Fans are eager to see the continuation of the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before romance, but for star Lana Condor, the Netflix film’s sequel P.S. I Still Love You transcended the love story of Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) and her character Lara Jean. As an Asian-American actress, Condor told Entertainment Weekly that it was so special for Lara Jean, a character of Korean descent, to get what she called a “Cinderella moment.”
In the film, Condor’s character is at a party in a blue gown, reminiscent of the one worn by Cinderella in the 1950 animated film. She walks down the stairs to meet John Ambrose, a new character played by Jordan Fisher. It’s the quintessential princess moment — and everyone is in awe of Lara Jean. You can see the dress in the trailer, around the 2:10 mark.
“I was waiting on top of the stairs right before we started rolling and it hit me all at once how special that moment was because we don’t get Cinderella moments a lot,” Condor explained to EW. “As a young girl, I never got to see a Cinderella moment where the girl looked like me. This is the most important part of the story for me is being able to represent our community. It’s creating a space for Asian-Americans to tell their story and have a moment.”
The role of a Hollywood romantic leading lady has typically been reserved for white actresses, from Mandy Moore to Katherine Heigl to Rachel McAdams. In the case of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, it was based on a book series written by Jenny Han, who specifically wrote a character of Korean descent. Fans of the novels rightly wouldn’t have taken too well to the character of Lara Jean — whose Korean heritage specifically connects her to her late mother — being whitewashed.
Hollywood still has a long way to go, but it’s worth mentioning that To All The Boys is one of several films in recent years to give a character of Asian heritage a leading romantic comedy role. Ali Wong starred in Always Be My Maybe, in which she portrayed a celebrity chef who reunites with — and, inevitably, falls for — her childhood best friend (Randall Park).
In terms of Cinderella moments for Asian Americans, the box office-shattering Crazy Rich Asians, starring Constance Wu, is full of them: In the film, Wu’s character Rachel defies her boyfriend’s wealthy family’s expectations by showing up to a wedding in a stunning high-fashion gown, which also looks plucked from a Disney princess’ wardrobe.
Lara Jean got her Cinderella moment...but which prince she will choose between Peter and John Ambrose? We’ll have to wait and see.