Twenty-one-year-old homegrown Hollywood star Katherine Langford has been at the top of our minds since she broke out last year, and her massive, runaway success has us captivated, but also feelin’ pretty bad about ourselves sometimes: at 21, I was mostly eating Pringles on my boyfriend’s couch instead of looking for a job. I joked that “my career was in the can,” which in hindsight is not particularly funny.
But instead of stewing in our own extreme averageness, we’ve tried to pinpoint the source of our fascination with Langford – is it mostly pride in one of our own? – and we’ve zeroed in on 13 reasons why we’re keepin’ a keen eye on her.
1. The massive cultural impact of her star turn in 13 Reasons Why.
Langford certainly set tongues wagging last year as Hannah Baker in 13 Reasons Why. Her character and the show were the subject of a seemingly endless swag of thinkpieces, all belying the impact of a show for teenagers that so frankly portrayed bullying, suicide and sexual assault.
2. She’s very capably juggling TV and film roles.
While filming the second season of the adored – and controversial – series, Langford has taken on her first full-length feature film roles, including in Aussie film The Misguided, and in the upcoming Love, Simon, from the producers of The Fault in Our Stars.
3. Katherine Langford is making her Hollywood feature debut in the soon-to-be-released coming-of-age movie Love, Simon.
Love, Simon is based on the YA novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, and also stars Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner. The film, directed by Greg Berlanti (Riverdale, Supergirl, Dawson’s Creek) and written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger (This Is Us), follows Simon Spier, played by Robinson, a teenager on the cusp of coming out to his friends and family, who falls for an anonymous fellow queer student online. Langford plays Spier’s best mate Leah Burke in the heart-wrenching yet incredibly uplifting film about finding yourself and falling in love. Love, Simon‘s that rare kind of movie that’ll have you lining up at the box office immediately after for round two.
4. She’s an award-winner, baby!
The role in 13 Reasons Why won her the Screen Australia Breakthrough Award at the Australians in Film Awards in Los Angeles, plus a Golden Globe nom for Best Actress in a TV Series Drama, which she lost to Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid’s Tale. Fair cop. But it certainly indicates we’ll be seeing Langford at red carpet awards well into the future.
5. Her award show fashion is on point.
It’s mostly that we absolutely frothed over her Prada Golden Globes gown, but she has previously showed form in cute red carpet outfits.
6. She is a vocal supporter of Hollywood’s #TimesUp movement.
Yep, she wore black to the Golden Globes – of course – signed her name to the Letter of Solidarity, and gushed on Insty about being inspired by the women in the #TimesUp photo opp below, which included Rashida Jones, Laura Dern and America Ferrara:
Today I signed this letter of solidarity to stand with men, women, and all non-binary people across every industry in saying: #TIMESUP. The @TIMESUPNOW Legal Defense Fund provides subsidized legal support across industries to those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace. Start 2018 strong – Join me. Read the letter, sign & donate! Link in bio
7. She’s also shown a commitment to helping people suffering from mental health issues.
Take her posts in connection to World Mental Health Day on October 10. The posts link to the very heavy issues raised by 13 Reasons Why, where she shows support for people struggling, and urges others to show kindness and compassion.
You are never alone. It can sound cliche, and at times; overused, but it's something that cannot be said enough. Mental health is a real thing that we are learning more about everyday, and it's important to remember that it's ok to feel broken, and to talk about how you feel. #worldmentalhealthday You are not alone ????
Last year we used a calendar to map out Hannah's life, and today would've been the day that Hannah went to Mr Porter for help. For those of you who have watched the show, you know that hannah didn't get the help she needed, and how that day ends. But what you also saw were the missed opportunities and people around her that could have helped. Continuing the conversation from #worldmentalhealthday I hope that today you may find the courage – not for the sake of a trend or movement, but for basic human kindness – to reach out to someone who may need your support. Or alternatively, to reach out for support for yourself. The smallest things can make the greatest changes. Be bold. Be brave. Be kind. ???? #worldmentalhealthday #continuetheconversation #bebold #bebrave #bekind
8. Langford has been outspoken in her support of LGBTIQ+ issues.
Langford firmly believes that everyone deserves a great love story. She was a vocal advocate of the ‘Yes’ side in the marriage equality postal survey last year, and celebrated National Coming Out Day on October 11 with the release of the movie poster for Love, Simon.
Speaking to Perth’s The Sunday Times last year, Langford spoke about the importance of Love, Simon for the LGBTIQ+ community:
It’s a really wonderful pro-LGBQTI film… I have a lot of friends who have really struggled with the process of coming out and it’s something I feel passionate about. I’m not consciously pursuing these roles with a social agenda, but I’ve been lucky to be cast in two works that tackle serious issues that I think will speak to a lot of people.
9. Her OG songs – written when she was a teenager – are legit.
Yep, you can find some Katherine Langford originals when you plumb the depths of YouTube. And they’re worth a watch: not only is she super talented, but she was vocal about the issues as far back as 2013, writing Young & Stupid, a song about the suicide of three Perth teenagers.
10. She even uses her Insty Story to inspire other young people.
At the time of writing, Langford was sharing on her Story the CNN #StudentsStandUp debate on gun control, following the horrific Florida school shooting. She had a message to young people: “Please remember that you are the future. Never forget how much power you have.”
11. She can definitely laugh at her high school self.
Katherine Langford actually used the below Perth Modern School infringement notice to give some love to students taking their exams, and to assure them that those final year marks don’t define you: “please remember you’re worth more than a mark, there’s a big future ahead waiting for you“.
Shout out to everyone doing exams at the moment. I know there may be a heap of pressure right now, so just a friendly reminder that your marks DO NOT define you. Yes, education is important. And yes, you want to do your best. But at the end of the day, your wellbeing is the most important thing and there are a million pathways to get you where you want to go. If you're feeling the weight of expectation – whether it be from your parents, your school, your teachers, or even yourself – please remember you're worth more than a mark, and there's a big future ahead waiting for you. Good luck, and take care of yourselves – you got this! Xx ——— Ps. thankyou to all the glorious teachers who got me through high school ????
12. But she can make fun of her 20-something self too.
Her Instagram feed ain’t all serious issues – it’s also a space for silly holiday antics with her co-stars, daggy puns and pulled faces. She is all of us.
13. She still calls Australia home.
This has all certainly whet our appetites for Katherine Langford in the feelgood coming-of-age story Love, Simon. Let the trailer for the film, out March 29 through 20th Century Fox, give you all the feels:
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