sunday.
"I can tell you that I play the lawyer on the show and I'm in every episode, so let that tell you whatever that tells you," he said. "But I think the story and the performances itself are going to blow people's minds and I'm really proud of the fact that it is a catalyst for conversations for parents and kids to talk about issues that are really difficult to talk about."
While Season 1 focused on Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) and told the story from her POV as she slit her wrists after recording 13 tapes that blamed her peers for contributing to her decision to commit suicide, expect that to change. Cruz promised the season will offer many "different perspectives," adding that "you're going to see the story told through a different lens, through many different lenses."
He also played it coy when asked if viewers will witness another suicide.
Exploring suicide can be really tough on set, but Cruz applauded the young cast of "jokesters," saying their sense of humor and tight connections with each other help them cope with the darker subject matter.
"I think we just relish in the fact that we're getting to tell this really amazing story that is beautifully written and produced and we get to be a part of it," Cruz added.
TooFab also spoke with Amit Paley, CEO of Trevor Project - the nation's leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth - who echoed the sentiments of many who criticized how "13 Reasons Why" handled the topic in Season One.
"There were a lot of issues with the way that '13 Reasons Why' talked about suicide and so we've been having conversations in the field of mental health and suicidology on how they should talk about that differently moving forward and we're hopeful that the next season will be safer in the way that they talk about suicide," said Paley.
"It's also really important that people in pop culture and the entertainment world are careful about the messaging that they do because there are certain practices that can lead to people feeling supported and feeling like they know where to go for help and there are some that are more dangerous," he added, speaking more generally. "So a lot of what we do is try to educate entertainment companies and entertainers about how to do that messaging in a safe and appropriate way that will help save as many lives as possible."