Anne Winters is having her moment.
While you may recognize the 23-year-old Texan from FX’s Tyrant, she’s being buzzed about as one of the new cast mates joining Season 2 of hit Netfilx show 13 Reasons Why. Winters will be playing a popular high school It girl named Chloe.
“I will be involved in a lot of drama, that’s for sure,” Winters told FLARE. “The story and writing is amazing.”
Produced by Selena Gomez, the controversial adaptation of Jay Asher’s novel centres on the story of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), a high school student who takes her own life and leaves a series of tapes behind with clues as to why she did it. While details for Season 2 are hush-hush, we know the plot focuses on the lawsuit filed by Hannah’s parents against Liberty High, the school she attended before her death. It’s reported Langford won’t narrate the upcoming season, but she’ll still play a role alongside Winters and new cast members, including Bryce Cass, Chelsea Alden and Ben Lawson.
— 13 Reasons Why (@13ReasonsWhy) May 7, 2017
Down-to-earth and incredibly friendly (did we mention absolutely gorg?), Winters chatted with FLARE when she was in Toronto—her first trip to Canada—about her new role in 13 Reasons Why. She opened up about what viewers can expect in Season 2, which actor is the least like their character and why TV shows shouldn’t shy away from controversial topics. We’re officially obsessed with her, and soon you will be, too.
In the upcoming season of 13 Reasons Why, you play Chloe, a character we haven’t met before. What is she like?
She’s a cheerleader. It’s funny because I had been working on the show before it had got released to the public, so I didn’t really say anything and also I can’t say much. I can’t really tell you too much, but I can say that I am one of the new characters and you will see a lot of me. Chloe is a very different character than other people I’ve played.
Why do you think the first season of 13 Reasons Why had such an impact on viewers?
I think it comes from so many different perspectives and reaches so many people. There’s so many different personalities and so many different characters that are played, so people can relate and see themselves in someone in the show. Also, everyone is just really great: the way [the team] come up with these plots and how it all works together is incredible.
Netflix recently shared a tweet that said Season 2 “will explore the way we raise boys into men and the way we treat women in our culture and we can do better in both cases.” Can you speak to that theme?
It’s such an interesting topic because, I mean, the people [in the show] who are doing wrong maybe don’t even understand that it is wrong, and the people that are going through it are thinking, Is this wrong? This season will explore a little of those grey areas—it’s not as black and white as last season—so that when people raise the question of, “Well wasn’t it her fault that she did this or that?” this season shows a different take on it. You’ll have a lot more answers this season on why people are doing what they’re doing.
The show doesn’t shy away from topics of sexual assault and suicide. Why is that important?
Sexual assault and suicide… they’re very controversial topics. What I love about the show is that they’re so real with it, and they’re not playing any games. They’re telling some real stories and these things happen to people. I think if it’s important to show, show it. I heard that [some] people were banning the show. I can kind of see that a little bit because it is a little bit graphic, but at the same time, it shows what really happens. If you’re just avoiding the problem, then you’re avoiding the problem.
Who’s your favourite person to work with on set?
You know who is really awesome? Justin Prentice—even though he plays such an awful character. He’s literally the opposite person in real life. I also love working with everyone as a whole, because when we all come together, we’re all really good friends. Everyone is so chill and has such different personalities both on-and-off set.
A post shared by Anne Winters (@annewinters) on
FLARE talked to Brandon Flynn recently at the MMVAs and he was saying that everyone on set is one big family. Is that true?
Yeah! It’s weird being on this show, because the people on the first season didn’t know it was going to be such a big hit. I obviously came in knowing this is a really big show, but even being “big show,” it’s probably one of the most laid back and relaxed set I’ve ever been on. And just nice. Everyone is awesome to work with and I love being on that set.
You recently premiered the film Mom and Dad at TIFF, which stars Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage. What was it like working with them?
Oh my gosh, it was so fun! First of all, I love Selma—we became really good friends. Nic was really fun to work with, too, but I definitely felt very close to Selma. It was funny because a little bit before I filmed the movie, I had actually filmed a pilot for Cruel Intentions the show; they were going to reboot the Cruel Intentions film. Since Selma was in the original Cruel Intentions, I was like ‘Oh my gosh I get to work with Selma! This is so cool!’
You’re also in the Netflix movie Reality High, which is about social media and popularity, and how those things can affect you. What’s your relationship with social media?
It’s this new age thing that everyone has a love/hate relationship with. Everyone that I know is like, “I just wish we never had Instagram,” or, “I wish we never had Twitter.” But yet here we are! I do think that it does take over, and it’s a lot of pressure to post the cutest things.
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Do you have any advice for young women who feel pressure to maintain a “perfect image” online?
I would say, if you want to post something, post it for you. If you feel good about something, post it, and if you don’t, then don’t post. If you’re trying to post for a certain reason, or to get things or likes, you’re never going to have enough. Know that even if you get however many likes or however many followers, you’re still going to want more.
What’s the hardest part about being in the public eye?
Well, I haven’t really been that much in the public eye yet because Season 2 hasn’t come out. But I think when it does come out, I’ll have a different take on this. As of now, even walking around with the cast that was in the first season, there has been times where we’ll walk somewhere and people start crying. We walked into a Starbucks and a girl goes, “Oh my god, I’m going to start crying” and she started crying. I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is wild.” It’s so awesome that people love the show and people look up to us. The negative is that you’re constantly being watched by everybody, but the positive is that if I’m constantly being watched by people, then I can make a good impact and set a good example. If anything, that’s what I’m most excited about.
Based on your Instagram, you seem to be into fashion. Who inspires your style?
My style is so much not a style, that it is a style, if that makes any sense. I will say my favourite thing is shoes—I love boots. I’m from Texas, and I will always wear boots. I love crazy shoes and I love crazy jackets. I like pairing something crazy with a t-shirt, and then I’ll call it a day. I do like to get dressed up for events, but that’s not really like my day-to-day style.
How do you unwind after a long day of work?
Oh my gosh, sleep! It depends on what kind of day it is and what time I get home. If I’m just coming home, I’ll probably make dinner and go to bed—literally. If I have a day off or something, I’ll turn off my phone and go hiking or go drive to the beach and do something outside of work.
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