The Summer I Turned Pretty, based on Jenny Han’s book of the same name, opened to warm responses from the audience. The series comes from the same writer who gave us To All The Boys I Have Loved Before and introduces debutante actress Lola Tung as the main character Belly. In a candid chat with News18.com, which was joined by the writer and the actress, the former explained how the series is different from the book, whereas the latter talked about the experience of her first acting gig.
Talking about how the book and series differ, Jenny said, “I think there are some new characters and you get to spend some time with the characters you don’t see as much in the book. Like Steven goes to college in the book but here we have him the whole summer. So those were the bigger changes.”
The series revolves around teenager Belly and her life with her brother Steven and their two close friends Conrad and Jeremiah. Every year during summer, Belly along with her mom and brother visits Cousin’s beach to spend time with her mom’s best friend Sussanah and his two sons. Lola shared that she is feeling a mix of nervousness and anxiousness thinking about the audience’s reaction to her debut project.
She shared, “I think it is a mix of nervousness and anxiousness and excitement. Like a bunch of overwhelming emotions and there is always that little bit of those nerves about what people are going to think and how people are going to feel about your character and your work. And I am very proud of everything we did and I am so happy that I get to be a part of this project. So that’s amazing.”
The series also sees her entangled in a love triangle with the two brothers Conrad and Jeremiah. Talking about how similar she is to Belly, Lola said, “I think we are not the same exact person for sure, there are differences but we are similar in many ways. I can relate to her a lot being a teenager but I am a couple of years older than her so I have more life experience. But I can definitely relate to the feeling that she was feeling and the overwhelming emotions you feel at 16. You feel everything is so big and so important that it impacts the rest of your life so it was really cool to play Belly and revisit that point in my life.”
Meanwhile, the writer Jenny says that she is not worried about the success her previous book had as these are two different stories. Asked about the success of her previous venture, she shared, “I am not nervous because I think it is two separate stories and I think that for me the most important thing was feeling like the original fans will be happy with the story we told. Everything that comes to it is just icing on the cake but I think I went into it wanting to create something new, with new people and tell the story in the way we were doing.”
Even before the release of the series, it was renewed for a second season. The Summer I Turned Pretty is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.