Lana Condor Says Goodbye to ‘To All the Boys’
The first two films in the Netflix To All The Boys I Loved Before trilogy ticked pretty much every box on the Rom-Com-Boy-Drama For Teens bingo card: A boy next door, a boy who is doomed to end up at the end of a love triangle, and especially the boy who helps develop a wrong dating act that inevitably … doesn’t get so wrong.
When it came time to do the last episode, Lana Condor, who plays Lara Jean, the girl at the center of it all, was just ready for a change: “It’s called ‘To All the Boys'”, actress, 23, said in a Zoom interview on Monday. “It was about the boys. From day 1. We get it. “
“To All the Boys: Always and Forever,” which begins streaming on Friday, sets Team Josh and Team John Ambrose aside, and Team Peter aside in favor of Team Lara Jean as she is about to make some major life decisions with high school graduation. She is far from the hopeless romantic who wrote down her feelings in rambling love letters instead of reacting to them. This habit sparked the antics of the first film when the letters accidentally found their way to their recipients.
A lot has changed for Condor too. With the first episode in 2018, she became an overnight star. After “To All the Boys” she will produce a new comedy series for Netflix.
But first, after several years of hurricane work, she’s focused on settling in her new home in Seattle with her boyfriend, actor Anthony De La Torre, and their dog, Emmy. As she prepares to say goodbye to the character who has defined her career so far, Condor discussed what it means to be one of the few Asian-American actresses to direct a romantic comedy and why the Lara Jean of “Always and Forever “she’s a favorite. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
This time last year you surprised fans at the Paris Theater in New York for a screening of the second film in the trilogy – an experience that now seems rather strange. How does it feel in retrospect?
It was very emotional and just overwhelmed me with joy. I put so much of myself into these films because I love them. And they changed my life too. But looking back, at that point I ran with Rauch because it shot the films one after the other and then went on the big press tour. I wish I had recorded everything and really been there.
How was that last movie for you?
I remember thinking, “How did I get here?” All I wanted was to end it in a way that I would be super proud of Lara Jean. So I was just bent as hell; I talked to the director and producers and writers all the time and they all said, “You guys, we have to show her how she comes into the world as a young woman choosing herself for the first time.”
It was a crazy emotional experience because the last few years have been the biggest ups and downs of my life. [She has said she felt burned out after the first film.] I love the films, the friends I made in the films, the story – I love the color scheme of our films, the pinks and the teals. Knowing that the last time I will be in the bedroom, the last time at school, all of these things that I’ve spent so much time doing over the past three years are emotional. I will miss it very much.
What was it like filming in Korea?
We went during typhoon season. So I thought who thought of that? But it was amazing. We only shot tourist things, so we had to shoot in all the places we would have gone as normal tourists. We’d meet people on the street and people would go into the setting while we were filming and just say, “Oh hi! I love your movie! “And we would say:” You’re in. “
How did you feel about the end of Lara Jean’s story?
Something I’m most proud of is that she never really loses her weird little -isms and quirks, and never loses or changes her personality. This is really hard when you’re in high school. Yes, the Lara Jean we see in the third film is an adult Lara Jean, and she differs in that she now has life experience, but ultimately she never lets go of the things that make her her.
Did you get to keep any clothes?
Am I allowed to keep any clothes? Did i steal the clothes? Yes. We spent hours and hours making every outfit perfect because we saw in the first film that girls actually went out to buy the outfits.
In the third movie, they have this bowling jersey that we mimicked from “The Big Lebowski,” so I have that. I have the hatbox that isn’t a garment, but I didn’t want to leave the set without it. I have this blue silk jacket that she wears during a scene with Peter [in Part 1] when she talks about people who are leaving – “The more people you let into your life, the more people can go straight out.” I love that. I took a pair of jeans, which isn’t exciting, but it’s very hard to find good jeans.
The films are based on Jenny Hans books and it’s fun to spot her cameos in every film – how has your relationship with her been over the years?
She is like my sister. We’re always on the phone for hours. When we first talked years ago, she said, “I just want you as Lana and a young Asian-American girl to have the same opportunities that Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss or Kristen Stewart as Bella from ‘Twilight’ would have . ”And that was before we even knew we were going to have three films. I’ve never had anyone say this before, especially as an Asian American actress – almost to the point where I thought is it even possible?
Was this aspect of representation of the greatest importance to you when making the films? Did it add extra pressure?
I read the book right before the audition and then I thought, OK, I have to have this. Because this is an Asian American girl who is falling in love and that is something we need to see.
But when we were making the films it was almost like I was just Lana. After all, it’s about a young girl who falls in love and shows that anyone can fall in love. So I think it was in my head, but it wasn’t. Because I don’t walk around in life like Asian Lana who goes to the store, Asian Lana who picks up food, Asian Lana who goes for a walk with my dog.
We have reached the end of what Jenny Han wrote for Lara Jean. But do you see a scenario where more of this story may unfold, or where you may play that character again?
I never think never say [But] The third is all I know. For me this is the end. But I would like to see Lara Jean and Peter in their mid to late 20s. Like they went through college and I want to see how they are in the work area. I have this dream that Lara Jean works in a field of literature, I don’t know, in New York, writes, lives her life. Because personally I feel like they’re going to try to make it work in college, but they have to grow separately to be fully ready to come together.
But I know for sure that they will get married; You will live happily ever after. I just think that they have to grow as individuals first. And then I’d love to see her again – she’s like going to a coffee shop and writing an article for a newspaper she works for and he happens to be there and they meet in a new way where they are older and developed . That would be so cool. When it happens, this is the first place you heard.