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Lola Tung: The Rising Star of 'The Summer I Turned Pretty'
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Lola Tung is an American actress, singer, and model best known for her breakout role as Isabel "Belly" Conklin in the Amazon Prime Video series The Summer I Turned Pretty. Born on October 28, 2002, in New York City, Tung has quickly risen to prominence, captivating audiences with her compelling performances and becoming a promising talent in the entertainment industry.

 

Tung's Early Life and Background

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Lola Tung was born on October 28, 2002, in New York City. She has a diverse heritage, with her mother, Pia Tung, being of Chinese and Swedish descent, and her father of Eastern European descent. Tung graduated from the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in 2020, a school renowned for its notable alumni. She then pursued higher education at Carnegie Mellon University, studying Drama Acting and Music Theater, before taking a year off to film her breakout role in The Summer I Turned Pretty.
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Lola Tung's Breakout Role in 'The Summer I Turned Pretty'

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Lola Tung's breakout role as Isabel "Belly" Conklin in the Amazon Prime Video series The Summer I Turned Pretty marked her debut in professional acting. Tung landed the role while she was a freshman studying acting at Carnegie Mellon University, after submitting audition tapes sent by her manager
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. The series, based on Jenny Han's bestselling book trilogy, follows Belly as she navigates complex relationships and personal growth during her summers at Cousin's Beach. Tung's portrayal of Belly, a character originally depicted as white in the book covers, brought a new dimension to the role by making her canonically Asian American on screen. This representation has been well-received, with many viewers expressing their appreciation for seeing an Asian American family depicted in such a relatable and heartfelt manner. Tung's performance has been praised for its authenticity and emotional depth, resonating with both fans of the books and new viewers alike. The success of The Summer I Turned Pretty was immediate, with the series quickly becoming a hit and propelling Tung and her co-stars to stardom. The show's popularity was evident from the viral online reactions and the significant increase in its worldwide audience from the first to the second season. Tung's chemistry with her co-stars, Christopher Briney and Gavin Casalegno, who play the Fisher brothers, has been a highlight of the series, adding to the show's appeal and emotional impact
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. Tung's journey from a college student to a breakout star has been described as a whirlwind experience. She has expressed gratitude for the support from her peers and the guidance from Jenny Han, the series creator, who helped her navigate the complexities of bringing Belly to life
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. This role has not only established Tung as a promising actress but also set the stage for her future endeavors in the entertainment industry.
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Lola Tung's Insightful Interview

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Lola Tung's Acting Credits

Lola Tung's filmography showcases her talent and versatility as an actress. The following table highlights her notable roles in television, theater, and audiobooks:
MediumYearTitleRoleNotes
Television2022–presentThe Summer I Turned PrettyIsabel "Belly" ConklinLead role; Amazon Prime Video
Theater2023Almost FamousPenny LaneWorkshop readings at Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
Theater2024HadestownEurydiceBroadway debut at Walter Kerr Theatre
Audiobooks2022The Summer I Turned Pretty seriesIsabel "Belly" ConklinRe-recorded audiobooks
Tung's breakout role as Belly in The Summer I Turned Pretty has been the cornerstone of her career thus far, earning her critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase. Her upcoming Broadway debut in Hadestown and her involvement in the developmental workshop of Almost Famous demonstrate her growing presence in the theater world. Additionally, her voice acting work in the re-recorded audiobooks of The Summer I Turned Pretty series further showcases her range as a performer.
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Lola Tung's Broadway Debut in 'Hadestown'

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Lola Tung is set to make her Broadway debut as Eurydice in the Tony Award-winning musical Hadestown. She will take over the role from Solea Pfeiffer, with her limited engagement running from February 9 to March 17, 2024. Tung, best known for her role as Belly in Amazon Prime's The Summer I Turned Pretty, expressed her excitement about joining the cast, having been a fan of the show since she first saw it in 2020. She will perform alongside Grammy winner Ani DiFranco, who will play Persephone during the same period. This marks a significant milestone in Tung's career, transitioning from screen to stage and fulfilling her long-held dream of performing on Broadway.
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Lola Tung's (Photos)

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Tung's Interests and Advocacy

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Off-screen, Lola Tung enjoys singing and playing guitar, often sharing her musical talents on social media. She is a passionate advocate for women's rights, animal rescue, gun control, and climate change, using her platform to raise awareness and support these causes. Tung's fashion sense has also garnered attention, leading to partnerships with brands like American Eagle and Coach's sub-brand, Coachtopia. Her involvement in these areas highlights her commitment to leveraging her influence for positive change and her multifaceted interests beyond acting.
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Closing Thoughts

Lola Tung's meteoric rise in the entertainment industry is a testament to her exceptional talent and dedication. Her portrayal of Isabel "Belly" Conklin in The Summer I Turned Pretty not only showcased her acting prowess but also resonated deeply with audiences, particularly for its authentic representation of an Asian American character. This role catapulted her into the spotlight, earning her critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase. Transitioning from screen to stage, Tung's Broadway debut as Eurydice in Hadestown further solidified her versatility as a performer. Critics have praised her "ethereal stage presence" and emotional depth, marking her as a standout talent in the theater world. Her ability to captivate audiences in both mediums underscores her dynamic range and potential for a long-lasting career in entertainment. Beyond her professional achievements, Tung's advocacy for mental health awareness, women's rights, and climate change demonstrates her commitment to using her platform for positive impact. Her genuine engagement with fans on social media and her involvement in various philanthropic efforts highlight her as a role model for young people. As she continues to take on diverse and challenging roles, both on screen and stage, Lola Tung's star is undoubtedly on the rise. Her journey from a passionate high school student to a celebrated actress and advocate exemplifies the power of talent, hard work, and authenticity in achieving success.
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