One generation of teenagers will remember Keiko Agena for her role as Lane Kim, Rory Gilmore’s best friend in Gilmore Girls. Spunky and rebellious, the drum-playing Lane is constantly trying to get around her strictly religious mother. Between the years of 2000 to 2007, Lane was the rock to Rory’s roll.
More recently, Lane reappeared in the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix. In the present day, Lane's a mother of twin boys, Kwan and Steve. Her band, Hep Alien, has been going strong for 15 years. Plus, Lane's still jamming out with the band's guitarist, Zack, who also happens to be her husband.
But a younger slew of teenagers are more likely to recognise Agena as Mrs. Bradley from the 2017 Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
While the character of Mrs. Bradley isn’t in Jay Asher’s original book 13 Reasons Why, she plays an important role in the series. A communications teacher, Mrs. Bradley forges a warm class environment by allowing students to leave each other anonymous compliments. While Mrs. Bradley’s actions are well-intentioned, after Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) finds out her compliment bag has been systematically emptied by another student, she sinks further into depression.
Of course, if you’re any good at math, your spidey senses might be tingling. How could Agena go from playing a bright-eyed high schooler to a middle-aged teacher in the span of ten years?
Born in 1973, Agena was actually 11 years older than her character, Lane. That means that when Lane was a fledgling high schooler in season 1 of Gilmore Girls, Agena was actually 27. And when Lane was a college student in the last season, Agena was well into her 30s. So, seeing Agena as a school teacher might be a shock to those of us who remember her as a wild child. But given the math, it’s not such a stretch.
In the years between these wildly popular teen shows, the actress appeared in multiple other roles you might recognise. You can catch her in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, an episode of Scandal as Britta Kagen, and in a brief stint on Shameless as Brittany Sturgess.
One last fun fact? Those of you who grew up on Disney cartoons will recognise her voice as Yori from Kim Possible. Moral of the story? Lane Kim lives on.