The Summer I Turned Pretty, the new Prime Video series based on Jenny Han’s hit book series of the same name, tells the story of Isabel “Belly” Conklin as she explores first kisses and first loves during a summer at Cousins Beach. But Belly isn’t the only one to have a coming-of-age story in the new show. The large cast of characters is full of love triangles and heartbreaks, including cool socialite Shayla, played by Minnie Mills. Here’s everything to know about the Summer I Turned Pretty star, who’s making her major acting debut on the show.
The Summer I Turned Pretty is Mills’ first big acting credit, but that doesn’t mean she’s inexperienced. After spending her childhood living all over the world, including London, New York, and Montreal, she began her career as a professional model in 2011. She’s worked with a number of brands like J. Crew, Juicy Couture, and Tommy Hilfiger. She has also trained as an actor at the Atlantic Theatre Company, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and GoodCapp Arts. So even though this Mills’ first big role, don’t you worry — it seems she definitely already knows a thing or two about show business.
Minnie Mills’ Instagram
Mills posted on Instagram some pics from behind the scenes on the Summer I Turned Pretty’s set. She called working on the show “the best four months” of her life, and even posted to her grid for her co-star Lola Tung’s birthday.
Minnie Mills’ Background
Mills is especially proud of and passionate about her Korean heritage. She told TODAY, “I am so grateful for my mother, who raised me on Korean traditions, superstitions, folktales, and lullabies, made Korean food at home, and taught me how to speak, read, and write.”
Mills’ character, Shayla, is one of the most popular girls in Cousins Beach, and Mills is proud of portraying the role as an Asian American actor. “When I first landed the role, people in my life told me they couldn’t possibly imagine me in that position, and it was really empowering to step into her and be like, ‘Yeah, a girl like that can look like me,’” she told TODAY.
Season 1 of The Summer I Turned Pretty is streaming on Amazon Prime Video now.