Anna Cathcart was in Grade 8 when she first joined To All The Boys, the incredibly popular film series inspired by Jenny Han’s bestselling novel. “Now I’m graduating high school! It’s so weird,” she tells me on a Zoom call from her home in Vancouver. 

The first film in the trilogy, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, released in 2018 to great acclaim. But no one could have imagined how enormous the fan base would grow. Anna, for instance, who plays Kitty, the quirky and empathetic younger sister to Lara Jean (Lana Condor), is only 17 years old and has an Instagram following of 3 million. “It’s wild to think about the whole journey!” says Anna, with a wide smile and sparkling eyes. 

Cr. Juhan Noh / Netflix © 2020

I had the joy of chatting with her and Canadian co-star Madeleine Arthur (Chris) in advance of the release for To All The Boys: Always and Forever, the final film in the series, that launched on Netflix February 12. It was a conversation that brought me as much joy as the film itself.

There are so many reasons why this series is overflowing with good feelings, from the vibrant art direction that includes sets and wardrobe in the brightest happy colours to the sweet romance of Lara Jean and Peter (Noah Centineo), that is the perfect mix of awkward and cute, but TATB goes deeper than that.

There is trauma and grief from the death of a parent, family life is refreshingly modern and relatable, and the kids deal with real-life challenges—from academic pressures to peer pressures on social media.  But even with the difficult subject matter that is tackled, the series is undeniably feel good.

Lana Condor as Lara Jean Covey, Cr. Katie Yu / Netflix © 2020

“It makes you feel happy and warm inside and it’s something you want to watch when you’re curled up in your blankets. It puts a smile on your face, even if you’re going through something it the world is in the state that it is—it brings comfort,” says Anna, on why she thinks the series has soared. 

Madeleine agrees, but adds that the realistic way that the film handles teenage stress has also resonated deeply with fans. “In high school, you’re all trying to figure out what your next steps are and it can be a really confusing and challenging time. I think it’s wonderful that the movie touches on figuring out who you are, and communicating where you want to go in your life. It’s really terrific, especially for the younger generation to have a movie that talks about these things because everyone is going through it.” 

Lana Condor as Lara Jean, Madeleine Arther as Christine.  Cr. Sarah Shatz/NETFLIX © 2021


In To All The Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean is anxious about what schools she’ll be accepted to, and throughout her final year we see her consider several options, some of which don’t look at all similar to what her vision had been for years. Understanding what she wants becomes increasingly more difficult when her gut instincts collide with external pressures.
Anna, who’s grown up with the cast and crew, and is now facing the same big decisions in her own life, has learned a lot from To All The Boys. “It shows that we don’t have it all figured out. It shows that there is not one path and life doesn’t have to be what you always thought would happen and things change and it’s okay,” she tells me, sounding wise beyond her years.
From travelling to Seoul to making friends that feel like real-life sisters, being part of the series will always be a cherished time that both Anna and Madeleine look back on. Countless beautiful memories were made, but when I ask Anna what makes her most proud, she’s quick to respond, “This movie specifically was so amazing and impactful for Asian representation. For so many people this meant more than we can even imagine. It’s so cool that I got to be part of something like this. It’s had such an impact on peoples lives.” It sure has.

Anna Cathcart as Kitty, Lana Condor as Lara Jean, Cr: Juhan Noh /NETFLIX © 2021