Speaking at Vulture Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday, Condor said, “The whole cast would love to do it,” and creator Jenny Han, who wrote the original series of books, agreed.
“I think we all would love for that to happen,” she said. “Everyone has said that.” Thus far, there is no news on the subject beyond a strong wish for the green light, Han admitted.
During the panel discussion, Condor said she’d dreamed of being the lead in a rom-com. But “I wrote that off,” she said, “because as an Asian-American actress, [those roles] don’t usually come across my email a lot; those types of auditions for someone who looks like me.”
She also talked about her experience of feeling very much like an outsider at auditions generally, and like there was some tokenism at work.
“There are a lot of times where I go into audition rooms and everyone’s blonde and blue-eyed, and then there’s just me,” she said. “I know there’s that ideal, like I’m going to change the casting director’s mind. But it’s the waiting room that really gets to you. The rest of the the girls watch you walk in, and they’re probably thinking I’m auditioning for a different character….I can’t help but feel really un-empowered, and really like I’m just covering the diversity quota so they can say they’ve looked at all ethnicities.”
But the For All The Boys I’ve Loved Before audition felt different to Condor. “When I got to the audition and I saw the casting office,” she said, “I actually felt like I had a fighting chance and the odds were even for any of us to get it…it was really compelling.”
The film, with Condor as lead character/high schooler Lara Jean Covey, has been a smash hit on the streaming service, an outcome which Condor said felt part of a very significant time lately for actors of Asian descent, with the prominence of projects like Sugars, Minding the Gap, Searching, and, of course, Crazy Rich Asians.
“It really did feel so bountiful,” she said. “There’s been a lot of Asian content to see, and that has been so exciting, and that has been such an honor to be a part of. I feel like the community was so inspired as well.”
But Condor is quick to point out that, of course, this needs to continue into the future. “I was so happy that this summer happened. But I don’t want it to end in this summer,” she said. “ I want it to keep going and going and going. So, to me, I take that as a victory, and that’s amazing, and I just hope that it keeps happening. We can sell tickets and we can get clicks on Netflix just as much, if not more, than what’s usually out there.”
Han said at their first dinner meeting, she’d told Condor she wanted her to have “all the same chances that all the young white actresses get who have starred in a YA vehicle,” and cited Emma Watson in Harry Potter as an example. “I didn’t want this to be a one-and-done thing because she’s an Asian-American actress,” Han said. “I wanted her to have this big career, so I wanted to support that and for her to feel really good.”
Han had also dropped potential producers who didn’t share her casting thoughts, and was nervous of handing over the rights to anyone who wouldn’t honor her picture of Lara Jean.
“For me, it wasn’t worth it to continue having conversations with people who did not have that same vision,” she said.