Jackie Chung

On playing Laurel and being open to new experiences


Talent: Jackie Chung @anotherjackiechung

Photos: Peter Yang @yopeteryang

Style: Sky JT Naval @sky_is_dlimit

Makeup: Agostina @agostinamakeup for Exclusive Artists using Dear Dahlia Beauty

Hair: Erika Vanessa @erikavanessa for Exclusive Artists using T3

Photo Assist: Greg Swartz @gregswartz_photography

Jackie Chung's acting exudes graciousness, as illustrated in her role as Laurel Park in The Summer I Turned Pretty. She tackles Laurel’s relationship with her daughter Belly with care and respect. Her character’s maturity and confidence are defining traits that Chung herself carries. Through our conversation, it was evident that she takes her time to ponder the questions before formulating thoughtful answers. It is her witty personality that makes us love her even more in person.

Timid Magazine: How would you describe your character?

Jackie Chung: Laurel is loyal, capable, funny, and smart, and although she's patient, she doesn't take shit from anyone.

TM: Recently, we have seen many stories about mother-daughter relationships, such as Everything Everywhere All at Once and Turning Red. How would you describe Laurel's relationship with Belly?

JC: In season 1, Laurel and Belly's relationship is transitional. While Belly is growing up, Laurel is trying to cope with not only her writer's block and the (relatively new) dissolution of her marriage but also the weight of Susannah's health and Belly's gradual transformation. Laurel connects with Belly for a bit, but most of the time they don't see eye to eye. So when Belly turns to Susannah instead of her...it stings.

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TM: I appreciated that the series showed us how Laurel develops as a character. From where did you get the inspiration to showcase this?

JC: Yes! I love seeing Laurel's full and complicated life! I draw inspiration from many of my mother friends who manage the tightrope that is motherhood with grace, competence, and humor.

TM: What's one thing that most people don't know about you?

JC: I'm obsessed with dogs! Just kidding, anyone who knows me knows that!

TM: What's one thing you'd like to accomplish this summer?

JC: I've been working on learning Korean, and I would love to gain some fluency this summer.

TM: Laurel has always been the anchor and mother figure to all the characters. When do you feel the most vulnerable?

JC: I think we all feel a little vulnerable when sharing something of ourselves. I don't love talking about myself, so I feel vulnerable right now!

TM: Laurel and Susannah have such a unique, close relationship. What do you think is the key to developing and maintaining a friendship like that?

JC: I think any long-lasting relationship, romantic or platonic, needs trust and communication. Laurel and Susannah also have an immense history that binds them together. They have been through the gamut of emotions, victories, traumas, successes, and losses together, in addition to evolving with each other. They are truly each other's best friends and probably soulmates.

TM: Our theme for this issue is Beginnings. What was a time in your life that you considered a beginning that was formative for the person and/or actor you are today?

JC: Every new project is a beginning. It's a beautiful and sometimes harrowing aspect of being an actor. There's a new character to tackle, a new family of cast and crew to meet, and sometimes a new city to acclimate to. But I've learned to be open to each new experience without expectations and try to enjoy the ride!

TM: Who are you rooting for? Are you team Conrad or team Jeremiah?

JC: How dare you?! I can't choose! But I think we all know who is in Belly's heart of hearts...


The Summer I Turned Pretty is now streaming on Prime Video.

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suit-RITA VINIERIS, pumps-BURBERRY, raw pearl earrings-MIKIMTO