13 Reasons Why's Anne Winters Defends Character Ani Following Backlash: She's 'Vital to the Story'
13 Reasons Why left fans on the edge of their seats at the end of season 3, and even the Netflix series’ stars are unsure of what is to come.
Anne Winters, who joined the show in season 2 as Chloe Rice, admitted to PEOPLE Now that she has “absolutely no idea” what the writers may have in store for the show’s fourth and final season.
“I mean, this is their senior year, so everyone is getting ready for college,” said Winters, 25. “They have gone through so much, like this class has gone through so many things. I think this season, it’s going to be about really accepting that high school is hard, and really just accepting life and moving on.”
Added the Grand Hotel actress: “And trying to figure out who you want to be from here. I have no idea what the writers are going to write this season.”
And what will come of Chloe for season 4? After her character’s pregnancy and heartbreaking abortion, Winters feels that Chloe’s storyline could go in any direction.
“I think she really grew up in this last season, so I would hope that … I don’t know, the world is so big and possible, she can do anything she wants at this point,” she said. “She’s gone through a lot.”
Season 3 also introduced Ani (Grace Saif) to Liberty High School; she replaced Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) as the narrator, and shares a suspicious relationship with the late Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice).
However, some fans were not pleased with the show’s new addition, and Saif received backlash on social media, which Winters felt was unwarranted.
“I think her role was very important this season, because, you know, you need someone that has the other side of Bryce,” Winter explained. “And we wouldn’t have really gotten to see that unless there was some sort of new character that was living with him. That had to be … that’s vital to the story to see. And Ani is amazing, Grace who plays Ani is like the sweetest girl ever. I really loved her character this season.”
Although she has not spoken to Saif since season 3 hit Netflix, Winters said she hopes the British actress is holding up well, despite the “negative reaction” against her character.
“I honestly have not talked to her, I haven’t seen her … but I hope she is,” Winters said of Saif. “She’s amazing.”
The third season of 13 Reasons Why was the first without Langford, 23, as Hannah, the teenage girl whose suicide (and the audio tapes she left behind) sparked the events of season 1.
The series was renewed for a fourth and final season on Aug 1.
13 Reasons Why is currently streaming on Netflix.