Watch Out, Hollywood: Lana Condor Is Here to Stay!

Lana Condor speaking at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con International, for "X-Men: Apocalypse", at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.
Gage Skidmore

Lana Condor is as busy as it gets these days. And honestly? Go Lana, go! We love to see blazing success happen to genuinely good people! Because what’s not to love about this beautiful and empowered Hollywood starlet?

Lana Condor in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before franchise

For those of you who are (somehow still) unfamiliar with Lana Condor, the 24-year-old actress shot to fame in 2018 upon the release of Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, a romantic comedy for young adults adapted from author Jenny Han’s trilogy with the same title.

While Lana Condor played a small role in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, it was To All the Boys… that made her a household name and an immediate icon, predominantly for (but certainly not limited to) young audiences and adolescent women. Lana plays protagonist Lara Jean Covey, a hopelessly romantic high schooler whose love letters accidentally get leaked to all of her former crushes. 

Upon the film’s release, Lana’s Lara Jean quickly became equal parts style icon and role model for fans, with her picture-perfect, Pinterest-worthy pastel wardrobe, her adorable array of writing instruments, and her deep affinity for classic romance novels, all while portraying adolescence with aplomb.

When it comes to the film’s gobsmacking success, the viewership speaks for itself. The heart-warming rom-com captivated viewers across the globe who quickly made the film one of the most widely viewed Netflix original films OF ALL TIME, with “strong repeat viewership.”

Following the film’s massive acclaim, Netflix released the sequel, To All The Boys: PS I Love You, in February of 2020, just in the nick of time to become a televisual source of soothing for fans during the early months of Covid lockdowns across the globe.

The franchise’s third and (“supposedly”) final installment, To All The Boys: Always and Forever, premiered on Netflix in February of 2021. Described by The New York Times as “cinematic sweetmeat” that was “earnest, bright-eyed, and without a hint of cynicism,” the film trilogy’s final installment brought Lana Condor the opportunity to bid farewell to her beloved character and to further diversify her cinematic resume. 

But don’t be mistaken, Lana will always have an incredibly special place in her heart for the character that changed her life. In an interview with Backstage magazine published in 2020, she discusses her adoration for Lara Jean. “I love her,” Lana said emphatically. “I believe in her story. I believe in her heart and her goodness.”

So, now that Lara Jean Covey rests comfortably in the Netflix vault of “girls next door who you can’t help falling in love with” what’s our girl Lana Condor so busy with? Glad you asked! Here are some things you should know about the rising star actress. 

Shoot for the moon, Lana Condor!

Currently, Lana Condor is spending summer 2021 in Atlanta while she shoots the highly-anticipated HBO Max feature Moonshot alongside Riverdale’s Cole Sprouse. (And she’s hungry for some local Atlanta cuisine and is seeking local restaurant recs!


 
 
 
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Moonshot is a sci-fi rom-com in which Lana plays Sophie, “a focused and buttoned-up college student” who decides to follow her boyfriend to a colony on Mars. While the film began production in June of 2021, a release date has yet to be announced. Though that hasn’t stopped the internet from being SUPER pumped about it. 

But that’s not all! In addition to Moonshot, Lana is set to star in AND executive produce (get it, girl!) the upcoming Netflix 8-part live action comedy series Boo, Bitch! Created by Erin Ehrlich and Lauren Iungerich, Lana will play a high school teen “who’s lived her life safely under the radar, seizes the opportunity to change her narrative and start living an epic life, only to find out the next morning… she’s a motherf*%king ghost.” (Yes, that synopsis is DEFINITELY worth reading twice!) 

Not only is it a female-led production team, but it is the first chance that Lana will have to flex her production muscles. “[Boo, Bitch!] is a very, very diverse, female-led show, which is exciting for me in front and behind the camera,” Lana told Elite Daily. “I know what it’s like to be in a room where your voice doesn’t feel valued, or you feel like you aren’t really in control of the way you’re being portrayed. Being an entertainer in Hollywood, you see men abusing their power in the workplace, and I don’t like it! Not my vibe!”

And there’s more! Currently, Lana Condor is “being eyed” by Dreamworks for Meet the Gillmans with Laura Dern, Michael Sheen, and Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy. (I mean, that cast! Can you even IMAGINE that lineup?)

Admittedly, while this is still just industry chatter, let us pray to the Hollywood gods above that this Dreamworks feature can come to fruition! (What a Dreamworks dream team that would be!)

But have you seen Lana Condor’s action roles?

Following the release of To All the Boys: PS I Love You, Lana took a break before shooting To All the Boys: Always and Forever, trading Lara Jean’s cardigan sweaters and fluffy pens for tattoos and a samurai sword in SyFy’s Deadly Class. In the series, Lana plays Saya Kuroki, a badass assassin-in-training who rides a motorcycle and raises hell. “I couldn’t have gone further from Lara Jean than Saya,” Lana said in a Q&A with Collider. “So, I guess, in a sense it’s kinda cool to have that really intense foil of these characters… Saya is so angry and different and intense.”

Deadly Class was also the first opportunity that Lana had to dip her toe into the world of stunt work. The Deadly Class cast did the majority of their own stunts while filming and Lana’s costar María Gabriela de Faría divulged to SyFy Wire that Lana even sustained a concussion from the on-screen combat. 

Also in 2019, Lana starred in another sci-fi project Alita: Battle Angel. The film was produced by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez. Working with big names like Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, and Mahershala Ali, Lana flexed her action movie muscles even further in this cyborg action flick. 

Regarding the bold pivot from romantic comedy to dark action sci-fi, Lana had this to say to E! News: “…That’s something that I really wanted to do, to be able to crossover all genres and to be able to pick different roles so that people can see me in a different light.”

Get those brand deals, Lana Condor!

Lana’s infectious positivity, eloquence, and enthusiasm have drawn not just the attention of casting directors. She has also become a piping hot commodity in the world of brand ambassadorship. Even when Lana isn’t on set, she’s still leveraging her fame to represent brands that she believes in. Given Lana’s enormous social media following (more on that later), she’s managed to snag a slew of #sponcon and ambassador deals from brands including Old Navy, OLLY wellness, Neutrogena, and Aerie (where she was an “AerieREAL role model” alongside fellow actors Beanie Feldstein and Hari Nef).

Additionally, our lady Lana has recently launched her biggest brand collab yet with a brand near and dear to her upbringing: Vera Bradley


 
 
 
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“I’ve been a fan of the brand for a long, long time,” Lana told Page Six Style. “The women in my family all are huge Vera Bradley fans; it’s just kind of what I grew up with.”

“…When this partnership came to be, I was just so stoked and it didn’t even occur to me that I would also get to design my own backpack,” Lana said in a recent interview with Insider.com, while explaining Very Bradley’s new ‘Recycled Cotton collection’ and her collaboration in designing the Lana Utility Backpack. 

“I designed this backpack because I really wanted a great set bag for myself; hopefully other people will want to use it for work or school or as a gym bag or travel bag. But for me, it was a set bag. I really wanted a bright, fun pattern inside so I could find things easier. I’ve been able to carry everything I need to work with me, and I carry quite a lot of stuff … like, a true Mary Poppins!”

So, we know she can act. But did you know Lana Condor is a full-fledged triple threat?

Before transitioning to acting full time, Lana trained for the majority of her formative years as a classical ballet dancer, even studying at the famed Joffrey Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. It wasn’t until Lana was a sophomore in high school that she began acting. 

Oh yeah, and gurl can SING! Lana dropped the song “For Real” last summer and we’ve been listening to it on repeat ever since.

Maybe we’ll have the pleasure of seeing Lana pull a La La Land and star in a movie musical one day, soft-shoeing her way even deeper into our hearts!

Lana Condor’s taken (and smitten!)

Lana’s relationship with musician Anthony de la Torre is nothing short of #couplesgoals (and one that she has no problem sharing publicly on social media or in interviews).

Lana has been dating musician and actor Anthony since 2015.


 
 
 
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Did you know they make beautiful music together? The couple has released 4 songs! Their most recent single is entitled “Anyone Else But You” (which comes with a whimsically romantic music video). Last year, Lana and Anthony released “Raining in London,” “I Like Me Better,” and “No Way.” 

“There’s no one else I’d want to be doing life with than Anthony,Lana gushed in an interview with People.

Lana Condor: Social media darling

In keeping with Lana’s openness (and like most 24 year-olds), she’s very active on social media. The star had 5.5 million Instagram followers after the release of the 1st To All the Boys… film and currently has just over 11 million Instagram followers (as of this article’s publication.) When scrolling through Lana’s feed, her posts are a healthy mix of updates on her current projects, drool-worthy food pics, glamorous magazine photoshoots, and cute dog and boyfriend posts. 

However, unlike some stars who are early in their careers, Lana favors “realness” and radical transparency over privacy. Want to see what we mean? Check out her YouTube channel. With 861K subscribers, Lana uses the platform to connect with fans and made particular use of her channel during Coronavirus lockdowns to share her and her boyfriend doing lots of cute things!! Like learning a BlackPink dance together, carving pumpkins, and having her man do her doing makeup.

With that being said, Lana has been open about the fact that social media has sometimes been a source of major anxiety for her. “We are so sucked into our screens, and our life is so perfectly curated, and I think that contributed a lot to social anxiety I have,” Lana divulged in a YouTube series called ‘Hi Anxiety.’ “If I go out, and people see that my life isn’t perfect, I’m afraid they’ll judge me or not like me.” Honestly, vulnerable confessions like this one just make the actress more relatable and admirable in our book.

Lana Condor uses her voice and platform to make Hollywood more inclusive

Lana said the opportunity to portray Lara Jean Covey as a normal all-American teen who happens to be Asian-American motivated her deeply. “I read the book immediately before the audition, and that’s when I was like, OK, this I have to have,” Lana told The New York Times. “Because this is an Asian-American girl falling in love and this is something we need to see.”

Lana, who was adopted at 4 months old from an orphanage in Vietnam, is no stranger to watching coming-of-age teen rom-coms where none of the characters look like her. So, when she was cast as Lara Jean and met with Jenny Han, author of the TATBtrilogy, the two were simpatico in their mission to increase Asian-American representation on the silver screen and throughout Hollywood.

“There are so many Asian stories, Asian-American stories, that need to be told and need to be written. I do believe we’re slowly but surely getting there,” Lana said in a cover story for SELF. 

Netflix’s release of the first installment of To all the Boys… in the summer of 2018 coincided with the releases of other Asian-American films like Crazy Rich Asians and Searching in what was informally referred to throughout Hollywood as “Asian August.” This cinematic micro-trend “helped demolish the longstanding entertainment industry myth that movies by and about people of color don’t sell” according to HuffPost’s Asian Voices columnist, Marina Fang.

“I’ve always wanted to be an entertainer but I honestly believe that my reason for being in this industry is to make people feel seen,” Lana told Elite Daily. “My whole goal with any job I’m even considering doing [is] it has to represent myself or my community well. It has to show people they’re not alone. That’s all I care about.”

Lana Condor has learned (the hard way) to prioritize her mental health and well-being

As a young Hollywood star whose professional cup was overflowing with back-to-back shooting schedules of TATB... films, punctuated by expansive press tours and filming schedules for Deadly Class and Alita: Battle Angel, Lana found it difficult to take care of herself and her mental well-being.

“I’m realizing now… that there’s a lot of strength in showing people that everything is not always daisies every single minute of every single day,” Lana told SELF. “I was just saying yes to everything because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and you want to capitalize on it, and you want to feel like you’re fully embracing everything … but I’ve never felt more horrible mentally. I was so burned out.”


While a precipitous and immediate rise to fame caused Lana to reevaluate how she takes care of herself, she admits to having struggled with anxiety since the sixth grade. This is a subject which she discusses openly in press interviews and across her social media platforms. 

Lana has also spoken honestly about her ongoing struggles with body dysmorphia which she has attributed, in part, to her formative years as a ballet dancer. 

Lana has said, “When you see yourself in a mirror constantly, and you’re, like, wearing nothing, you can really just nitpick yourself to death, which is so unhealthy … When I stopped doing ballet and classes, I felt like that was the beginning of where I could start working on the body dysmorphia…[that] was the beginning of, Okay, I definitely need to heal because the way that I thought about myself when I was dancing was not healthy.” 


 
 
 
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Lana Condor is a Hollywood star who doesn’t live in Hollywood

Lana proudly reps the Pacific Northwest and bought a home in Seattle with Anthony in early 2020 to avoid further burnout from a busy LA lifestyle. “Moving to Seattle, I think, saved me a lot… I’m trying to make my world smaller” Lana told Self. While Lana’s family spent a few years living on Washington’s Whidbey Island during her childhood, she decided to relocate back to the Evergreen State.

“The place I go home to, I need it to be smaller for my own health. I want my home to be quiet,” Lana explained to People. “We want our world to be slower and still. Our real voice was one of mental and physical health. Being out here is better for us.” 

Lana Condor’s a hardcore dog lover!

Speaking of home life, Lana has a dog named Emmy who she fell in love with during an interview with Buzzfeed and adopted on the spot! Lana and her beau decided on the name ‘Emmy’ because… well, she and Anthony met at the Emmys in 2015! (Talk about a “meet cute,” right?)

Their very good girl even dressed up for the “at-home” red carpet premiere of To All The Boys: Always and Forever and posed proudly for photos in front of her glammed-up humans.

Tap through the carousel to see Emmy on the red carpet!


 
 
 
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Lana recently shared a snap of her and Emmy snuggling in her trailer between scenes for Moonshot.

And if you’re wondering, Emmy has her own “dogstagram” where she has over 43,000 followers! Lana admitted to carrying around dog treats in her bag, not just for Emmy, but for any dog she may come across. “I have a dog, but I also am constantly on the lookout for dogs, just in life. And so I keep dog treats with me, because then if I see dogs on set or on the street, I just give them to them. Because I want their love!”

And finally, Lana Condor’s biggest piece of advice

Lana thinks you should treat yourself the way you’d treat your own BFF.

“You would never tell your best friend the things that you say to yourself in your darkest times. You would never in a million years. I think that we have to talk to ourselves kindly and gently,” Lana advised fans.

Now that is a notion we can ALL get behind!

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