Why Conrad From The Summer I Turned Pretty Looks So Familiar

"The Summer I Turned Pretty" is an Amazon Prime TV series based on Jenny Han's book trilogy of the same name. The show stars Lola Tung as Belly, a teenage girl experiencing summer romance in a love triangle with her childhood best friends, Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) and Conrad (Christopher Briney). The debut season received a whopping 88% on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, following its 2022 premiere, with Season 2 following soon after in July 2023.

Briney is a Pace University graduate most known for his role as Conrad. Before that, he starred in a couple of short films, and wrote and directed his own short entitled "Paix." However, you may also recognize Briney from his breakout role as gallery assistant James Linton in "Dalíland."The movie stars Sir Ben Kingsley as legendary artist Salvador Dalí. Briney's character gets sucked into the whirlwind that is Dalí's extravagant party lifestyle. The actor spoke with 1883 magazine about how he approached playing one of the only truly fictional characters in the film. 

The up-and-coming actor explained, "James is based on an archetype of a person that was present around Dalí. He was this young, male kid, just helping out. ... [James is] driven and curious and naive because he just gets tossed around the entire movie. ... He gets wrapped up in things bigger than him." Briney added that he felt similar to James getting thrown into something new because this was his first time shooting a feature film.

Briney wants to be a director as well

Christopher Briney spoke with Numéro Netherlands magazine about how he became Conrad. Briney recalled how he initially auditioned via self-tape and then was asked to get on Zoom with Jenny Han and other members of the show's creative team. After that, Briney did a chemistry read and was officially offered the part. Although one integral character in "The Summer I Turned Pretty" wasn't even in the book, Briney told the outlet that there are allusions to the second novel in the trilogy in Season 2 of the hit show. 

He added, "One thing that I'm really excited for is people meeting the new characters. Skye and Aunt Julia are introduced this season and I loved working with them, so I'm excited for people to love them." The actor also mentioned some of his favorite hobbies, citing directing and photography.

In particular, Briney wants to direct "on a more professional level" in the future. In addition to "The Summer I Turned Pretty" and "Dalíland," Briney landed the role of Aaron Samuels in "Mean Girls: The Musical" on Paramount+. The project is a film adaptation of the beloved Broadway musical, which in turn is based on the iconic 2004 movie "Mean Girls."

Briney and his girlfriend are college sweethearts

As opposed to Conrad and Belly, who are childhood friends turned something more in "The Summer I Turned Pretty," Christopher Briney and his girlfriend are college sweethearts. Briney is currently dating Isabel Machado, who is an actor as well. The duo met during their time at Pace University and started dating in 2021, a year after they graduated. 

Briney has posted photos of Machado on his Instagram before and even told People, "When my girlfriend tells me I'm pretty, I think I feel pretty." Art does not always imitate life, however — Conrad and Belly's relationship is not going as well as Briney and Machado's. 

Early in Season 2 of "The Summer I Turned Pretty," viewers learned that Conrad and Belly slept together at the beach house they've spent their whole lives visiting, but Conrad's mother getting sicker and sicker causes his relationship with Belly to fall apart. We'll have to wait and see whether they can figure things out just as Briney and Machado did IRL.