Brooke Greenberg / Via BuzzFeed / Getty

In an exclusive interview, New York Times best-selling author Jenny Han talks about writing the To All the Boys trilogy, working as an executive producer on the Netflix adaptations, and saying goodbye to Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky.

Here are the top 20 things she revealed:

🚨Warning: Spoilers ahead!🚨


One of the biggest differences between the books and the movies is the setting, and changing it from Virginia to Oregon had a “ripple effect.”

Katie Yu / Katie Yu / Netflix

“In the book, she wants to go to UVA. And it’s always been where she thinks she’s gonna go — it’s very close to her home, and because she is a homebody, to her that feels like her ideal situation, being able to come home on the weekends and do laundry, and see her sister and her dad. And so that shift happened for the movies, as well. It’s kind of figuring out what the comparison was to that.”


Another difference is the Covey’s trip to Korea, which we see in the movie, happens off the page in the book.

Juhan Noh / Juhan Noh / Netflix

“The Korea scenes happen off the page in the book, and I don’t know that I wish I’d put it in because I think, again, it’s a lot to wrangle. But, I’m happy that we went there for the movie.”


The hardest scene to write was Peter and Lara Jean’s break up.

Katie Yu / Katie Yu / Netflix

“I think it was really difficult to write and to understand fully where both of them were coming from in that moment. You know, I think that they each had their own perspective and where they were at emotionally; it was just fully exploring that.”


Alternatively, the most fun scenes to write were the Beach Week scenes — which didn’t make it into the movie.


It was important that the trip to Korea felt “really personal,” due to the connection to the Covey girls’ late mom.

Juhan Noh / Juhan Noh / Netflix

“Something I said early on was, I do not want this trip to feel the same as if the Covey family is going to Italy for spring break, and they’re going to be at the Trevi Fountain, and having gelato and all that. This should feel more connected to them, and for the girls, it clearly represents their mom. She’s not with them, and so when they are experiencing it, they’re thinking about their mom, and they’re thinking about their connection to their mom vis a vis culture. It was important to me to show a little bit of that experience…We didn’t really have much time [in Korea]. I knew that it was only going to be a few minutes of the opening and then they’d need to get back home to the main thrust of the story, but just to have those couple of beats made it feel really special to Lara Jean.”


It was also important to reflect Lara Jean’s experience as a second generation Asian American.


Jenny was “on set the whole time” in Korea.

Juhan Noh / JUHAN NOH/NETFLIX © 2021

“We were there, I think, three weeks — two weeks of filming and one week of prep. It was fun because no one had been to Korea before from the cast and crew, so it was fun to introduce Seoul to them. A lot of them had never even had Korean food, it was so fun.”


And she (with the help of a friend) was the one who recommended they film at Greem Café in Seoul.

Juhan Noh / JUHAN NOH/NETFLIX © 2021

“Early on, I had talked to them about locations. And that location was a recommendation from a friend because she goes to Korea all the time. So I was like, ‘What’s one of the hot places to go that’s really aesthetic?’ And she told me about it, so then I told them. I was like, ‘Please go to this place!’ I wasn’t sure if it was going to work out or not because their schedule was packed, and it was kind of on the other side of the city, but they checked it out and they thought it was perfect. So I was so pleased that it ended up being one of opening scenes.”


One of the best behind-the-scenes memories from filming in Korea was attending a baseball game together…


…and celebrating each other’s birthdays.


Jenny was also on location while filming the New York scenes. (And yes, that is the Empire State Building lit up with TATBILB colors!)


Jenny didn’t have any alternate endings for Always and Forever because she tends to “write pretty completely,” and doesn’t “really waste anything.”


She also “honestly doesn’t know” where Peter and Lara Jean are now.


“They’re young and they have their whole lives ahead of them in terms of what their path is gonna look like. And when I’m writing the books, I’m super tuned in and connected to what they’re doing and then when it’s over, I like to have a little bit of an open-ended ending that feels optimistic and hopeful, but it’s not giving you every single detail of where they’ll be in 10 years. I feel like the characters tell me and I figure that out along the way, so I tell people that it’s really up to their own imaginations, and what they think they’ll be doing.”


But, she says “never say never” on revisiting their stories down the line.

Katie Yu / KATIE YU/NETFLIX © 2021

“Though I think we leave this particular story in a good place, I think it would have to be a fresh story that comes to me that feels really exciting for me to tackle as a creator, that goes someplace that I haven’t gone before with them, if it’s years in the future, or whatever that looks like. But when you’re writing the book, you spend a lot of time with that story just thinking about it and gestating it, and then the actual writing of it, and then talking about it and publishing it. And so, I think it has to be something that’s coming from your gut, and your own kind of creativity, in a way. Something that feels exciting, fresh, new, and the next terrain. But I think, at least right now, people will be very satisfied and it’ll tide them over for a while.”


Jenny describes her writing process as “particularly torturous.”


Yes, there was a special meaning behind her cameo scene.

Katie Yu / Katie Yu / Netflix

“It was pretty sweet to me for this cameo, just on a meta level, to be there at their meet cute, because I made it up. Michael, the director, that that was his idea of where to put me. And to me, and I think for fans of the books, it will be a little wink to them, that I’m at their first meeting, since I literally was as a writer.


And the choice to make Lara Jean a writer in the future was super meta, but also “really special.”

Jenny Han / Netflix / Via Twitter: @jennyhan

“I think also that she goes to New York and she’s a writer, that again, was Michael’s vision. And I think that it is really sweet because, maybe this [movie] more than any of the other ones, feels really tied to me. And you know, Lara Jean is very dear to my heart, and it felt really special to kind of close her out in that way.


Jenny used her own life as inspiration for To All the Boys — particularly, she used to write love letters!


Overall, the experience of having her books published and adapted into a beloved film trilogy has been “pretty wild.”


And, luckily for us, she’s doing it all over again for TV!

Simon & Schuster

The Summer I Turned Pretty came out in 2009 and over the years, there have been quite a few attempts to adapt it for TV or film. I feel lucky now that none of them ever came to pass because I get to be the one to do it now, in 2021. My hope is to take what people loved about these stories and update it for this moment. This story is very near and dear to my heart, so I know I’ll give it my all.

You can watch the final movie, To All The Boys: Always and Forever, on Netflix now.


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