Why Dylan Minnette Quit Acting After “13 Reasons Why” and “Scream”

The actor said he was "fortunate to find success" in the industry on the Netflix series, but is focused on music for now

<p>Amanda Edwards/Getty</p> Dylan Minnette attends Film Independent

Amanda Edwards/Getty

Dylan Minnette attends Film Independent's Live Read of 'Jennifer's Body' on April 11, 2023

Following the biggest role of his career, Dylan Minnette took a conscious step back from his acting career a few years ago — and now he's revealing what went into that decision.

In an interview on The Zach Sang Show with his band, Wallows, Minnette, 27, admitted that he does "think about" getting back into acting as he reflected on the pause he took following 13 Reasons Why, when he was "fortunate to find success in it."

"I was on 13 Reasons Why and it was really popular and definitely reached a peak in — so far — of what I’ve had in acting. But it also started to feel like a bit of a job," he said. "And I was in a very fortunate position where — it was always fun for me, always really inspiring, but then as soon as it was just starting to feel like just a job, I was like, well, I feel like Wallows and music is this passion that we have always had as a group to really take all the way, and as far as we can. And I feel like I’m in a position now where I can just kind of do that for a while and get this the farthest it can be."

Minnette starred as Clay Jensen on the Netflix series, which premiered in 2017 and continued for four seasons, wrapping in 2020. Two years later, he reemerged for Hulu's award-winning limited series The Dropout and the fifth installment of Scream.

He said he knows he's "incredibly privileged and lucky to be in a position where it’s like, ‘This is starting to feel like a job, so I’m gonna do this now, and this’ll be my job.'"

"It’s insane, but it's working out that way, and I’m just following what feels inspiring," he added.

Related: '13 Reasons Why' Star Dylan Minnette and Girlfriend Lydia Night Break Up After 4 Years

Netflix Dylan Minnette in '13 Reasons Why'
Netflix Dylan Minnette in '13 Reasons Why'

There is a good chance he'll return to viewers' screens in the future, though.

"I do feel like I have something to give, and that’s probably acting," he said. "I feel like I’m starting to feel inspiration for that again. At some point, when we’ve fulfilled our Wallows duties and we’re all ready to take a break as a band, or just take a second, that’s when I’ll have the perfect inspiration to do something.”

Last year, he came close to returning, he told Sang, but the writers' and actors' strike got in the way. "It just didn't work, so I really did — I was thinking about it."

Related: Actors Who Decided to Step Away from Acting — and Whether or Not They Stuck to Their Decisions

<p>Everett </p> Sam Waterston as George Shultz, Dylan Minnette as Tyler Shultz in 'The Dropout'


Sam Waterston as George Shultz, Dylan Minnette as Tyler Shultz in 'The Dropout'

Prior to earning a lead role on 13 Reasons Why — which received major backlash for glamorizing teen suicide, as it told the story of the cassette tapes a teenager (Katherine Langford) left behind for her friends after taking her own life — Minnette had made various appearances on TV since his debut on Drake & Josh in 2005.

He starred in Two and a Half Men, Lost, Grey's Anatomy and Prison Break (as the younger version of Wentworth Miller's character), and played First Son Jerry Grant Jr. in Scandal.

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13 Reasons Why can be streamed in full on Netflix.

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