Valentine's Day comes early this year: P.S. I Still Love You, the sequel to last year's Netflix rom-com hit, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, hits the streaming giant on February 12. The movie brings reunites all our favorite characters, including Lara Jean (played by Lana Condor) and her younger sister Kitty (Anna Cathcart), who released Lara Jean's love notes, thereby setting up a catalyst for the dreadfully cute high-school romance between Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo). In the second movie, their relationship will be tested by a guy from Lara Jean's past, John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher). John happens to be just as handsome and, presumably, as in love with Lara Jean (at least what I gather from the trailers) as Peter.
The big question, then, is Who will Lara Jean choose? Fans of the books (there are three!) already know the answer, but I'm waiting in anticipation for next week. I can foresee all the drama, heartache, and lessons about life and love that the sequel will bring. My expectations and anxieties about the movie are shared by Lana Condor herself, whom I interviewed following her appointment as an Aerie's Role Model. "I believe [at least] two people will love it!" she says laughing.
For more of Condor's thoughts on the sequel, her Cinderella moment, and details of Noah Centineo's scent (yes, you read that right), keep reading.
Marie Claire: How was filming the second movie different from the first?
Lana Condor: With the first movie, we didn't even know if anyone was going to see it, it hadn't even been bought. We made it on a small budget. For the sequel, what stayed the same was the love between the cast and our love for the story. What is different is knowing that people are going to watch it. This does make me nervous because something we talked about as a creative team is that people hate sequels. But, if we can take certain things we know fans loved in that first movie and bring those into the second, and also be conscious of the readers of the books, then we did a good job.
The second film is the middle [part] of a fuller picture. You see Lara Jean growing up, and you grow up alongside her. I trust that fans will understand that part of growing up and finding your voice as a young woman is literally trial and error; we are not perfect. That's something we strive for in the sequel. I love the story, it's such a huge part of my life. Even if I wasn't in the movie, I believe in it.
MC: Any Advice for people stuck in a love triangle?
LC: This is easier said than done, but you have to make the decision that's right for you and not what's right for the other person. You have to follow your heart and that's so difficult. [In P.S. I Still Love You] Lara Jean is in love with Peter, she can't even fathom that there's another guy, but then there's John Ambrose, who is the male version of Lara Jean. [The questions then are] Who do you have the most fun with? Who makes you laugh the most? Who helps you grow? My advice is to listen to your heart, listen to your gut a little, but mostly your heart.
MC: Has Lara Jean's style influenced your own?
LC: Lara Jean is much more stylish than I am. She puts a lot of effort and intense focus into her outfits. I am much more casual in my everyday life. I wear [sweaters and leggings].
MC: In the sequel's trailer, we can see Lara Jean coming down the stairs in a gorgeous blue ball gown—can you reveal anything about that scene?
LC: What's important about that dress is that is Lara Jean's "Cinderella moment." I nearly had a mental breakdown right before we shot that specific scene because it hit me as I was standing at the top of the spiral staircase that I never had a Cinderella moment in my previous works.
I also don't see many Asian Cinderella moments. It's always that blonde, blue-eyed prom queen that gets the big reveal...although Crazy Rich Asians had a Cinderella moment with Constance Wu walking through the lotus. It made me realize I, too, can have this one day. [So as I was standing there,] it hit me that this was finally my moment and I wanted to cry. That dress was so important to me—not just because it was so beautiful and fashionable, but it was like Omg this means so much to me and to other people. I never wanted to take it off, but they wouldn't give me the dress. I begged.
MC: We have to ask...what does Noah Centineo smell like?
LC: He's always really clean! He loves candles, so whatever candle he has around him at the moment, that's what he smells like. He has candles in his trailer, his dressing room, his house—so many. If you ever need to give him a present that's a good gift. The candles he had on set were oaky, like rugged-oaky, so I would say he smells rugged and oaky.
Be right back, buying a candle to send to Noah.
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