Dylan Minnette Biography

Actor (1996–)
Dylan Minnette is an American actor known for his leading role in the Netflix series ‘13 Reasons Why,' about a high-school teen who commits suicide.

Who Is Dylan Minnette?

Born in Evansville, Indiana, Minnette started his child acting career with Two and A Half Men, but developed into a leading man in the series 13 Reasons Why, playing the central character Clay Jensen. He is also the frontman of the pop-rock band Wallows.

Dylan Minnette Photo

Dylan Minnette attends the Premiere of Netflix's '13 Reasons Why' at Paramount Pictures on March 30, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. 

What Movies Has Dylan Minnette Been In?

After launching a career in television, Minnette made the jump to movies with the 2010 film Let Me In, about a bullied young boy and his vampire friend. On the set of the 2014 film Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, he met his longtime girlfriend Kerris Dorsey, his onscreen sister. Other films include Prisoners (2013), Goosebumps (2015), and Don’t Breathe (2016).

His Band: Wallows

Minnette’s pop-rock band Wallows was initially called The Narwhals. The members include Minnette on lead guitar and vocals, Braeden Lemasters on rhythm guitar and Cole Preston on drums. The band’s debut EP “Spring” was released in April 2018. After selling out venues such as The Roxy and Troubadour in California, they set out out on their first U.S. tour in 2018, with stops at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival.

‘13 Reasons Why’

The critically acclaimed 2017 series, based on the 2007 novel by Jay Asher, was a hit for Netflix, though it did not receive Emmy Award nominations.

Minnette’s role on 13 Reasons Why is integral to the plot about a teenage girl, Hannah Baker (played by Katherine Langford), who committed suicide and left behind 13 cassette tapes as an audio diary. Clay listens to each of the tapes over 13 episodes and learns 13 reasons why Hannah killed herself.

As Clay proceeds through the tapes, he also drags his feet on listening to them, because they are upsetting, which lead other characters to nudge or pressure him to listen. That in turn led to viewers to create numerous internet memes in 2017 urging Clay to listen to the tapes.

His co-star Langford told MTV that Dylan Minnette is similar to his character: “generous and kind and courteous and he's pretty much Clay.”

The show experienced a backlash for its portrayal of teen suicide, but it went even further in Season 2, tackling issues of sexual assault and more. Ahead of it, Minnette tweeted a caution to fans: “Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why, like season 1, can be unflinching, dark and even hard to watch at times. please view with caution, or with loved ones. if you or anyone you know would like resources after watching, please go to http://13reasonswhy.info.”

Television Roles

Minnette’s television career started off with key roles as the young version of an adult character: He played the young Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men and the young Michael Scofield in Prison Break.

He has played sons of lead characters in Lost and Scandal. He also appeared in Drake & Josh, Grey’s Anatomy, Awake and Law & Order SVU.

Early Life

Minnette was born on December 29, 1996 in Evansville, Indiana. After an agent from Chicago discovered him, he began acting at age seven. He quickly landed a high-profile role on the television series Two and a Half Men. At age nine, he met future bandmate Braeden LeMasters and as early as 11 they were writing songs together.

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