- Bettina Strauss/Netflix
- Warning: There are spoilers ahead for “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.”
- Author Jenny Han spoke to Insider about being an executive producer on the sequel (which is now available on Netflix), working with the film’s stars, and the message of “change” that she hopes fans take away from the movie and her novel.
- Han told us that she loved the scenes that took place in the treehouse and Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) and John Ambrose McClaren’s (Jordan Fisher) moment at the Star Ball.
- She also enjoyed the female protagonist’s conversation with Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) after attending a party.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” author Jenny Han revealed her favorite scenes in the film adaptation, the challenges of making the sequel, and the message she hopes fans take away from the franchise.
“TATB 2,” which was released on Netflix on Wednesday, centers on protagonist Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) navigating romance, friendship, and identity as a high school student. The film follows the events of the 2018 hit “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” as Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) start dating for real after faking it in the first movie.
The reappearance of John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Fisher), a childhood friend and recipient of one of five love letters Lara Jean previously wrote, Lara Jean to have complicated feelings, despite being happy with Peter.
Keep reading for Insider‘s full interview with Han about “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.”
Insider: Firstly, how involved were you in the filmmaking for this movie?
Jenny Han: With this one, I was very involved. I was a lot more involved than I was in the first one. And for me, it was just really such a learning experience, to see what goes into making a movie and producing. And as a storyteller, it’s very exciting to come at the story from a different way, the visual way. I loved it.
And as an executive producer, what does that involve (for those of us who aren’t really familiar)?
Han: It really can run the gamut. For me, I was giving notes on the script and I was doing a lot of work with Lorraine [Carson], who is a costume designer. I was pulling dresses and being like, ‘What about this? What about that?’ and hair and those kinds of things. But also, it can also mean just sitting in video village and watching takes. It’s kind of the whole kit and caboodle.
- Bettina Strauss/Netflix
And did the success of the first movie impact making the second one? Was it easier or more challenging to make certain things happen?
Han: I think there were different challenges. Figuring out scheduling is one thing because our leads are both so busy, so that’s its own challenge. I think for the first one, it was so under the radar. It really was a smaller budget and less people knew about it. There were a couple of fans coming, but on the second one, there was just more awareness of it, so I guess that would be it.
You said you gave some notes for the script and things like that. Did you get to interact at all with leads Lana, Noah, and, Jordan?
Han: Oh yeah, for sure. Lana and I got really close on the first film, and so we’re always in conversation with each other. But definitely, I was around and the director, Michael [Fimognari], is very generous and he and I would have a lot of conversations about characters, which I really appreciated as the creator. He would go back to the books like every day. He was so focused on staying true to that.
Can you talk a bit about how the movie does stay true to the book?
Han: I think that with a book, you can excavate a story so much more because you’re really in the character’s head and you can go into much deeper detail. In a movie, what you might spend pages describing, you can do that in a flash. But there’s also a feeling that you have to really streamline a movie too so it stays on the right track.
And I think I would say that there are definitely changes made, but I think that to me, the spirit of the story is there. And that was what was most important to me, was just that people walked away with the same feeling that they had when they read the books, which is just, I hope, feeling a warm-hearted, cozy feeling.
And one of the changes is the way Lara Jean and John Ambrose reconnect. How do you feel about the way it was approached in the movie and were you satisfied with that?
Han: Yeah, I was. I think that the way they meet, their connection to each other, is also lovely. I thought it was really well-drawn.
And I really liked the visuals too, especially with Lana and Jordan’s scenes.
Han: Yeah, it’s different worlds that she’s in. She’s at her home world, she’s at school, and then to me, Belleview feels like its own place, almost like a fantasy of a place, which I think that John Ambrose McClaren is in many ways, her fantasy come to life. It’s her memory of him, it’s how she feels about herself when she’s with him. I think that was the biggest challenge and I think that Jordan did such a good job of bringing that character to life.
Do you remember when you first met Jordan and what your impression was?
Han: It was during rehearsals and I thought, ‘Wow, gosh, he is so talented.’ To be a good singer is one thing, to be a good dancer is one thing, and to be a good actor [is another thing]. But he is all those things. He does it all. He’s just a superstar. And he’s also remarkably self-possessed and confident and I just adore him.
And did you ever get to interact with all three leads and see how their dynamic is?
Han: Yeah, for sure. We have new cast members. On this one, we’ve got Ross Butler, Holland Taylor, Sarayu Blue, and Jordan and it was just a really tight-knit group.
There are different seasons of hanging out because people shoot at different times. But Jordan and Ross are so fun and they were just initiating a lot of hangouts. There was a game night and going to the movies and it really was a lot of group bonding.
Another change in the movie adaptation is that there’s a Fakesgiving scene, which I really liked. In the book, it was briefly mentioned. What did you think of that scene being brought to life in the movie?
Han: I loved to see it. I like any kind of holiday scene because holidays tend to evoke that feeling that I want, which is by the hearth and family and just cozy time together.
And when you were writing the books, was there ever a moment where you thought that maybe Lara Jean and Peter wouldn’t be together, or were they always going to be endgame for you?
Han: I was just talking about this before you got here. I don’t outline my books beforehand. I kind of let the story just lead me where it’s gonna go, so I’m always pretty open-minded about the way things land.
And I also truly don’t believe an ending is ever really an ending, in a way. I think that for me, the characters will live on and do what they’re going to do and I’m just not watching them anymore and writing it down.
I think as a viewer, I love those OTP relationships, but I also love when you just never know what can happen. That’s kind of the beauty of film too, you just never know what ends up happening on screen.
- Bettina Strauss/Netflix
Yeah, for sure. And were there any moments that didn’t make it into the movie that you wish maybe were included in some sort of way?
Han: In “P.S. I Still Love You,” I don’t think so.
And what were your favorite scenes from the movie?
Han: I love all the treehouse scenes. I really love the one with everyone, the gang back together again. I also love the one with Lara Jean and Genevieve. I think that the Ball is really special. It just looks beautiful. I really like the car scene between Peter and Lara Jean after the party.
I like that, too. And I feel like that’s important because the audience for these movies is so young, and I really like those kinds of conversations that are happening.
Han: Yeah, that conversation was a moment for her to be honest about what she’s feeling in her nervousness and it’s all really about consent and having that open line of communication with each other. I think that was one of my favorites.
Lastly, what do you hope people take away from seeing the movie and from reading your book?
Han: For “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” I think for me, a lot of what that book is about is change. I think that over the course of your life, your family will change many times in ways that are hard, in ways that are joyful, but it’s all kind of growing pains in a way and I don’t think that ever stops.
I think that when you’re a kid, your parents might get divorced, and you might lose a parent, but then you could be in your 50s and you lose a parent or there’s new life in the family or grandkids. It’s almost like this living organism, the family is.
I think that what I wanted readers to take away was that change is hard and it can be scary. But it can also ultimately be really joyful, too.
The whole beginning of the story is her feeling so adrift because her sister is going to college and she feels like the family’s never going to be the same again because they’re all not going to be living together in one place. I think she’s really mourning that. But then it opens up so many more things in her life, too.
And ultimately, I think as the story goes on, it’s going to be her turn to be the one that leaves and it will change again. It’ll keep changing. I think change is hard. It’s a lesson I think, not just for young people, but for people of any age to learn is that it’s hard, but it doesn’t have to be bad.
“To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” is now available on Netflix. You can watch the trailer below.
- Read more:
- ‘To All the Boys 2’ star Jordan Fisher prefers Lara Jean with Peter Kavinsky than his own character ‘for now’: ‘John Ambrose is the marrying type’
- ‘To All the Boys 2’ star Jordan Fisher reveals how the film’s most stunning scene came together and how the cast bonded off-camera
- ‘To All the Boys 2’ star Jordan Fisher reveals the message he hopes fans take away from the sequel: ‘No two love stories are the same’
- 7 things to know about ‘To All the Boys 2’ star Noah Centineo