Lana Condor feared the sequel to her hit Netflix movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before will make fans see her character Lara Jean as a villain.
The original 2018 teen romance made stars of its leads, Lana and Noah Centineo, who plays her love interest Peter Kavinsky, with fans so invested in their onscreen romance some targeted her real-life boyfriend Anthony De La Torre.
Its follow-up, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, sees Lara Jean caught in a love triangle between Peter and her old middle-school flame John Ambrose, played by Jordan Fisher – and Lara was worried about her character being seen as unlikeable.
“You see in this movie that Lara Jean is flawed; she’s trying to figure out how to communicate these intense feelings,” she told The Guardian. “I wanted it to be realistic that she had a hard time telling Peter what was going on, but I didn’t want her to be unlikeable.”
However, she had faith in Jenny Han, the author of the novels on which the films are based, not to write “toxic” characters.
Lana also warned fans not to be too influenced by the movies, saying they must make their own decisions about their lives.
“Whatever you choose to do with your body and with your heart with your mind should be your choice and your choice only,” the 22-year-old added. “You shouldn’t let anyone, or pop culture, influence you or make you do something that you don’t want to do.”
Although there are downsides to fame, the Vietnamese-American actress said it delights her when fans tell her they feel represented on screen.
“The greatest part of this whole experience has been people coming up to me and saying that they felt represented and seen (in the films), and then sharing their own experiences and their own stories with me,” she explained.
To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You is out on Netflix now.