STELLAR Chats To The Moms Of The Summer I Turned Pretty, Jackie Chung, Rachel Beresford and Kyra Sedgwick

Are we ready for an emotional rollercoaster?

In the early 2000s we went through an era of tv shows that were all about the teens and don’t get us wrong, we adored them! But, the one thing that always got us, was the absence of any kind of  parenting. If we were off doing half the things they were doing at 16,  grounded for life isn’t even the worst punishment that would come our way. This is what makes The Summer I Turned Pretty so wonderful. It is reminiscent of our teen years and the shows we loved and still do, but the parents are present. In actual fact we get a fair insight into the parents’ stories as their lives and their kids’ lives are so intertwined. 

Here at STELLAR, we got the chance to talk to the ladies who get the privilege to tell the parents’ story on The Summer I Turned Pretty, the fabulous Jackie Chung, Rachel Beresford and newcomer to the series Kyra Sedgwick. We chatted about grief, family and relationships ahead of the release of the second season on Prime Video.

The Summer I Turned Pretty is a series that deals with a number of different kinds of grief and even gives it from both the perspective of an adult and a child. As teenagers we tend to be oblivious, not in an ‘I’m better than everyone else’ way, but in that ‘nothing exists outside my little bubble of teen problems’ way. So the added perspective from two adults in season one when Susannah’s cancer has sadly come back, is just marvellous as you get to see the moms protecting their kids from the seriousness of the situation.

We left Cousins at the end of season one knowing Susannah had cancer and also finding out Conrad (Chris Briney) knew all along and was trying to protect her and honour her wish of one last summer in the beach house unencumbered. Speaking to STELLAR Rachel Beresford said: “I think for me, Susannah’s really battling cancer and I think the consequences of what it means if it [the trial] doesn’t succeed [are huge].”

While Belly (Lola Tung) and Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) are off enjoying their summers, falling in love and dealing with the massive whirlwind that is teenage love, the moms are spending time together as best friends remembering themselves in that capacity hoping for a miracle for Susannah. Rachel said: “It’s really high stakes and I think looking at your children and imagining not being there for them [it’s awful].”

Jackie Chung, who plays Laurel, reveals that they were lucky they [Rachel and Jackie] liked each other so much in real life, as it would’ve been difficult to portray such a close sister bond with someone you disliked. She said: “We’ve got the same sense of humour so, it wasn’t hard at all. We got on immediately.”

As we head into season two, if the books are anything to go by, it will be a wild ride for us OG girlies. Season two welcomes two new characters to the series that are not referenced in the books, Carol (Kyra Sedgewick) and Skye (Elsie Fisher). Kyra is another mom to add to the group, portraying the boys Aunt Carol and Skye’s mom. Speaking to STELLAR Kyra said: “I come to Cousins to shake things up. 

It is revealed in episode three that Conrad and Jeremiah’s Aunt Carol, is planning on selling the summer house, a place they have years worth of good memories that they don’t want to give up in their time of grief. Kyra said: “I have ownership of the house and I believe it would be the best thing for my family to sell the house. So, I come in there knowing that I’m not going to make a lot of friends.”

While many might dislike Carol and her way of doing things at the end of the day it is her own grief talking. She’s never had a relationship with her half sister, Susannah, and feels there was no chance of repairing it. As a result of the half-siblings’ feud, which seems inconsequential and childish at first but later yields a great deal of hurt and misunderstanding, Skye (Elsie Fisher) has never had the chance to get to know her cousins, the Fisher brothers. Kyra said: “I feel like Julia is really spending a lot of time in denial about how she feels about Susannah and how much love was underneath the conflict that they had and the loss of having a second chance to fix that.”

So caught up in her grief and resentment towards a family that she hardly knows, Aunt Carol continues with her vendetta against the Fisher brothers, while allowing Skye to spend some time with them. Skye ends up loving Cousins and everything it has to offer, including spending time with her cousins and their friends so much so that she reevaluates everything her mother has told her about them.

Never having conflicted with her mother and her opinion before, Skye finds it difficult to go against her. But, seeing the damage Carol was causing to people she now considered her friends was overwhelming enough for Skye to do something about it. Kyra told us: “I think with Skye, she really falls in love with the place and the people and she was on my side in the beginning of our journey there and then by the middle of it she’s like ‘Mom, you’re wrong about a few things,’ and I think that was a really rough thing for Julia because they’ve never had conflict before.”

Relationships between parent and teenager are always difficult but add in grief and well that’s when things get messy. Ultimately Skye learns that her mother isn’t always right and she can forge her own opinions on life while her mother begins to realise that she wasn’t the only one hurt and that there are always two sides to every story.

The first three episodes of The Summer I Turned Pretty season 2 are streaming now on Prime Video and will be followed by a new episode every week until 18th August.