On Tuesday, March 3, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before star Lana Condor penned a heartfelt thank you letter to her on-screen sister Janel Parrish. The 22-year-old got real about being an Asian American actress in Hollywood and explained how the former Pretty Little Liars star paved the way for her career in the entertainment industry.
“There were so few Asian Americans on screen, but I watched all of Pretty Little Liars and I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” Lana explained in her letter. “When people ask me if it is hard to be an Asian American in Hollywood, I always answer that it was way, way harder for those who came before me.”
The actress went on to say that Janel was “a part of the OG young Hollywood,” a group of people that has changed how different cultures are represented in movies and on television. Even though she said she felt like the audition process for Asian Americans is changing, sometimes both Lana and Janel have expressed feeling like they’re “not what Hollywood is looking for.”
Lana also delved more into the personal relationship she has formed with the actress.
“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before not only launched my career, but also introduced me to you. The franchise has transformed me from your fan to your sister,” she wrote. “You have helped create a space for girls like me in this industry and I hope that I can do for young girls what you have done for me.”
After she finished reading her letter, Janel thanked Lana for the sweet words. She also described her own experience as an Asian American actress.
“I am very, very proud to be an Asian American actress, but I think growing up it made me insecure because I’d go into auditions and I’d see nobody that looked like me,” she recalled.
Both celebs said that, even though they’ve noticed some changes being made when casting roles, there’s still more work to be done when it comes to representation.
“We’re in a really special time in the industry. Studios just can’t ignore the fact that if their movies or TV shows don’t look like real life, people just don’t buy it,” Lana explained. “There’s still a lot more work that needs to be done in terms of representation and just the way that we’re seen.”
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