‘The Summer time I Turned Fairly’: Lola Tung on Rising Up Alongside Stomach

Lola Tung was taking courses as a first-year appearing pupil at Carnegie Mellon College, in Pittsburgh, when she heard the information. She had simply been chosen to play the lead in a brand new Amazon collection known as “The Summer time I Turned Fairly,” based mostly on the best-selling younger grownup novel by Jenny Han.

“I used to be simply in shock as a result of I didn’t anticipate this,” Tung, 20, a New York Metropolis native, mentioned in a video interview final month. “I known as my mother after and we have been simply crying collectively over the cellphone, which was beautiful. But it surely was the very best shock ever.”

Tung, who was 18 years outdated and had acted solely at school performs, took a go away of absence from faculty in 2021 to go to Wilmington, N.C., to hitch the manufacturing of the present, which tells a narrative of romantic awakening set at a seaside home.

As summer time commences and the present’s two central households head to the coast, Tung performs Isabel Conklin, often known as Stomach, an adolescent woman who turns into caught in a love triangle with two of her childhood greatest buddies — who additionally occur to be brothers: Conrad (Christopher Briney) and Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno). The romantic pressure captivated teen and young-adult viewers when the collection debuted in 2022 and helped flip the present right into a social media sensation. The hashtag #TheSummerITurnedPretty has collected hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok as customers publish fawning movies in help of “Crew Conrad” or “Crew Jere.”

“I knew it could be particular, however I feel nothing can ever put together you,” Tung mentioned. “There’s no option to know the way it’s going to be obtained and the way your life will change after.”

Tung continued her faculty go away to star within the present’s second season, which premieres on Prime Video on Friday. If watching the primary season felt like basking in an ideal summer time day — filled with pool events, passionate kisses and Kim Petras lyrics — the second season feels darker, cloudier, shrouded by loss.

Each Tung and her character have weathered a collection of adjustments between the 2 seasons: Tung now has red-carpet interviews, a partnership with American Eagle and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers; Stomach has misplaced an in depth household good friend and should battle to save lots of the seaside home. Each are studying what it means to develop up.

Forward of the Season 2 debut, Tung spoke about her position, her favourite Taylor Swift music and whether or not she’s on Crew Conrad or Crew Jeremiah. These are edited excerpts from the dialog.

How do you get within the mind-set of getting ready to play the position of Stomach?

Music performs such a giant half in prepping for various scenes. We have been leaping round lots emotionally in Season 2, so I feel music was a option to in a short time get into the pinnacle house of the character, no matter scene it was. I might journal lots and write lots, particularly from Stomach’s perspective. The primary season, I wrote letters to every of the characters in Stomach’s voice, which was actually cool. I feel whenever you journal and also you write simply type of like stream of consciousness you be taught lots in regards to the character.

What have been a number of the songs you listened to for this season?

I listened to quite a lot of Mitski. “Two Sluggish Dancers” is a good tune to hearken to; it’s a really reflective type of tune. Numerous Taylor Swift. Phoebe Bridgers was on the playlist, Dodi was on the playlist, Lizzie McAlpine; I feel I’ve some SZA on right here as nicely. It was quite a lot of barely extra emotional songs — songs that felt nostalgic as a result of Stomach was actually on this season coping with quite a lot of adjustments in her life and coping with the truth that change is inevitable. It’s a tough factor to comprehend rising up. You realize, how do you progress ahead and nonetheless keep in contact with that magic of childhood and the familiarity and issues that you realize?

What do you suppose this season says in regards to the themes of change and loss and development as a teen?

The characters have skilled quite a lot of development and quite a lot of change since we final noticed them. That’s a extremely onerous factor for all of them to cope with, and so they’re type of on their very own at first. Season 1 was a lot about these characters rising collectively and having one another to lean on. Season 2 is lots about particular person development and how one can take initiative, particularly for Stomach.

She’s actually remoted from the boys and from her household, and feeling utterly misplaced with out Susannah (Rachel Blanchard) there. It was actually cool to get to determine what the following step was for her and the way she strikes ahead from the burden of grief. It’s about studying that change is OK and regular. Despite the fact that issues are totally different, the whole lot will likely be OK.

Are there points of Stomach’s character you relate to? And are there points you are feeling are very dissimilar?

I positively suppose we’re fairly comparable, and I completely convey a few of myself to her. It’s solely pure should you’re taking part in a personality, particularly one so shut in age. She’s a really emotional individual and leads together with her coronary heart and cares lots in regards to the individuals in her life, particularly her household, even when it’s onerous to precise that typically. I feel she’s bolder than I’m, and he or she’s extra of a threat taker, and that was one thing I assumed could be a problem. However I actually loved attending to faucet into that a part of her, and I realized from her in that method. I stole a few of her boldness.

I noticed that Taylor Swift teased her “Again to December (Taylor’s Model)” tune in the course of the newest trailer for the present. Do you have got a favourite tune of hers you actually resonate with?

I’m a giant fan of hers. I used to hearken to her earlier albums like “Fearless” and “Converse Now” and “Purple.” I had slightly CD participant and I might hearken to them whereas I used to be falling asleep. I’ve quite a lot of favourite songs. I feel an all-time favourite is “You Belong With Me” after which I additionally love “All the things Has Modified.” Proper now I’m listening to “Mirrorball” lots.

What are the dynamics for you with the opposite actors each on set and off set?

I really feel so fortunate that all of us get alongside so nicely and that I’ve made some actually nice buddies. Particularly within the first season, we performed whiffle ball a bunch and we might simply go seize dinner each time we may. We might car-pool collectively. After we had downtime on set, we’d hang around and discuss and play playing cards or chess. The blokes beloved taking part in chess on set, which I began to get into as nicely. It’s enjoyable whenever you’re simply sitting round ready for the following setup in a scene to simply play a fast recreation. I wasn’t that nice, however I had enjoyable.

I’ve to ask — are you on Crew Conrad or Crew Jeremiah?

I at all times say I’m the most important supporter of Crew Stomach, endlessly and at all times, and I’ll at all times follow that reply as a result of I actually do consider that she’s the one one who could make that alternative. And if we’re doing our jobs proper, I feel you possibly can see why she loves each of those boys. In the end it’s nearly her following her coronary heart.

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