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We Talked To All the Boys With Author Jenny Han and Actor Anna Cathcart

To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

(Netflix / Bettina Strauss)

Jenny Han is an incredible writer who has given us some incredible work throughout the years and is the heart and soul behind To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before as the author of the novels. Sitting down with her to talk about her series before the release of Netflix’s To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You movie, we got into all things Covey.

There is a moment in To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You when Lara Jean has to get Kitty ready for the Korean New Year celebration their family is having. It’s a beautiful moment because Lara Jean calls up their older sister Margot to get help, because she isn’t sure what to do since their mother (and then Margot) always got them ready.

Han told us,

I think that, what was really important to me, was to still feel that feeling of being around the hearth and being really cozy and the importance of family in that, for the character. And so, I was happy that the movies kept that spirit from the books, which is so much about her love of family and preferring to stay in on a Friday night to bake brownies with her dad or something opposed to going out. I’ve always felt like wanting to portray teen girlhood in ways that maybe we’ve seen less of in media and film, which is more of an introverted character who is kind of a homebody, and I think that movie’s kept that vibe.

The thing about P.S. I Still Love You, though, is that the movie is a love triangle, something I don’t always particularly love in movies, because I have my favorites and root for them. But Jenny Han does an incredible job of making the struggle Lara Jean faces between Peter Kavinsky and John Ambrose McClaren very real and understandable. It probably helps that she loves a good love triangle:

I love love triangles. I love to write them, and I think the trick of it is if you can make people feel equally invested in both of the love interests … I mean, the heartbreak of it is that someone’s going to walk away sad. That’s just how it goes, right? But your heart should break for both people.

But part of that all comes from the fact that Han is incredible at creating these beautifully real characters:

For me, I approach character from wanting to be as authentic and true to life as possible, which means that people are flawed and are definitely not perfect and make mistakes. And I think that can be frustrating, sometimes, for people who love the characters, but I just always want to tell the truth in stories, and it’s not important to be perfect, but to just be real.

So then … why set it all in high school?

To me, I think that experiencing things for the first time is such a singular experience that you remember for your whole life, so I’m very interested in first times, and the first time you fall in love, your first heartbreak, it’s just all the more searing.

While Lara Jean Covey is fun and determined, she is still a young girl who lost her mother and has to find her way without her, which tends to lead into Lara Jean looking for a mother figure wherever she can.

Because she doesn’t have her mom, she’s always looking for a mother figure in her life. It was Margot, her older sister who left, and I think that Trina becomes really important to her to and even with her little sister, Kitty, a lot of people play that role for her in her life and Stormy comes when she kind of needs that guidance and friendship.

That leads into my interview with Anna Cathcart, who plays Kitty in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You. A young star who clearly loves Kitty and the story being told, Anna Cathcart is fun to talk with about her role and how she approached bringing Kitty to life in the sequel.

In P.S. I Still Love You, Kitty gets to gloat because she’s the reason Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter happened, so I asked Cathcart if it was fun to get to have Kitty be more involved with Lara Jean’s life without holding in that secret about the letters.

She told me,

That was super fun, Kitty definitely does not let people forget that it was her doing. She’s just like ‘You’re welcome’ all the time so it was definitely super fun to get to be sarcastic and get to joke around a lot. And now she’s kind of like involved in her dad’s love life? So she’s now on to her next project.

Now, if you’re not a younger sibling, like Anna Cathcart or myself, you might not know what it’s like to be the little kid often dismissed because you’re younger. But with Kitty, she gets to protect Lara Jean and be there for her in a unique way so we talked a bit about Kitty and Lara Jean’s relationship.

She’s a definitely a very confident, protective person. So when something is happening she wants to stand up for her sisters and her family and her friends, definitely. So, I think she had a different relationship with her mom because she was very young when she passed away and Lara Jean and Margot were older so they have different memories and stuff so she doesn’t totally get it the same way they do.

But don’t worry, much like Kitty, Anna Cathcart is very much Team Peter: “I think she’d say ‘What the heck are you doing? Peter’s perfect!’ She loves Peter so much.”

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You is on Netflix now! Fall in love with Lara Jean all over again.

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.