The plot thickens! The Summer I Turned Pretty made quite a splash with its debut on Prime Video — and Belly’s (Lola Tung) love triangle with brothers Conrad (Christopher Briney) and Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) is only going to get even more complicated in season 2.
Ahead of the season 1 premiere, which aired in June 2022, creator and showrunner Jenny Han broke down her attempts to adapt the book series into a TV show.
“I approached it like, What do I think are the most important elements of the story to keep? And what do the fans care the most about? I am able to pull from all the emails, letters, and comments I’ve seen over the years from fans, so that’s how we looked at this adaptation,” she told Collider. “What do the original fans care most about?”
Han added: “And then, also for me, what’s going to be most like fun and exciting to explore? Because I think as a writer, you have to feel like you’re doing something new in a way, too. That it’s not going to be just the exact same thing, but what’s the new approach? And how do I make this feel fresh?”
According to the author, getting to incorporate Taylor Swift‘s music into season 1 was one of her favorite additions. “Fans of the books have asked me over the years if there could be Taylor [Swift] music and I always of course wanted it, but I can’t promise anything because it’s like not up to me,” she explained to The Wrap that same month. “But that was the most joyous part for me was able to give the fans that gift because I knew what it would mean to them as well.”
At the time, Han also gushed about getting to see Hung bring Belly to life in her own way. “I really wanted to find actors that felt real and natural and fresh. There’s a feeling of discovery about that. The linchpin was going to be Belly because everything hangs around her,” the Virginia native shared with Variety in June 2022. “She’s the main character and so it was the most important that we found our right Belly.”
For the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before author, the newcomer brought a much-needed perspective to her lead character. “Lola had this freshness to her. She was still 18 when we cast her and she turned 18 on the show, but I think it’s really hard to manufacture a kind of innocence or newness to things,” she continued. “This is our first part and she had never done it before. There’s so many meta elements to that — to Belly’s big summer and Lola’s big summer.”
Tung, for her part, also opened up about her introduction to The Summer I Turned Pretty franchise.
“I was a fan of Jenny, a little bit. I hadn’t read The Summer I Turned Pretty until I booked the role, but I was a fan of the To All The Boys movies and I did often Netflix party them with my friends because they were so wonderful,” the New York native detailed to Seventeen magazine in June 2022. “It’s unbelievable, I can’t believe [I’m part of The Summer I Turned Pretty]. Jenny’s also the best, so it’s really wonderful and wild that I’ve formed that relationship with her too.”
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