The Summer I Turned Pretty is back with its highly anticipated second season, and Gavin Casalegno, who portrays Jeremiah, is sharing his experience of landing the role and his on- and off-screen friendship with Lola Tung and Christopher Briney. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Casalegno delves into the emotional aspects of filming heavy scenes for the Prime Video adaptation.
Season two picks up after a tumultuous year for the characters, including the loss of Conrad and Jeremiah’s mother. The cast members, including Casalegno, Tung, Briney, Sean Kaufman, Rain Spencer, David Iacono, Rachel Blanchard, and Jackie Chung, return for the new season. Additionally, Elsie Fisher and Kyra Sedgwick join the cast.
The first three episodes focus on the present day, where the characters are grappling with the grief following Susannah’s recent death. Throughout the season, glimpses of the events between the previous and current summers are revealed, such as Belly confessing to Jeremiah about kissing his brother and her subsequent relationship with Conrad, which ultimately ends in heartbreak at prom.
Casalegno emphasizes the emotional weight that has transpired between seasons one and two. Despite their attempts to avoid it, the characters will eventually have to confront their feelings and face the past. This season delves into more serious themes, creating challenging and poignant moments on-screen.
As Jeremiah mourns the loss of Susannah, Casalegno drew from personal life experiences to navigate his character’s emotions. He found the process both challenging and healing, allowing him to explore new depths in his acting. Season two presented greater challenges, but Casalegno appreciated the opportunity to delve into the more serious aspects of his character.
Jeremiah’s grief led him to distance himself from Belly and Conrad’s relationship, focusing on his own endeavors. However, as the pending sale of the beach house brings everyone together, they find solace in preserving Susannah’s memory.
Filming emotionally charged scenes, such as Jeremiah’s confrontation with Belly, was difficult for Casalegno and Lola Tung, given their close bond off-set. It required them to transition from light-hearted moments to intense emotional performances. Despite the challenge, Casalegno appreciated the opportunity to showcase the complexity of their characters’ relationship.
Viewers can expect to see more flashbacks that provide insight into Jeremiah’s past year. These moments serve as a crucial part of the season, shedding light on significant events and character development.
In portraying a journey through young love, Casalegno often draws from personal experiences, although he aims to strike a balance and not delve too deeply into his own life. Bringing scenes from the book to life on-screen was a fascinating process for him, witnessing Jenny Han’s creation take shape.
Casalegno had regular conversations with Jenny Han on set, discussing scenes and character goals for Jeremiah. They collaborated to ensure the character’s story was portrayed authentically and relatably, bouncing ideas off each other and addressing challenging questions.
The beach house in Cousins Beach plays a central role in both seasons, symbolizing the glue that binds the characters together. Although Casalegno doesn’t have a specific item connecting him to loved ones in his own life, he emphasizes the importance of his faith, which fosters strong relationships in various aspects of his life.
When asked about his favorite season to film, Casalegno expresses that season one was more enjoyable due to the novelty and excitement surrounding the project. However, he believes season two will surpass it, as the show has found its footing and further explores the characters and their dramatic journeys.
Casalegno acknowledges the significance of Taylor Swift’s music in the series, given her immense popularity among the show’s demographic. The inclusion of her music enhances the viewing experience and mutually benefits both the show and the artist.
Regarding criticism of Jeremiah’s character as “gaslighting” Belly in a specific scene, Casalegno suggests turning to Jenny Han for insight, as he portrayed the character based on the script. He explains that teenagers can make hurtful remarks when emotionally wounded and that his character’s growth will become evident as the season progresses.
With five episodes remaining, Casalegno hints at more exciting developments in the season. Viewers can anticipate significant moments, including the highly anticipated car scene. The last five episodes promise to surpass the initial three in intensity and engagement.
Among the upcoming scenes, Casalegno mentions his personal favorites, particularly those involving Jeremiah and Conrad on the dock and near vending machines. These scenes capture raw authenticity and showcase the growth of both characters.
Casalegno hopes viewers will recognize the significant growth and maturation of Jeremiah throughout the season. Despite his flawed decisions, Jeremiah’s journey exemplifies personal growth, a relatable aspect of human experiences.
While uncertainties arise due to ongoing union strikes in Hollywood, Casalegno envisions a third season that delves into Jeremiah’s college years. He hopes to explore the character’s further maturity, witnessing him become a better partner, friend, and individual.
Gavin Casalegno’s portrayal of Jeremiah in the second season of The Summer I Turned Pretty presents viewers with a more profound and emotionally charged storyline. With personal experiences as a guiding force, Casalegno captures the growth and complexity of his character, delivering impactful performances. As the season progresses, viewers can anticipate riveting scenes, flashbacks, and pivotal moments that further engage and captivate the audience.