Her character may spend summers at the Fisher family’s Massachusetts beach house when high school’s not in session, but actor Lola Tung put college on hold to play Isabel “Belly” Conklin. Ahead, the star of Amazon Prime Video’s The Summer I Turned Pretty on her detour from college to the beaches of Wilmington, North Carolina. College was Lola’s focus when she auditioned for ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Lola Tung | Dominik Bindl/Getty Images Landing a role in the TV adaptation of Jenny Han’s TSITP book trilogy wasn’t exactly on Tung’s to-do list when she started at Pennsylvania’s Carnegie Mellon University. “I was actually in my first year of college at Carnegie Mellon, and I was away in Pittsburgh,” she told InStyle.
“My manager, who I had just started working with, reached out to me and said that there was this role that she thought I would be good for. I was like, ‘All right, this sounds really great. But, you know, I’m very focused on school right now.’” Born and raised in New York City, Tung attended LaGuardia, a prestigious Manhattan performing arts high school.
There she studied drama before setting off for Carnegie Mellon (via Harper’s Bazaar). Tung landed the part of Belly not long before her freshman year of college ended ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Season 2 cast | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Tung continued, describing what the audition process for TSITP had been like while simultaneously attending college at Carnegie Mellon.
She told the outlet her roommates helped film audition tapes in their apartment, which led to six weeks of auditions and chemistry reads via Zoom. “I was coming home from my classes, then hopping onto Zoom, and reading with everyone and in front of Jenny [Han] and the producers,” she said. Finally, “after the process had been going on for a little while,” Han and others got on Zoom to tell the now-20-year-old she’d landed the role of Belly. “It was all like a month and a half of my second semester, too, which was really just so wild and cool,” Tung recalled.
“I did get to finish my first year, which I’m very grateful for. We filmed from July to October of 2021, and I actually took the [following] year off of school for filming.” “It was all very, very exciting, and very wild because I hadn’t really expected it or planned for it being at school and everything.” Lola Tung’s character visits colleges in ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Season 2 Although Belly’s not done with high school, the idea of what’s next starts to take hold, albeit subtly, in TSITP Season 2.
There are reminders the boys with whom she’s spent every summer — Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno), Conrad (Christopher Briney), and Steven (Sean Kaufman) — are collegebound. Conrad, the oldest of the four teens, attends Brown University. Meanwhile, Steven, following a viral graduation speech, is going to Princeton.
As for Jeremiah, he’s going to the fictional Finch College. Meanwhile, Belly’s still figuring out how to put the pieces of her previous life back together. The one before Conrad and Jeremiah’s mother, Susannah (Rachel Blanchard), died. Along the way, she sees Brown, or at least a small area of it, before later exploring Finch with Jeremiah. The Summer I Turned Pretty Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video.