Ross Butler, Janel Parrish, Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Anna Cathcart 'To All the Boys: Always and Forever' Cast Talks Representation & Legacy | Interview | Raffy Ermac
How are you i’m good? Thank you so much for taking the time out to me. I’M. A big fan and i’ve loved this franchise, since it started so it’s an honor to talk to you. Of course, i’m my pleasure’s online, so um just to begin things um speaking as an asian american viewer myself. What i love the most about the cubby family and then the film franchise is that um, obviously asian voices and asian faces are centered but it’s. Not about being asian, just like everybody else, we fall in love, we get our hearts broken and i was wondering if you talked a little about what is like being part of such a popular beloved franchise that brought asian americans to center and uh what’s. That been like having that impact with viewers asian americans over the past few years, i mean, i think you hit it right on the head. One of the things that i love the most about these films is that it normalizes seeing asian americans in you know: mainstream media and it’s, not it’s a it’s, a story about friendship and love and their their their asian ness is very much part of their identity And is who they are but it’s, not this it’s not constantly like reminding the audience that don’t forget, don’t, forget they’re asian don’t. Forget this fact, because we all know it, and i think that there’s like a very it’s, a nuanced way of making films that i think we need to do more of um.
And for me, i feel like my mission and in my career is to continue doing stories that um make just normalize like seeing someone that looks like us in a leading role falling in love, like, i think, that’s, brilliant and jenny hannah always says she said from The beginning she was like you know, like asian people can fall in love too, and i was like yeah that’s, true um, but i think in terms of impact um, you know i. It is my greatest honor and pleasure to um be telling these stories and never ever do. I feel um people always ask like. Are you? Do you get stressed out? Are you nervous about you know representing the community when it comes to these? You know leading roles and, of course not like this is my duty i feel like as an actress, so i i just you know i’m, so grateful to all the filmmakers and the people who believe that it’s possible um and i see it. I definitely see a shift in the industry. I think it’s baby steps, of course, but i do see a shift um and that’s exciting for me, like the scripts that i’ve been getting ever since these movies have come out, make me feel very hopeful for the future and we love to see it. I can’t wait for the future too and um compared to the first movie to this movie. Laura jean has had like a complete change of character like she’s uh, she wasn’t so confident.
But now i feel like in the third round she’s more confident she’s making decisions for herself and that’s always a good message for especially young asian girls, to see that you should be able to put yourself first and what you want to do in life. So can you talk a little about that and the joy was playing uh, just a fully rounded character and getting to see her journey in evolution these past two years, yeah i mean it’s, it it’s it’s, like the ultimate glow up. I feel like the first. The first, the first and the second movie she’s choosing between boys and relationships, um, which is you know, accurate to the genre of a rom com, but i and totally appropriate. But i think that what was the what was so important to me was for. The third movie was for her to now choose her future and choose her herself and choose what makes her come alive and – and that was the most important part, because i wanted to show people that, like i think, oftentimes you know we give ourselves away to so Many people and we completely neglect our own needs, and i want people to feel empowered to make these choices, especially as an asian american. I think there’s a real sense of, like you know, model minority where it feels like. Oh, i have to do everything a specific way, and maybe i don’t follow my heart, and maybe i follow certain expectations of me and i think that in this movie it shows like no.
We have to follow our hearts with friendships with love, with relationships with success. With where, with with jobs um with you know at everything in our future, so hopefully, hopefully that comes across, but it it is important, it’s very important part of our moves for sure, particularly this one i feel like i really did come across. I got that perfectly and this third one is like my favorite out of all of them so far, so you really knocked it out of the park. Thank you so much well i’m, getting the rap signal, but thank you again so much long. I can’t wait for people to see it congrats. I know how’s it going good. How are you i’m good? Thank you for taking the time out to talk to me. Um i’ve been a big fan for years and i love the franchise so it’s nice to get to talk to you so much. I love your room. You have what, like the constellation thing, that’s great yeah, it’s all over twitter. Thank you, um. My first question is um speaking as an asian american viewer and just like a fan of the franchise. What i love the most about to all the boys i love before is that how modern and fresh and um it all seems, there’s. Obviously, asian voices and asian faces, but there’s also queer characters strong women. So i was wondering uh what your thoughts were about being a part of a project that just feels so fresh and so modern, especially in this day, and if we don’t see that i feel like we’re just starting to see that more and more totally uh.
You know it’s great, i feel like there’s a bit of a renaissance happening and i think i got very lucky. It was in the right place at the right time. It was kind of you know, um. You know it’s above me and i’m super grateful to be a part of it because it’s important to not just look about your passions, but i think to have a higher purpose and what it is that you do and some people don’t have the opportunity to to Have a higher purpose they kind of just have to take what’s given to them, and for me personally with all the boys, you know i i was in that position and i just happened to land the right job that you know. I could at least do some little part in moving the envelope and um over the past three years, that’s so weird to say: that’s, like it’s, been three years since the first one came out um, i can’t imagine all the pressure. You must have been being a romantic lead in like a popular beloved franchise, so uh, reflecting now on it now that we’re in the home stretch. Do you feel like relieved like? How are you feeling now that the journey’s almost over and we made it to where we we are now? I don’t know it’s it’s interesting, because i never really felt a lot of pressure um. He was always very fun. He was always very light hearted.
Even when we were working on set, you know um, i think the most the the the the you know the hardest part. The most like um uh, like fearful part of it, was the first one. You know getting the character right. Um, you know doing a good job that first day on set, you know, and once we lock in the character it kind of got a lot easier from there um you know and letting go and saying goodbye now it feels it feels feels right. You know that’s part of life is, is letting go of things good things. You know when it’s the time and when it’s their time to be over and to pass um and it’s yeah, so it you know, it all feels good. I think i think we gave everything that we could to the narrative to lara jean to peter to the whole story, so being able to say goodbye in this way. It feels feels like of always to say goodbye. This just feels really good and you’ve. Speaking of that you’ve like embodied kaminsky the past three years, what have you made most about him in his journey over these past three movies? And what are you gon na miss the most about him? Now that, like i mentioned we’re at the end, yeah yeah i’d say that i really um. I admire how how brave he is. I mean he’s very courageous when he, when he’s looking at his own demons and looking past himself too, not just with lara jean but with relationships in his life.
I think you know, bravery is not someone. Who’S brave is not someone who lacks fear entirely. But, being someone who’s brave means that you have the courage to persevere despite there being fear, um and he’s, not afraid he’s afraid but he’s, not he’s, courageous enough to take on his fears and that’s, something that i i deeply admire about him and it’s, something that Fans love to see, and i can’t wait for them to see the movie. Oh thanks me neither yeah that’s, all the questions i have left, but thank you guys so much again. Um i love the hair too. We met on the charlie’s angels, said uh a couple years ago, when we both had uh buzz cuts, so you grew up, but i stayed the same hell yeah. Thank you. Thank you. One bye, bye, hi, everybody hi uh. Thank you for taking the time out to talk to me incredible. This is on the film. Thank you. My first question is for janelle um. The covey family is my favorite and uh speaking as like an asian american viewer. What i appreciate most about the film franchise is that um there’s, obviously uh asian voices and easy phrases are centered, but like the entire series, isn’t about being asian they’re, just um, laura jean just gets to fall in love and like go through this childhood place. Like any other teenager, so i was wondering if i could get your thoughts on what it was like being a part of a project that uh saw, brings asian americans the forefront, but also let’s, just just like, be in love and be like everyone else.
Basically, like you hit the nail on the head it’s one of my favorite things when i read the script, was i loved that, yes, we are asian american uh faces and voices and lara jean is asian american, which is so huge for being inclusive and representation, but It isn’t just focused on that it’s normalized it’s, not a huge thing, it’s just it’s our story, it’s her story and she happens to be asian american, and that is normal, and that feels like the biggest death for us and is so exciting because she just happens To be an asian american girl and we’re, telling her story, just like everybody else, and i loved that we love to see it and anna um you’ve um it’s, already been three years since, like the first film uh premiere, which is like crazy to think about. But um and you’ve grown with kitty, obviously playing playing her with last few years. What do you admire most about kitty, and what are you going to miss now that we’re in the home stretch in the final movies uh coming out soon? Yeah i admire so many things about kitty. I think something that i could definitely learn from her. I think a lot of us can is she’s so confident in herself and she’s. I i find that she like she knows what she wants. She knows who she is, and she knows how to get that and she isn’t afraid to show that and to be that, like in the third movie, she wants to wear a tuxedo to the wedding and lara jean’s like oh, my gosh, no like we need to Wear dresses and she’s like no i’m.
I’M. I know what i want and i can do that like i. I want to be myself and i’m, not afraid of it, which i think is something so cool that so many of us can learn from her. But i i love kitty and and all of her little her little witty remarks and i i will miss her. So much and uh janelle same question for you: you’ve played margot for the past three movies now. So what do you admire most about margo and you’re, going to miss about her now that uh we’re all at the end? Oh no it’s, so bittersweet um? I love margot. She is so different from me, which, honestly i will miss, because it was really fun playing a character, that’s, the opposite of me, um. One thing that i really love about her and on this playing is um how she’s like mama bear. You know. I i’m, the baby sister in real life and honestly and lana have made me feel like a real life, big sister, and i love stepping into that role and that’s, something that i’ll miss. I love how protective margot is of her family and how she’ll do anything to take care of them. Well, like i said it was nice getting to see like an asian american family, just be normal it’s, not like a culture war it’s, not like a clash of cultures and it’s like so refreshing to see, especially since mainstream comes, are so overwhelmingly white.
We don’t often get that so i’m gon na miss it. I can’t wait for fans to see it too that’s all the questions i have left but uh. Thank you, queens again, nice to meet you nice to meet. You have a good yesterday, hi guys how’s it going hi nice to meet you nice to meet you too uh. Thank you for taking the time out to talk to me, so if we could just get into this um, my first question is for ross speaking as an asian american viewer, myself um. What i like most about the franchise is that it’s centers asian voices and asian faces, but it has like nothing to do with being asian like it. Just like asian america, like everyone else, asian americans fall in love, gets get our hearts broken. You go through ups and downs, so what is it like being a part of this project and like getting to bring asian american voices to the forefront like over the past couple years? I mean it’s it’s been great, that um over this uh this franchise and also like a couple other things. I think the main thing you said is that we’re asian characters, but it isn’t we’re, not asian, you know uh in this movie. It shows more of like the connection with uh lara’s, korean descent and um. I think that’s also equally important, but also it isn’t, our defining trait, so to be like someone at the forefront of this and just like representing um it’s, an honor and it’s i’m.
Having a lot of fun and just showing that yeah, you know, we have feelings too. Our hearts broken all the time, some more than others, madeleine um you’ve been chris for the past since the beginning of the franchise and she’s hysterical she’s like the best friend. I wish i had when i was in high school now that we’re coming to the home stretch um. What did you admire most about playing chris, and what are you gon na miss most about her now that uh it’s coming to an end? The journey’s done. Oh i’m gon na miss. So what i admire i admire uh i admire her gumption. I think it’s big i like how she is who she is and she’s not she doesn’t apologize for it and i’m gon na miss. I mean i’m gon na miss playing getting to act every day with everyone getting to act with ross. We did a lot of fun improv. We really like stayed on our toes with lana, with everyone uh just the everyday, and getting to explore chris’s sense of humor, which was very quirky and fun to play with so i’ll miss all that, oh and ross same question for you. What do you admire most about trevor? You played him in the past two movies and what are you gon na miss the most about all this now that we’re rapping um yeah, i just admire how trevor goes for it, like he isn’t apologetic for anything he does, and he doesn’t really fear rejection.
I feel like he’s, very persistent, so uh yeah and then also yeah. Of course, just this is one of the only projects i’ve done where i can truly improvise with my cast mates and have some of it make it to the movie and not just you know, say a bunch of lines, um so yeah. No, i i i miss i’ll miss this process, because it was one of a kind for sure and the fans will miss it too, and i can’t wait for them to see it, because i think this move this one. This third movie is like the fit my favorite one out of all of them, so y’all really knocked out of the park. Ah that’s so kind of you well that’s all the questions i have left. Thank you guys again so much for tuning in. Thank you. Have a great day love the purple light by the way. Oh, thank you. It’S from amazon, hi, jenny how’s it going hi. How are you i’m, so good um? Thank you for taking the time out to talk to me. I know things are crazy and hectic, and the world is like on fire still, but it’s always nice to connect and talk to people. Definitely my pleasure um. If we just want to get started um one of my favorite things about the to all the boys franchise is like how it’s a i feel like it’s, a realistic portrayal of like one modern, high school friendships.
Look like there’s, obviously laura jean is an asian lead but there’s like queer characters. There’S other characters of color uh, laura jean, has complex authentic relationships with her sisters and other female characters. So i was wondering um. If you could talk a little about creating that world and what it was like showcasing like what like a modern like realistic, high school looks like especially since you know the teen rom com, genre used to be so overwhelmingly wide, overwhelmingly straight yeah um. That was really um fun to be able to do that, and i think for when i wrote the books um. You know it takes place in a small town in virginia, which is not that diverse um and a part of a big part of the story is that lara jean feels a bit on the outside in part because she’s not as in touch with her asian identity. Because her mom was really that link and her mom’s passed away, um, and so what was great for the films was, you know, setting it in portland um felt it felt really natural to it to have a diverse cast and um. I think that was really cool, especially because our whole cast is super talented and like it was fun to kind of like, especially with like um ross butler and bring him in the mix. He’S always got like great energy um and got to really uh elevate. His part um, but i think, all in all, it’s it’s great for a movie in 2021 to be able to show, i guess, like a bigger spectrum of um high school life and speaking of that.
What i also appreciate about laura jean and her story is that in the movies, especially she’s, proud of her asian roots and she doesn’t like shun from it, but the her character isn’t the sum total it’s, not the sum total of her. You know i mean she’s more than that and uh sorry it’s, not like the movie isn’t about, like a culture clash it’s literally about this age, getting to see a asian girl falling in love like not like every other teen. So what was that, like just uh? I guess also bring that to the world and show that it was really important for me to be able to just show a character’s humanity um and not be. You know i think, often times when the main character of the story is not white, then people are like well. Why do they have to be another race? I mean that’s, a question that i’ve been asked like what? Why does she have to be an asian if it’s not really important to the storyline and i’m like well? Why don’t? Why should i have to be white? Do you know what i mean like? Why do you have to justify um our existence just to be in a love story, um, and that was for me, the kind of point of it. Was it really wasn’t about being asian? I think that there’s so much more to people than just that, and i wanted to be able to explore her identity as a whole and that’s a piece of it, but that’s not the whole point of it.
You know and um i think, for a long time. We’Ve only been shown stories where, when we get to see somebody who is um a person of color in a film it’s all about their pain and their struggle and coming to terms with that identity – and i think i just wasn’t interested in in doing that with This one well it’s nice and refreshing to see like it’s nice to see as an asian american viewer too it’s. Just like i want to fall in love. I want to yeah exactly, and you know i also want to see. I will. I do want to see stories about pain and struggle, but i don’t think everything that we see when it comes to seeing a non white face should be about. You know should be the narrative of somebody really going through a hard time because of their racial identity. Exactly well um, i can’t wait for people to see it and you created such an amazing world, an amazing story and congratulations.