Why Bryce from 13 Reasons Why looks so familiar

Justin Prentice, aka Bryce from 13 Reasons Why, has an idea of what's it like to be one of the most hated characters on television. But, even with people being thrilled over his character's death, the actor told GQ, "It doesn't really bother me." He added, "What I'm excited to see though is if that perspective changes as people get deeper into the season." Although many people were introduced to Prentice through the Netflix series based on the novel by Jay Asher, the actor isn't new to the scene. In fact, by the time the third season of 13 Reasons Why rolled around, he'd been in the biz for a decade

Before deciding to take on his biggest role to date, Prentice said he knew it would be a "big undertaking" but was "excited" to delve in. "It was a challenging role," he explained to GQ. "Honestly as an actor, it was kind of a dream role. Anytime you get to play a character that's so outside of yourself, it's always a challenge. But for me the challenge has always been one of the most interesting parts of creating characters." What other characters has Prentice created? You'll want to keep reading.

How the man behind Bryce from 13 Reasons Why made his acting debut

In 2008, some nine years before Justin Prentice would star in the controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, he got his first role as "Cookie Boy" in the the comedy short Store Front. The synopsis for the obscure short is brief: "I am Store Front. I've been a variety of stores over the years. We get a lot of customers. Some good. Some bad. Some a little strange." The feature's tagline "Come in, weird open!" pretty much sums up the project.

The following year, Prentice starred in the made-for-TV movie Kid Edition, which is arguably just as obscure as Store Front. But hey, you have to start somewhere, right? Both projects likely helped Prentice beef up his résumé and help him land future roles on television. 

Interestingly, though, he didn't always want to be an actor. "When I was a wee little tyke I wanted to be a paleontologist, which I feel like might have satisfied me," the man known as Bryce from 13 Reasons Why told TV Insider. "Something in law maybe — there's a little bit of acting that comes into the courtroom — or the medical field would have been fun."

The actor who plays Bryce from 13 Reasons Why made appearances in some well-known shows

Perhaps Justin Prentice's love of court room drama, the medical field, and science as a whole drew him to series like Criminal Minds, NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, and CSI: Cyber. Although Prentice guest-starred in only one episode of each series, he was able to show off his acting talent early. And, of course, they're not the only shows in which he's made appearances. 

In 2010, he played the mayor's son Brett in the first season of the sitcom Melissa & Joey, a show starring Sabrina the Teenage Witch's Melissa Joan Hart and Blossom's Joey Lawrence. Prentice, who would go on to become best known for playing Bryce from 13 Reasons Why, then went on to star in an episode of The Middle during its second season.

He also dabbled in hit kids' shows like Nickelodeon's Victorious. The following year, Prentice secured a two-episode arc as Brad in Season 4 of iCarly, followed by a small role in Suburgatory. Just a few years after taking up acting, Prentice landed an eight-episode voiceover role as Andy in the animated series Winx Club: Enchantix.

Justin Prentice played the love interest of a Disney star before playing Bryce from 13 Reasons Why

Although the ABC sitcom Malibu Country would only end up running for one season, Justin Prentice would star in all 18 episodes opposite future Disney Channel star and singer Dove Cameron. This was before Cameron blew up in a big way, so, naturally, Prentice was more starstruck by other members of the cast, like the show's lead and his onscreen mom Reba McEntire, as well as supporting actress Lily Tomlin, who'd go on to star in her own Netflix hit Grace and Frankie.

"That was kind of a big deal because Reba was on the radio everyday when I was a child," the actor revealed in an interview with TV Insider. "That was one of those ones too where everyone in my family was like, 'Holy cow, you've made it! This is amazing! It's Reba!'" Little did they know at the time that Malibu Country was just the beginning of Prentice's fame. Like his costar Dove Cameron, Prentice went on to become a well-known name, too — in large part due to him later playing Bryce from 13 Reasons Why.

You may know the actor who plays Bryce from 13 Reasons Why as Becky's boyfriend in Glee

Justin Prentice was able to secure a two-episode role on the incredibly popular musical comedy-drama Glee in 2015. While his role in the final season was relatively small, the show had a large audience and undoubtedly helped put the actor, who'd go on to be known as Bryce from 13 Reasons Why, on the map.

As Gleeks — the show's fans — likely remember, Prentice premiered on Glee as Becky's boyfriend, Darrell, in the episode "Jagged Little Tapestry" and then again in "The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester." Looking back on his role in the series, Prentice told HuffPost, "It was awesome. I was honestly very honored to play the character."

Although some questioned why Becky's boyfriend did not have Down syndrome like her, Prentice said, "Glee is a great show in terms of tackling social issues. Lauren [Potter] is an absolute sweetheart and the coolest person to work with — they all were, it was fantastic." He continued, saying, "Again, with a lot of these social stigmas, they just don't need to be in place. Just by talking about them, we can often shatter them." 

Before starring as Bryce from 13 Reasons Why, Justin Prentice played Danny's "son" in The Mindy Project

If you were a fan of The Mindy Project, then you likely remember character Danny's trip to visit his father in the Season 4 episode "Road Trip." Morgan comes along for the ride, much to Danny's chagrin, and Danny tries to ditch him because he needs to make a "slight detour for personal reasons." You see, a month before the trip, Danny was informed he had a son named Eric and so he decided it would be a good time to go see him.

When the audience is introduced to Eric, who is played by Justin Prentice (before he played Bryce from 13 Reasons Why), it's obvious that he looks nothing like Danny. In the end, Eric's mom admits that she lied and both Danny and Eric are equally mad. To make matters worse, it's Eric's birthday. "I just wanted my friends to see that I had a dad. Especially Tyler. He's got two dads," the teen said. Although Danny initially stormed off, he thought better of it and returned. He even pretended to be Eric's father during the party, which was all kinds of sweet.

Before there was Bryce from 13 Reasons Why, there was Bryce in Those Who Can't

You may know him best as Bryce from 13 Reasons Why, but Justin Prentice played an entirely different character named Bryce in the mature comedy Those Who Can't. You'd have a hard time recognizing him with his nose ring, full beard, and beanie, though. After turning 18 and graduating from high school, his character revisits his former teacher Abbey and, well, they hit it off. Although things go well at first, Abbey decides she's too old for him and breaks up with her younger lover. Unfortunately for him, she broke up with him just after he got her name — albeit her misspelled name — tattooed across his side.

Prentice's role on Those Who Can't is a big departure from his other more serious roles, which goes to demonstrate his range. As it happens, comedy is something he'd love to delve back into. "I would love to do a comedy in my free time if [the opportunity] arises," the actor told Coveteur. "Just some good, lighthearted fun. I've done a few guest-stars, and I did a series that was a comedy a few years ago. I love it."

The actor behind Bryce from 13 Reasons Why had some Awkward moments

In MTV's high school comedy drama Awkward, Justin Prentice played a wealthy young character named Patrick whom Tamara has a crush on for a total of five episodes. Despite taking on many high school-specific roles à la Patrick, Prentice admitted that he never actually attended a regular high school. "Well, I was actually home-schooled because I was already acting," he laughed when revealing the truth to PopSugar. He explained further, saying, "I wanted to blow through it all and graduate early so I could focus on my career, so yeah it was really different from this."

Although his experience wasn't exactly typical, Prentice still experienced an unfortunately common aspect of high school. "Through sports teams and stuff growing up, there was bullying," he told the publication. Nevertheless, he's enjoying being able to relive his teen years. When PopSugar asked if it was fun to recreate a high school experience, he enthusiastically replied, "Yeah!" The actor who's known for playing Bryce from 13 Reasons Why added, "Over time I'm slowly living out all of my high school experiences on camera. It's really fun."

That time Bryce from 13 Reasons Why was a prisoner in hell

"I'm doing an [arc] on season two of AMC's Preacher," Justin Prentice, the man behind Bryce from 13 Reasons Why, told Coveteur ahead of its premiere, "so that's been awesome." If you haven't watched Preacher, Prentice and the rest of cast in the three episodes he stars in are essentially prisoners in hell. The actor continued, telling the publication, "I love really interesting shows and really interesting characters, and Preacher has that in abundance. There are some similarities [between Tyler and Bryce], so maybe for my next role I'll play a good guy."

Prentice isn't the only one drawing similarities between Tyler and Bryce. In a review of the series, IndieWire wrote, "We're going to assume that Justin Prentice is actually playing his 13 Reasons Why character and that this is the logical end for Bryce." In fact, there's even a fan theory that Tyler and Bryce are one in the same person due to the nature of the crimes both men committed.

Justin Prentice, aka Bryce from 13 Reasons Why, is also a producer

Even if you don't recognize Justin Prentice's face from anything other than him playing Bryce from 13 Reasons Why, you may have spotted his name in credits. In 2017, Prentice produced his very first project: Crossing Fences, a 17-minute action short directed by girlfriend Annika Pampel. The well-reviewed short is set in communist East Germany back in the mid-1970s and is centered around a young couple attempting to "escape into the West, seeking freedom, by using a handmade boat to cross the Baltic Sea." And, no, the lead couple isn't Pampel and Prentice.

Prentice soon turned his attention back to producing before filming Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why. This time, he produced his first feature film. In an interview with Variety, Prentice discussed the tentatively titled film Odium. "It is a very contained psychological thriller that takes place in one house and the periphery of the house in Sequoia National Park," Prentice explained. "It'll be interesting. It'll be fun. Hopefully we're going to film it, maybe, in March of [2019], if not earlier." As with Crossing Fences, Pampel will also direct.

What's next for Justin Prentice after playing Bryce from 13 Reasons Why?

Justin Prentice may be getting into producing more and more, but he's not giving up acting just yet. When speaking with GQ, the actor and producer said he'd like to try a role that is "the complete opposite of what [he's] been doing." Naturally, he's not looking to stay boxed into one kind of character — especially one who is so villainous. "I've been fortunate enough to have some good roles, but now, of course, the big one that everyone knows me for is 'Bryce the rapist,'" he admitted to Coveteur. "Now I have to shake it up a little bit and not get branded as that."

Despite the danger of getting typecast as a villain, Prentice feels his role as Bryce from 13 Reasons Why was important. "I really just hope, in general, there's dialogue and conversation about all the issues in the show," he explained to GQ. "Through all of the controversy," he later added, "any time we hear about dialogue being started, it makes it all worthwhile because that always has been one of our main goals."