The XO, Kitty stars are major advocates for representation in Hollywood. Anthony Keyvan, who plays Q in the Netflix series, chatted exclusively with J-14 about the importance of telling Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) stories during AAPI Heritage Month and beyond.
“It’s really important that we get to tell these stories that haven’t necessarily had the opportunity to be told before, and uplift AAPI voices too,” the actor, 22, told J-14 at the show’s premiere event on May 11. “Our stories deserve to be told. We deserve to be heard too.”
The Love, Victor alum explained that the show — a spinoff of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before film series — is “an entirely AAPI cast,” noting that’s something that “hasn’t been done before” in the young adult genre.
“As a mixed Asian kid …. [in the] industry there aren’t a lot of opportunities for people who look like us,” Anthony continued. “So, I guess, I really hope that the audience can look at our show and feel like they can take something away from it, and they can relate to some of us. That they can feel like the show was meant for them.”
Anna Cathcart reprises her role as Kitty Covey in the show, which premiered via the streaming service on Thursday, May 18. Choi Min-yeong, Gia Kim, Sang Heon Lee, Peter Thurnwald, Jocelyn Shelfo and Regan Aliyah also star. Throughout the show’s 10 episodes, fans watch Kitty’s love story unfold as she moves to South Korea to attend the KISS boarding school.
When it came to actually filming the show in Korea, Anthony told J-14 that it was an “amazing” and “transformative” experience overall.
“I grew up in the industry, I grew up in America. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about being an actor, being on a show, or whatever. So it definitely showed me that not everything is as it seems and that there’s just as many hiccups out there that there are over here,” he recalled. “I feel like all of us learned so much during the course of this production and I think we all face a lot of challenges, but it was really cool how everyone came together with a collective goal to make an amazing show regardless of the language barrier, because our entire crew is Korean. It was so interesting to see how an American crew and a Korean crew could act with each other.”
Reporting by Jade Boren
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