Jenny Han's novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is being released as a film
Lana Condor has said she is hoping to make a big “dent” in the “wall that is Hollywood” in the upcoming Asian-American RomCom To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
The 20-year-old Vietnamese American actress is best known in the Asian community for her role in the 2016 superhero film X-Men: Apocalypse as Jubilee. Speaking to NBC, Condor says she graduated school early for the role. “I mean, I could’ve gone to prom… or I could’ve done ‘X-Men,’” she said with a laugh.
In her most recent project, Condor stars in a film adaptation of Jenny Han’s novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Condor plays Lara Jean Song Covey, a half Korean, half white teenager who lives with her two sisters and widowed father. The story centres around Convey’s complicated love life after letters to the boys she loved are discovered.
Condor told NBC that author Jenny Han feared the film adaptation of her novel would be whitewashed.
“I remember Jenny telling me how easily whitewashed this movie could’ve been,” Condor said. “Because the beautiful thing is that Lara Jean is not written as a stereotypical Asian character. She’s just the girl-next-door. And it’d be easy for Hollywood to cast white girls to play the Covey sisters.”
The young actress said she had dreamed about starring in a romantic comedy but was not aware of any films in the genre that starred Asian women.
“A few months ago when I was on a plane, I was daydreaming about how fun it’d be to act in a romantic comedy, because I don’t know of any rom-coms where Asian women are the leads,” Condor told NBC News. “And now here we are.”
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before will see Condor’s playing the lead character for the first time. She hopes her work will leave a lasting mark on Hollywood.
“If I can just put a little dent in the wall that is Hollywood in terms of race, then I’ve done enough,” Condor said. “Now, I’ve been so lucky in my career that I might be able to put an even bigger dent in that wall than I thought.”
Janel Parrish (Pretty Little Liars) and Anna Cathcart will also star as Lara Jean’s sisters. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before finished filming in August but a release date has not yet been set.