If you haven’t seen 13 Reasons Why, you’ve at least heard of it. At the heart of the zeitgeist-y Netflix series is Alisha Boe’s portrayal of Jessica. In the first season, Jessica is posthumously listed as “Reason #2” for character Hannah’s suicide; in season two, Jessica then deals with the trauma of encountering her rapist at school. It’s a lot to digest – and Boe keeps it grounded and believable.
As Jessica belongs to a clique of popular kids, Boe didn’t initially volunteer herself for the audition. An actor of half-Somali and half-Norwegian heritage, she knew how these things tend to go. However, the producers invited Boe to read for the part, and she remains integral to the soon-to-be-released third season. “I have been working on 13 Reasons Why since I was 19 years old,” says Boe. “Filming for six months then seeing the end product and being able to experience how the audience receives it – I’ve always loved being part of telling a story.”
Of course, Boe, who was born in Oslo and moved to Los Angeles aged seven, boasts an expansive list of credits outside of 13 Reasons Why, too. This includes two upcoming films: as a cheerleading instructor to Diane Keaton in Poms, and alongside Stranger Things’ Natalie Dyer in Yes, God, Yes – in Boe’s words, it’s a “movie about a Catholic girl discovering masturbation set in the early 2000s”. Let’s pray it’s as promising as it sounds.