Anna Cathcart can relate to her character now more than ever.
Ever since she was fourteen, Cathcart has played younger sister Kitty to Lana Condor's Lara Jean in the popular three-film franchise To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Now starring in the Netflix spinoff series, XO, Kitty, she says she knows exactly how Kitty feels.
"She's growing up, learning how to navigate situations on her own, like I am in real life," Cathcart says. "Kitty can get very excited about things. We get hyped and energetic, and both of us feel passionate about things that matter. We care with our full hearts."
In the ten-episode series, which debuts May 18, Kitty attends an international high school in Korea, living away from her parents for the first time. In real life, Cathcart is living with her older sister, Sara, out of their parents' home for the first time.
Cathcart credits her interest in acting to Sara, who had done commercials as a child. "I wanted to do what she did," the actress says.
Anna also acted in commercials before landing a lead role in the PBS Kids series Odd Squad at age twelve, soon followed by the part of Dizzy Tremaine in Disney Channel's Descendants film franchise.
Cathcart, who grew up in Vancouver, continued going to a regular public high school there, which, she says, gave her some balance. "I was so happy to keep normalcy in my life. Now I'm in university."
Filming for XO, Kitty took place in Seoul, where Cathcart enjoyed exploring neighborhoods and experiencing a different culture. The actress, who is half Chinese and half Irish, says she was thrilled to work with a diverse cast from Korea, Australia, France, Canada and the U.S.
Most of all, she's proud of being the lead on a series that shares experiences from an Asian point of view.
"You have an opportunity to tell a story that has a piece of you in it," Cathcart says. "We have made strides in Asian representation in media, but there's still room to grow. For viewers to see me and feel represented is an honor."
This article originally appeared in emmy magazine issue #4, 2023.