Now quite the standout character on a television show that has captured an entire generation, actor Timothy Granaderos has our full attention, for better or worse. His now-infamous scene on the hit Netflix show 13 Reasons Why has catapulted Granaderos’s ‘Monty' from a supporting character to the show’s main antagonist and someone who seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Candid recently spoke with Timothy Granaderos.
We dug well-beneath the surface to uncover the real-life gentleman that exists far beyond his controversial character.
Timothy, you’re a young guy, living in Los Angeles, but you were born and attended school in Michigan. So, how exactly did you become an actor in Hollywood?
Oh boy. Well, I had been an athlete my whole life. I played soccer [football]. Once my soccer career started to fade away, I kind of organically fell into acting. My sister got me a job working on a reality TV show, so I got in through the entertainment industry that way. She had a friend who was a photographer.
I just kind of randomly took some headshots with him, signed up with a modeling agency that took me out on castings and then commercials. Then eventually, I decided to start taking acting classes. From there, I just fell in love with it. Now, I’m here!
We definitely knew of your character ‘Monty' from the first season of 13 Reasons Why, but his storyline grew rather exponentially in Season 2. In your opinion, how is ‘Monty' creating such a lasting effect on the show?
You kind of find out later on that he’s the ‘puppet master' behind all these antics and he obviously becomes one of the lead villains because of his scene with Tyler in Episode 13 [of Season 2].
How would you describe ‘Monty'? Would you say he’s somewhat misunderstood or is he as inexcusably evil as he comes off to many viewers?
Oh no, he’s definitely misunderstood. Like most high school kids, he’s just trying to find a way to navigate the pressures of high school and home life and he just does it in a different way. He’s dealing with all this displaced anger and emotions that he doesn’t know what to do with or can fully comprehend. Unfortunately, he resorts to physical violence as you see throughout both seasons.
There is one rather disturbing scene you’re involved in, which social media has shown a wide variety of emotions toward lately. What were your thoughts when you first read the script about this traumatic scene, knowing you’d soon be filming it?
It was rather jarring to read. I knew of it going into it, but it was shocking to read on paper. I just remember being very nervous about doing the scene justice, which sounds kind of weird, but I wanted it to be as honest and real as possible. So, I just felt a lot of pressure for myself to do a good job, which is a weird thing to say about such a brutal and uncomfortable scene.
How do you deal with the backlash you must be receiving on social media, from people that seem to be unable to separate you, the actor, from your ‘bad boy' character?[Laughs] Well fortunately for me, most people are good at separating the two, but some people are taking it pretty seriously. If anything, it’s a compliment to what I did. It is an uncomfortable scene and you shouldn’t feel good about it when watching it. So, if people are disgusted by it and it leaves an impact on them, I know I did my job.
The internet is calling your character ‘Monty' a ‘Villain'. Since playing this much-talked about character yourself, how would you now define ‘Villain'?
I would say a ‘Villain' is a complex human being who is a product of their environment and unfortunately, they can’t deal with what they’re going through in an appropriate way. And you need a villain to see good.
Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why has been announced by Netflix. Congratulations!
What are your hopes for ‘Monty' going forward?
Well, he did an awful thing, so I hope he pays for it. I also hope he gets to explore his relationship with his father and home life. That’s up to the ‘big dogs' and the writers, too.
Let’s talk beyond your hit show and talk about real-life Timothy Granaderos for a moment. What do you like to do for enjoyment?
So, I am really close with my family. I’m lucky because my brother and sister both live out in LA, so I get to see them a lot. I have a longtime girlfriend I have been with forever and we have a huge group of friends, so we like to go to the beach and hike and see movies and all that good stuff. I love camping and being out in nature. That’s my absolute happy place. Any time I get to put my phone down because I have no service and just be under a pine tree, I am happy.
Photograph of Timothy Granaderos: Shanna Fisher, Grooming: Michelle Harvey, Styling: Anne Demay
I think a lot of ‘Monty haters' would be glad to hear that you are so active in showing your support for causes like March For Our Lives. What draws you to movements like these?
It’s just compassion and love. It’s so much easier to spread those things than hate. I think it’s contagious, too. As actors, we are very fortunate with getting these platforms to speak on and for me, it’s all about spreading love and good vibes. That’s kind of what I am all about.
Candid takes great pride in our men’s fashion section. So, what types of looks do you like to wear out on a weekend and what’s one clothing accessory you wouldn’t be caught dead in?
Fedora is the accessory. No fedora. I just don’t think I am cool enough for them. I’m very casual. I like to wear black jeans, Vans and just a comfortable T-shirt or a short-sleeved button-down. And I only say that about the fedora because I don’t think I can pull it off. Maybe one day.
I have to ask one more question pertaining to 13 Reasons Why. What is one thing that you, Timothy Granaderos, would say to your character ‘Monty' to comfort him and perhaps persuade him to change his ways?
Yeah [pauses]. Ugh, that’s a good question. I would just tell him that the pain he feels now will go away, so just keep fighting to do the right thing or actually, start trying to find the right way.