Watch Lana Condor Read a Love Letter to Her “To All the Boys” Co-Star Janel Parrish
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Watch Lana Condor Read a Love Letter to Her “To All the Boys” Co-Star Janel Parrish

– I was in this audition and they literally said to me, be like Hello Kitty. – No! – I ended up just kinda being like, Well, I’m probably not the person that you’re looking for then. – [Katie Couric] Lana Condor
shares a thank you note with fellow actress Janel Parrish, the on-screen sister who
inspired her to face anything. (inspirational soft pop music) – Hello!
– Hey Sissy! (giggling)
– How are you? – I’m good, I missed you.
– I missed you. – My dearest, dearest Janel, I was a sophomore in high school when I started watching
“Pretty Little Liars.” I didn’t watch that many T.V.
shows, or movies, at the time and looking back that’s probably
because I couldn’t relate. There were so few
Asian-Americans on screen. But I watched all of “Pretty Little Liars” and I don’t think that
that’s a coincidence. I saw somebody who
looked like me up there. And I loved every single
moment you were on camera. When people ask me if it’s hard to be an Asian-American in Hollywood, I always answer that
it was way, way harder for those who came before me. And you Janel, are part
of the OG Young Hollywood that has paved the way. You did not start off as a series regular on “Pretty Little Liars.” You fought tooth and nail
and worked your ass off to become a series regular and later get your own spin-off show. You’ve been vocal about
just how hard it is to audition for roles when you feel like you’re not what
Hollywood is looking for. I can identify with having
a hard time at auditions because casting couldn’t see how I’d fit into an on-screen family. But that all changed with “To
All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” When I auditioned for the film, it was the first script I’d seen that specifically called
for an Asian lead. Nobody can really relate and understand the feeling
of getting called to audition for a role of someone who looks like you. It makes you feel so elated and so desperate to get the role. And when the news came out
that it was actually mine, I couldn’t believe it. I kept saying to my agents could you repeat that,
could you repeat that? “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” not only launched my career
but also introduced me to you. The franchise has transformed me from your fan to your sister. You’ve taught me to protect
my heart and my time. When we were filming the second
and third movies last summer, I was exhausted, and you knew that. You took my hands in yours and said “Lana, there’s a lot being asked of you, but you cant do it unless
you’re okay with yourself.” Janel, I’m so, so grateful
to call you my mentor, my inspiration, and most
importantly, my friend. You’ve helped create a space for girls like me in this industry and I hope that I can do for young girls what you have done for me. Thank you, Janel. Love, Lana. – Aww, I love you. – I love you. Thank you. – That’s so sweet, I have
little tears in my eyes but I also laughed a lot. (both laughing) How do I put this? I am very, very proud to be
an Asian-American actress, but I think growing up
it made me insecure. Because I’d go into auditions, and I’d see nobody that looked like me, and I would do all this
work and be really excited, and they’d say, “she’s just really great, but she’s not what we’re looking for.” And then when you find out who got cast, and it happens time and time again, you think well then am I just not what
anybody is looking for? – We’re in a really special
time in the industry that studios just can’t ignore the fact that if their movies, or their T.V. shows, don’t look like real life,
just people just don’t buy it. And there’s still a lot more
work that needs to be done in terms of representation and
just the way that we’re seen. – But now, you’re a part of
that work that’s being built. And that is so great, right? You should also know how inspiring you are to me and to others. And you know, you say I’m
someone who came before you, but now you are someone who is coming before many, many other
beautiful little girls who are looking up to you and saying, I can do it ’cause Lana Condor did it. (inspirational soft pop music) – Power! Yes, okay! (camera snapping)


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