Lana Condor reveals her teenage experience was ‘pretty lonely’ and inspired newest character, Ruby Gillman

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Lana Condor is no stranger to bringing to life the universal trials, tribulations and the awkwardness of the teenage experience to life.

In fact, Condor has admitted that her own teenage years were “lonely” and helped her understand her newest character: Ruby Gillman.

Condor rose to fame for her portrayal of Lara Jean in Netflix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

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Lana Condor portrayed the awkward teenager, Lara Jean in the Netflix film, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. (Netflix)

The film follows Lara Jean, who writes confessional letters to all the crushes she’s had throughout her life and much to her horror, is confronted by these various crushes after her younger sister posts the letters to each of the boys.

Similarly, for her latest role, Condor is once again bringing the quirky, misunderstood teenager to life in her newest film Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken. 

Ruby Gillman, who is a socially awkward teenager with an overprotective mum, inadvertently discovers after going into the ocean for the first time ever, that not only is she a Kraken, but that she is a descendant of the warrior Kraken queens and is destined to inherit the throne from her grandmother (played by Jane Fonda).

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Ruby Gillman
Condor says in order to portray Ruby Gillman, she had to channel her own teenage experience. (NBCUniversal)

Meanwhile, back on dry land, Ruby Gillman deals with normal teenage problems from crushes, high school politics and prom. 

Condor says in order to channel the emotional state of Ruby Gillman, she had to dip into her own teenage experience.

“As a teenager I was very nervous, awkward and unsure – in many ways I still am but I’m a lot more confident than I was as a teenager,” Condor tells 9Honey Celebrity.

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Lana Condor
Condor says she would tell her teenage self that “you will not always feel this way forever.” (Supplied)

“I infused a lot of who I was and who I still am into Ruby Gillman.”

Condor says her own teenage experience involved moving around a lot which created long periods of loneliness.

“As a teenager I was pretty lonely, I had one solid friend and then my parents were my friends. I moved a lot and that was a big factor in my childhood. I would make a friendship and then immediately I would move again so I never really had those long-standing friendships.”

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Condor says she has a soft spot for portraying quirky, misunderstood teenagers. (NBC Universal)

However, despite well and truly moving beyond her own teenage years and experience, Condor says that she still has a soft spot for playing the role of a quirky, misunderstood teen.

“For better or for worse, I actually love playing quirky, awkward, uncomfortable characters – I think it’s really fun, it’s a fun character to play.”

The actress says her advice to her teenage self upon playing the socially-awkward Ruby Gillman is simply: “What you are going through right now, will end. You will not always feel this way forever.”

This interview was conducted before SAG-AFTRA and its members went on strike.

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