Having a chance to dive into the first two episodes of the upcoming Freeform thriller series “Cruel Summer” premiering April 20th, we are already on the edge of our seats to find out just how this dark and twisty series will pan out!
The series, which is set in the early 1990s, specifically 1993, 1994, and 1995, follows the story of the abduction of a popular teenage high school student and the possible involvement of one of her peers. And if you think for one second that you have any idea what is going on, guess again, as this series promises to be anything but predictable. It is impossible to say much of anything else about the plot of the series, as “Cruel Summer” is definitely a series that you want to remain as spoiler-free as possible.
What we can say is that we see the character of Jeanette Turner, played exquisitely by actress Chiara Aurelia, endure some pretty dramatic personal transformations over the course of this three-year time period, which we happen to tune in upon on her birthday each year. Jeanette goes from the quirky dorky girl to the most popular girl in school, before ending up the most hated. Each of these various stages plays out over the course of each episode, as we see the story continue to unfold.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Chiara Aurelia to discuss the many facets involved with portraying the character of Jeanette, what she hopes fans will take away from the series, how she is enjoying the chemistry with her fellow actors, and more!
When we asked Aurelia what it has been like for her to explore the many sides of this character, along with the time frame changes as well. She tells us, “It’s been super exciting! I think that jumping around into different time periods and catching this young lady at so many different mental spaces in her life has been such a fascinating and extraordinary experience.”
Speaking about what it like to play these three very different versions of Jeanette, Aurelia says, “It can be difficult at times for sure, but I think that it is just about tapping into a different part of myself that I think perfectly reflects what is going on for Jeanette in ’93, ’94 and ’95. I think that listening to different types of music, as well as, the different hair and make-up and wardrobe and the incredible creatives and actors that around keep me grounded in what’s going on is all part of the puzzle for sure!”
We were curious to know if there was anything that Aurelia was surprised to learn about herself as an actress as she continued to delve into this role. She reveals, “Yeah, 100%! I think that working with these people and working on this show taught me a lot about myself as a person and as an actress and how I can reflect off of these characters and learn more about myself and the people I’m surrounding myself with and working with every day. I think it is a growing and learning experience every day especially being a young woman in this industry, as I’m just eighteen, and I think there’s a lot that I can learn and a lot that I have learned over this journey.”
Aurelia goes on to say that she feels this show “is a super collaborative process and something can change and transform so much from filming to actually getting the opportunity to watch it and see it.” She also enjoys seeing the parts of the series that she was not a key player in, saying “I enjoy watching my fellow actors, the people that I love and are my friends, working so hard in their craft”.
We asked Aurelia if there are any parts of the series in particular that she is excited for viewers to see, for example, a special moment on set or a moment she is very proud of during filming. She replies, “I think I am just most excited for the audience to be on the edge of their seat as they watch. I think there are so many twists and turns in every episode for every character and every relationship. I think it is hard to pinpoint one specific thing, but I think the most exciting thing to me is just watching them watch and unravel the story and watching the fans guess every week and question what’s going to happen and where the story is going to lead. I think that is probably the most exciting part, even I, as I was reading episode to episode there were moments when I was like ‘Oh, my gosh! What’s going to happen next?’ and I think that is just a fun experience for an audience viewer even as a cast member of the show.”
Speaking about the amazing chemistry that the cast of “Cruel Summer” has with one another, Aurelia says, “There are sometimes when you can have perfect on-screen chemistry and still not be close friends which is totally fine, but specifically on this project the whole cast became drastically close! I don’t think I’ve worked on anything where I was this close with everyone. We have a group text where everyone is writing me right now saying ‘What are you doing right now? How is the junket going? What’s happening?’. We all became great friends and I think the casting and the creatives did such a great job of putting a group of kind, great kids together that all get along so well.”
We, too, cannot wait to see what “Cruel Summer” has in store for us this season and we certainly urge everyone to tune into the upcoming premiere on Tuesday, April 20th at 9 pm on Freeform!
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