Jenny Han desires you to really feel conflicted over John Ambrose McClaren, the candy Hufflepuff who maybe takes up just a bit an excessive amount of area in Lara Jean’s thoughts in To All of the Boys: P.S. I Nonetheless Love You. In any case, followers of the profitable Netflix franchise have already fallen head over heels for Peter Kavinsky, the lovable jock who gained over Lara Jean’s coronary heart in 2018’s To All of the Boys I’ve Liked Earlier than. However John Ambrose is sort and affected person and mild; he is actual friends-to-lovers materials.
For Han, for those who’re transport Lara Jean and John Ambrose, then she’s doing one thing proper.
On this dialog with MTV Information, the bestselling younger grownup writer displays on the success of To All of the Boys I’ve Liked Earlier than, the meteoric rise of its younger forged, writing compelling love triangles, and the way she fell in love with John Ambrose, too.
MTV Information: To All of the Boys I’ve Liked Earlier than turned a phenomenon. Everybody watched it. My mother cherished it. Did you ever anticipate simply how many individuals would fall in love with these characters?
Jenny Han: I went into it considering that I simply wished the followers of the books to be pleased with it. After which I felt like no matter additional got here of that may simply be the cherry on high of the entire expertise. So no, I feel I believed that younger folks have been actually going to find it irresistible. What was the most effective shock was the way it was so extensively embraced by so many various varieties of individuals — buddies of mine who watched it, who actually cherished it, that was significant to me. My agent’s daughter was eight on the time, [and] it was her favourite film. After which buddies of their forties have been like, “I really like this film.” In order that’s been actually particular.
MTV Information: Did the fervor across the first movie change the way you approached the sequel? Or was that already locked in and within the works by the point the primary one premiered?
Han: It wasn’t, no. And the good factor is since I had written three books, we already had an actual roadmap of the place we going with the remainder of the story. In order that was type of set. The method was simply eager to make all of the followers completely happy. I keep in mind saying to the producers, I mentioned, “My dream for this is able to be a Terminator 2 kind of scenario.” Terminator 2 is considered one of my favourite motion pictures — the place the sequel is even higher than the primary one. The dream was to raise the entire thing.
MTV Information: It is a little bit bit self-aware of the primary movie’s success as properly.
Han: I feel the error that sequels make that I’ve seen, as somebody who loves a sequel, is if you attempt to go for the very same beats and simply make it a little bit bit larger. And I feel the easiest way is to create one thing contemporary. You continue to give them what they cherished about the very first thing, nevertheless it ought to really feel contemporary and new and never such as you’re attempting to recreate the primary.
MTV Information: Has the success of this franchise on Netflix opened you as much as extra alternatives?
Han: For positive. I’ve gotten to take action many attention-grabbing issues. One of many issues was introduced… Shonda Rhimes has a TV present known as Notes on Love, and it’ll be an anthology of affection tales. And so she requested me do one, and that is one thing that got here my means that was so thrilling to me. I cried. I used to be so excited as a result of I am such a fan of Shonda Rhimes and what she’s constructed. And [I’m a fan of] storytelling normally, and movie is simply one other means to do this.
MTV Information: Shonda has Shondaland. Is that what you see for your self? Is that what you need?
Han: I do not know! Writing novels is at all times going to be a house base for me as a result of it is so completely different. With novels, it is simply you and the web page. In a while it turns into extra collaborative together with your editor after which determining a canopy and advertising and all that stuff. However actually when the storytelling is occurring it is simply you. After which making a movie could be very collaborative. And the thrilling a part of that’s for those who discover superb folks to work with then they’re bringing all their skills, and it is like greatest concept wins, proper? If you happen to’re caught on one thing, you’ll be able to simply ask anyone else, “What do you consider this?” I really like being on a staff, in order that facet is basically attractive to me.
MTV Information: What was it like watching your two younger leads, Lana [Condor] and Noah [Centineo], have this exponential rise similtaneously the movie? I do know you and Lana, specifically, have been very shut and talked quite a bit within the manufacturing of the primary movie.
Han: It was so overwhelming and I used to be extra protecting, the place I am like, “I simply need you guys to really feel OK.” Going from in a single day to having hundreds of thousands of followers — people who find themselves watching your each transfer on social media and all these actually fantastic followers — it is all good, nevertheless it’s additionally is usually a lot, particularly for a teen. I feel it is quite a bit even for me, you already know what I imply? So I simply wished to make it possible for everybody felt protected and nonetheless strong.
MTV Information: Stable sufficient to return again and make one other one?
Han: Yeah, and folks have been completely happy. Everyone was so completely happy to return again into the following movie, which was the most effective a part of it. I keep in mind Noah was like, “It is like coming again to summer time camp.” And folks have been all collectively once more, and I feel there’s one thing good about having that point aside from the remainder of the world in a means as a result of if you’re engaged on a film set, which I did not notice till I used to be so deep into it, was I used to be speaking to buddies again dwelling and I am like, “Oh my gosh, my complete world is good right here, on this set.” It is the bubble, and it is very nice to be within the bubble with such nice folks.
MTV Information: And there is a few new forged additions on this movie.
Han: Having Jordan [Fisher] and Ross [Butler], Sarayu [Blue], and Holland [Taylor] — these are our new forged members — every of them introduced a lot to not simply the film however simply the entire vibe. Jordan is an organizer, you already know what I imply? So he’d manage recreation evening, or they have been doing numerous film nights, and I like to see all of the bonding occurring. And Ross is similar means. His vitality was at all times nice on set. I used to be simply laughing on a regular basis. Everyone rocked a lot. I simply couldn’t really feel extra fortunate that folks agreed to return and be on this film.
MTV Information: Casting of John Ambrose McClaren — clearly, this is a crucial position. He is the second male lead and the third a part of this love triangle that you have created. What was necessary for you that this actor carry to the position that Jordan introduced?
Han: His heat. A lot of that character is in the way in which that she appears to be like at him and the way in which that she thinks about him. It is nearly like he is a dream that got here to life. He is a reminiscence that she holds pricey in her coronary heart, who then comes again into the image and it is like, does that particular person stay as much as the way you imagined them to be? And he is additionally a little bit bit shy, however he is assured. He additionally likes to learn. However then he is also sporty, and he has an lively. social life. He is all this stuff. So I feel that they actually simply join with one another on a unique degree. It is a completely different frequency than she has with Peter, which is rather like actual life, proper? The place you’ve got completely different folks that you just join with in several ways in which offer you various things. And I actually assume with Jordan and Lana that connection was obvious instantly.
MTV Information: I really like their chemistry. They’re each cute and shy.
Han: Yeah, it is simply two cute puppies.
MTV Information: The important thing to an excellent love triangle is you need folks to root for them. You want folks to ship Lara Jean and John Ambrose.
Han: Completely. I need to break your coronary heart. I need you to be so torn as I’m after I’m writing that love triangle. I am at all times so torn.
MTV Information: So that you went forwards and backwards as you have been writing?
Han: At all times. And the factor is, the entire motive I wrote P.S. I Nonetheless Love You is due to the letter to Johnny Ambrose McLaren. It was the primary letter that I wrote of all of the letters. To me, that was a extremely necessary one which I wished to present its due. And so then I known as my editor and I mentioned, “I feel I have to do one other one as a result of I do not need to simply jam him into this one. I feel that it is a actually necessary relationship.” So I actually wished the main target to be on him within the second e book. I used to be simply starting to put in writing To All of the Boys, the primary one, and I used to be already considering of these two tales. It is like two halves of a coronary heart.
MTV Information: Had been you torn whereas writing it?
Han: That’s real. I’ve written just a few love triangles, and there is at all times a degree the place I am actually torn and waffling too as a result of I’ve to fall in love with him simply as a lot as I am writing it.
MTV Information: I do know you famously don’t write with a top level view, so are you actually simply sorting by your emotions as you go?
Han: There have been occasions after I’ve known as up my greatest good friend, who’s additionally a author, and I mentioned, “Do I, do I… I do not know. I do not know.” I am beginning to actually waver and he or she’s like, “You realize what you need to do. You’ve got had this in your thoughts.” As a result of although I do not define, I often have an concept of what the ending appears to be like like. She’s like, “Keep targeted.” However I do assume with a view to actually write it in a means that different folks really feel simply as torn, I’ve to get to that place as properly. I at all times consider it as technique writing the place I am like, “Let me simply really feel the sentiments.”
MTV Information: However you at all times knew that this was going to finish with Lara Jean and Peter?
Han: I nonetheless assume that the story isn’t over in a means. Have you learnt what I imply? Individuals come out and in of your life, and a lot of it’s proximity and timing, that I could not say… I assume you would say I am by no means an endgame type of particular person. As a result of I feel your thoughts can actually be modified, and I feel time can change you, and circumstances change too. So, who is aware of?
MTV Information: For lots of younger folks, Lara Jean and Peter are actually a reference level. What was a formative fictional couple for you?
Han: You’ve got received your classics. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. That is positively OTP [one true pairing] for positive. I do love to look at completely different diversifications of that — Bridget Jones’s Diary is considered one of my favourite romantic comedies. And what I really like about that love triangle is you do actually waiver between these two guys.
MTV Information: The primary movie was about Lara Jean and Peter falling in love, nevertheless it was additionally a movie about household and sisterhood. And on this sequel, what I actually cherished is that you’ve this actually nice story line for Gen and Lara Jean. Jen is a personality who will get much more to do on this movie. What was the significance of that for you?
Han: I really like that. I actually love that story line. It was actually necessary to me to maintain that. Oftentimes, if you find yourself your life, you are seeing it from simply your personal perspective. You may be the villain or the hero of the story relying on perspective. Lara Jean is the hero of her story, proper? However then that does not imply that she’s a hero in another person’s story. And Genevieve may be the villain in hers, however she’s additionally her personal hero. So how does she really feel about what went down? I have a look at that relationship between her and Peter as a type of type of foundational old flame kind of issues. As a result of they have been one another’s first loves for thus a few years. And each of them have come from households which can be going by issues and they also join with one another on that degree. He is at all times been the person who she calls what she wants one thing, and he comes working as a result of she does the identical for him. So that relationship after which Lara Jean and John Ambrose McLaren, they join on a unique degree. I used to be completely happy that the story may proceed and you would see issues from her viewpoint. As a result of I by no means wish to really feel something so black and white by way of who’s an excellent man and who’s a foul man.
MTV Information: I actually cherished the scene between Lara Jean and Gen within the treehouse.
Han: It makes me cry each time. I tear up. To me, a lot of that e book is about reminiscence and childhood and saying goodbye to childhood. And the treehouse represents all of that. And honoring these previous friendships that possibly they do not slot in your life in the identical means anymore, however that does not imply that they weren’t necessary to you at the moment.
MTV Information: This movie made time for Lara Jean’s friendships, each previous and current. And that felt actually necessary. It is not only a story about her determining which boy she desires so far.
Han: It is about her simply determining what she desires and type of rising into herself a bit extra and letting her world simply get a little bit bit larger with every step. Having Stormy after which Trina, who comes into the story, her world simply retains getting larger. And she or he, in some ways earlier than this level, has had type of a smaller life and he or she preferred it that means. And she or he nonetheless is who she is. She’s nonetheless an introvert. She nonetheless likes to be at dwelling along with her household. However opening herself as much as all these completely different alternatives makes her world just a bit bit larger.
MTV Information: She’s so endearing. It is not a personality we see numerous on our screens.
Han: She’s simply actually open-hearted. And I feel she’s a warm-hearted particular person. And due to that, the film, I hope, feels warm-hearted. And I additionally actually really feel just like the followers are actually warm-hearted. It goes from high to backside. The individuals who love this story are simply good-hearted folks.
MTV Information: However do not you assume it begins with you then? Would you name your self warm-hearted? An optimist and hopeless romantic?
Han: I am a romantic. I am optimistic. I am a fairly cheerful particular person. I feel numerous me is on this story. I felt actually fortunate that because the starting after I first wrote these books, readers would come to my occasions and be dressed up like Lara Jean and would carry me baked items. That hasn’t modified. I am completely happy the books have impressed that type of heat.