The Untold Truth Of Lana Condor

Depending on how many times you've binge-watched the Netflix rom-com To All The Boys I've Loved Before, you might know tons about high school student Lara Jean. But what, if anything, do you know about Lana Condor, the phenomenal actress who portrays her? 

Condor and her character actually have a lot in common. The 21-year-old actress told Entertainment Weekly, "I think I do tend to live a little bit more in my head, in a fantasy world, just as Lara, which I don't necessarily think is a bad thing." Though she may be an introvert, Condor is outspoken about the need for more Asian-American representation in film. "I never, ever get — at least for rom-coms — I've never gotten something that specifically says they want an Asian-American actress," she admitted to Teen Vogue. Needless to say, she was stoked to learn that TATBILB was solely looking for an Asian-American female lead.

With her past work on major films and her role in the hit 2018 rom-com, Condor is definitely breaking down barriers and "making strides" to diversify Hollywood. What else should you know about Condor? Keep on reading.

She's adopted

When speaking to Teen Vogue, Condor revealed: "I was born in Vietnam and I was adopted by an Irish lady and a Hungarian man, and then I moved to America." She feels her personal experience helped her relate to Lara Jean's mixed heritage. "So, in a way I grew up in a mixed household, because my brother and I are Asian, and our parents are white," she explained. 

Condor said it's a misconception when people say she "can't relate to the quote-unquote 'Asian-American experience'" just because both of her parents are white. Just as Lara Jean's dad in the film tried to help his daughters stay connected to their Korean heritage, Condor's parents tried to expose her to Vietnamese culture and food. Though, she admitted that because she doesn't eat meat, it made things a little challenging. 

Nevertheless, Condor told the publication that she appreciates her parents' efforts and help her "not to forget where [she] came from."

Acting isn't her only skill

As X-Men: Apocalypse and TATBILB stand to prove, Condor has range. She was so good as Jubilee in X-Men that the director of the film hired her before even meeting her in person. "He told me I was the first person he ever cast off of tape, so that was pretty cool," Condor coyly admitted to Anthem Magazine. Perhaps even more amazing is that it was only Condor's third ever audition. As undeniably talented as Condor is when it comes to acting, it's far from her only skill.

According to an NBC News profile of Condor, she trained with the prestigious Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, and then the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York. It wasn't until Condor and her family moved to Los Angeles that she would join a drama program for the first time. Being around actors "kind of made the dream more of a reality," the actress explained. Oh, and did we mention she was also a competitive equestrian?

Her first kiss was super awkward

Condor dished to Seventeen about her most awkward first kiss. The actress explained that her most cringe-worthy locking-lips session was actually her first ever kiss. And, as you well know, first kisses are never, ever Hollywood-grade smooches. The actress described it as a "very puckered" mess with a boy who was much, much shorter than her. "It was in sixth grade and it was a dare and there was a whole, like, group of people," she said. Eek!

She continued, saying, "It was a weird textural experience that I don't want to go through again. Yeah, I was like I'm never kissing anyone again! I don't know why everyone's kissing each other!" Though the kiss "sucked" through and through, her decision to never kiss again didn't last forever. "I've gotten a lot better," the star joked and labeled the experience one in which you "live and learn" through. True that.

She's actually not that into YA books

Despite playing Lara Jean in To All The Boys I've Loved Before, an Asian-American character adapted from Jenny Han's Young Adult novel, the first of a three-book series, of the same name, Condor admitted that she's not a diehard fan of YA fiction. "I have read the Divergent series, I obviously read Harry Potter," she told Entertainment Weekly. "Here's the thing," she began, "I would like to know more about YA and read more of it, but I tend to be a thriller reader." Hey, you can't fault her for that. Condor says her allegiance also lies with murder mysteries, but does feel she should read more YA.

That's not to say she didn't read Han's series, of course. She did — and loved it. While portraying Lara Jean, Condor admitted that she was most worried about doing "a good job for Jenny Han, the author." She can rest assured that she did.

Her connection with Noah Centineo is the real deal

As of this writing, if you were to Google "Are Lana Condor and Noah Centineo really dating?" over a million search results would come back. Yeah, we're obsessed. But, as much as we'd like it to be true, it seems Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky's romance is fictional. That's not to say that Condor and Centineo don't have great chemistry and a real connection — because they very much do. 

When Condor posted a candid photo of herself and Centineo snuggled up and taking a nap on set, it only added fuel to the proverbial fire that they were a couple. She cleared matters up when talking with People, saying, "He was napping, and he took over the couch. And I was like, well I want to nap too. And there was only one couch." Fair enough. Condor added: "We've had chemistry since day one and we were just connecting and that just felt really natural to us." While Centineo says their relationship is more like "brother and sister," Condor has declined to comment on the nature of their relationship. Hmm.

She's in a longterm relationship

Before you get too excited that Condor's decision to plead the fifth somehow means that she and Centineo are really dating, you should know: she has a boyfriend.

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Condor confirmed that she's been in a relationship with Anthony De La Torre for three years — and counting. "I still feel like it's our first date, but also like we are old and we've been together forever and ever," she gushed, "Yeah it's been three years and it's been wonderful."

But, how does her man feel about her on-(and off-)screen chemistry with Centineo? According to Condor, he's "really chill" about it. As an actor himself, he understands that it's part of the job. Plus, she's had to support him in similar situations. "He's had a couple different working experiences where he's had to make out with someone," she said before joking, "And of course I'm like, 'I'll kill her.'"

She used to room with this Game of Thrones star

Condor happens to be BFFs with a fellow up-and-coming actress, Sophie Turner. Although she's perhaps most well known for her role as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones, she also starred alongside Condor as Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse. As it turns out, they didn't just work together. "We actually lived together for a second in Montreal when we were shooting there and we all got really close," Condor explained to Cosmopolitan. She added, "Sophie is an incredible girl." Aww.

Though the young women are definitely close, there's a chance Condor won't be invited to Turner and Joe Jonas' wedding. "I know that it seems like that they are trying to have a smaller wedding so my feelings won't be hurt if I don't get an invited to the wedding but it will be very cool if I do," Condor told the publication. Our feelings, on the other hand, will be hurt if we're not invited.

She's putting a girl through school

Although Condor is finally able to relax after two long months of working 14-hour days, she's obviously still keeping busy. After production wrapped on TATBILB, Condor decided to shift gears somewhat. Through the Asia Foundation, the star created a scholarship to put a girl from Cần Thơ, Vietnam — where Condor herself was born — through four years of school. According to NBC News, the scholarship doesn't just cover the cost of education, but transportation, uniforms, food, books, and whatever else the student will need.

Condor told NBC News that she would like to provide more scholarships to Vietnamese girls in the future and, one day, wants to adopt children of her own. "I'm so fortunate that I'm living the life I have today," said Condor, "I always have moments on set where I think 'oh my God, this is my life right now.' And it could've been so different."

She has more films coming out in 2018

If you can't wait to see Condor in another film, you won't have to do so for much longer. According to her IMDB page, Condor is starring in two movies that are in post-production as of September 2018: Alita: Battle Angel and Summer Night. She also filmed a television series pilot that's set to air in 2019 and has been cast in a pre-production sci-fi thriller called Warning. Basically, this star is not going anywhere. 

With Summer Night being a coming-of-age rom-com and Alita being a sci-fi spectacular based on a Japanese manga series, Condor is still making sure to diversify her work. Although she was careful not to reveal too much about the upcoming action film in an interview with Build, she did divulge that "it's really amazing and the visuals are incredible." Of course, since we all stan Lana Condor, it doesn't exactly matter what movie she's in next — we're going to watch them all.