Debra Messing Interview for 13: The Musical on Netflix

By 8/25/2022 12:04:00 PM , ,

13: The Musical is now available on Netflix and offers families a touching story based on the Broadway Musical “13”, but with a twist, which includes Debra Messing!

To learn more about this new character, I was able to interview Debra Messing and get the behind the scene details!

Debra Messing Interview for 13: The Musical on Netflix

Note: I was invited as media for movie screening and cast interview. However any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

Event covered by Savio P. Clemente, Board Certified wellness coach, author, syndicated columnist, podcaster who blogs at

Debra shared her thoughts about playing a new character not in the original musical, acting with kids and how 13: The Musical highlights Jewish families.

Similarities with the Character

Debra Messing in 13: The Musical on Netflix

Debra Messing: First I'm also a divorced women, a single mom of one boy, from New York City who grew up in Rhode Island next to a farm, and was one of three Jewish kids in my whole community. So I saw myself in Evan.

I understood the experience of being an "other" at that age. Just desperately wanting to fit in and feeling like people just don't understand.

I think that the writing between the mother and son was really honest. I love the fact that it's through the boys eyes. So much of the time, these movies about high school, it's the girls who are struggling. So to have a boy, it just feels powerful to me.

Debra Messing: Also it was very meaningful to me to see my culture, to see a story about a Jewish family. I can't remember a movie where it's about a Jewish family. With all the antisemitic in the world getting worse, I think it's really important to show inclusion is the way.

They make sorta of weird guesses about what being a jew is, and it's funny, but by the end, they teach each other. And their changed, at the end, everyone is welcomed, everybody is dancing together. That really was the most important thing to me.

Being Evan's Mom for the Movie

Debra Messing: It was shocking to learn the character didn't exist in the Broadway play, and that was the point, they wanted to expand the lens. And the fact that there would be a new song.

I felt a lot of responsibility, because I knew they were changing this beloved musical, and often change can be not a great thing for big fans. So I wanted her (the mom) addition to add something to the movie, that made sense, without distracting from all the joy.

Debra Messing: I felt some freedom cause the character didn't exist. I was able to have some faith because Robert Horn, is such an amazing book writer. We had a 2 week locked in when in Toronto and he called and said, lets go through the movie and the lines to see if you have any thoughts.

I thought that was incredibly generous. We came up with new funny stuff and I like Jessica!

Interactions with Eli Golden

Eli Golden in 13: The Musical on Netflix

Debra Messing: Eli blew my mind. Just walking on that set and having that kind of responsibility, of carrying the whole movie. And to have to sing, dance, learn choreography, I thought any kid would be overwhelmed by this.

The very first day, we did our song, so to spend the while day, just the two of us, and to sing a song that intimate, really brought us together. And really set the stage for the whole rest of the movie.

The Take Away Message of 13: The Musical

Debra Messing: I hope kids can watch and recognize that they're not alone. That whatever struggles their going through or questions they have about themselves, it's the norm for this time in a kids development.

Also to learn how to be forgiving of yourself, cause everybody makes mistakes, including adults. To show that a mistake isn't a failure, it's a lesson. You can choose to be defeated by it or you can choose to be better. And to make a better choice next time.

13: The Musical is streaming exclusively on Netflix.

13: The Musical on Netflix


Following his parents’ divorce, 12-year-old Evan Goldman (Eli Golden) uproots from New York City with his mother Jessica (Debra Messing). With his Bar Mitzvah fast approaching, Evan is devastated that he must leave all his friends, his father (Peter Hermann) and his rabbi (Josh Peck) behind.

But upon arriving at his grandmother’s (Rhea Perlman) house in small-town Walkerton, Indiana, he hatches a plan to win new friends by turning his Bar Mitzvah into the coolest party ever. As an outsider navigating the complicated social circles of his new school, Evan quickly finds out he’s not the only one grappling with the all too familiar anxieties of eighth grade.

While his new friends Patrice (Gabriella Uhl) and Archie (Jonathan Lengel) fret over the fate of the planet and unrequited love, respectively, popular cheerleader Lucy (Frankie McNellis) desperately plots to stave off a first kiss between her crush Brett (JD McCrary) and best friend Kendra (Lindsey Blackwell).

To make matters worse, Evan invites the popular kids to his party—who aren't fans of Patrice. With these competing interests in play, Evan faces the impossible task of bringing everyone happily together in time for his party, or else risk social ruin.

Suddenly, turning 13 isn’t looking as good as it’s cracked up to be.

Cast: Debra Messing, Eli Golden,Gabriella Uhl, JD McCrary, Frankie McNellis, Lindsey Blackwell, Jonathan Lengel, Ramon Reed, Rhea Perlman, Josh Peck, Peter Hermann

13: The Musical | Official Netflix Trailer

Directed by Tamra Davis, and based on the hugely popular musical 13, which debuted on Broadway in 2008.
Writer: Robert Horn - Based on the Broadway Musical “13”
Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Book by Dan Elish And Robert Horn
Producer: Neil Meron p.g.a
Executive Producers: Tamra Davis, Bob Boyett, Mark Nicholson, Jason Robert Brown, Robert Horn

Learn more, visit-

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  1. I'm not familiar with this as a show but 13 The Musical sounds like a great pick for family movie night. And I just love Debra Messing!