“I feel like in my own life I was dealing with some very similar things as Jeremiah. It was interesting because I found — as I was learning it — I could also help Jeremiah learn that in a sense,” Casalegno, 23, exclusively told Us Weekly in an interview conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike about Jeremiah’s journey in season 2. “So, it was a beautiful give and take.”
The actor said he was thrilled with how the sophomore season of the Prime Video drama showed more of Jeremiah’s perspective.
“It was so rewarding. Because I think [in] all of season 1 and even season 2, you get so much of Belly’s inner dialogue. You get so much of her thoughts, and you’re able to love Belly [Lola Tung] because of it,” he continued. “For Jeremiah, it’s the same. I feel like people are going relate to him and understand him better and really get to love the person he is because he has such a big heart for everyone around him.”
The Summer I Turned Pretty, which is based on a book series of the same name by showrunner Jenny Han, focuses on the love triangle between Belly, Conrad (Christopher Briney) and Jeremiah. After exploring her feelings for Conrad, Belly starts to reconsider whether his brother, Jeremiah, is The One. Jeremiah, for his part, is dealing with the aftermath of mother’s death amid ups and downs with Belly.
Casalegno previously teased the “emotional walls” Jeremiah would have up after Belly shut him down in the season 2 premiere in favor of Conrad. He also discussed not allowing what he knows about Jeremiah’s future shape his current performance.
“I try to keep it as real as possible in that regard. Obviously, I know where he ends up going and what ends up happening. But I don’t emphasize on that. Because I think [author and showrunner] Jenny writes it so well that I’m able to kind of get there naturally without having to force it a certain direction,” he explained. “So even though I know where he is going, I try to play it day by day because that’s all we can do. [We can] just live in the moment and make the most of our time right.”
Casalegno noted that the show’s success hasn’t distracted him from his commitment to Jeremiah. “I’m so grateful for all of the people that support the show,” he added. “I’m so happy that we get to put out such fun work and bring the books to life. But in reality, it’s about creating art. When an artist paints something, it’s an expression on a canvas and that’s what I feel like acting is.”
He concluded: “It’s an expression on my canvas. As long as we try to just really honor the books and respect Jenny’s vision then I believe that the fans are going to love it. and it’s, and it’s going to be amazing. But I don’t think it is about the weight of the supporters. It’s about putting art on a canvas and letting people get to enjoy it and see it and relate [to it].”
The Summer I Turned Pretty episodes are available to stream on Prime Video Fridays.