‘XO, Kitty”s Anna Cathcart on Inclusion in Media & Filming the Anticipated Netflix Show in South Korea

Elizabeth Denton
‘XO, Kitty”s Anna Cathcart on Inclusion in Media & Filming the Anticipated Netflix Show in South Korea
Photo: Lego Dots/Adobe. Design: Sasha Purdy/STYLECASTER.

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If you watched all three Netflix movies in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, you know who Anna Cathcart is. She stole the show as Lara Jean’s (played by Lana Condor) little sister Kitty. In fact, she became such a fan favorite, that Cathcart got her own spin-off show, XO, Kitty, currently in production.  I caught up with the 19-year-old star over Zoom to find out everything I could about the anticipated Netflix show, how she’s handling her newfound fame and her modern partnership with Lego Dot®.

You teamed up with Lego Dots on a limited-edition poster drop. That’s different from the Legos I’m used to!

“I partnered with the Lego Group to help create three different posters that all have different aesthetics,” Cathcart says. “And all of them are personalizable with Lego dots and Lego dots patches.” She shows me the “Wandercore” poster behind her, a pastel design that would look cute in any dorm room. It’s adorned with these Lego dots, something I, as an elder millennial, had never seen before. They’re not like regular Legos.

“My favorite part about them is there are no set directions,” she continues. “You don’t have to build them in one certain way. You can just keep designing them and then even once you put them on your poster, you can still take off the tiles and redesign them. Because nothing’s permanent.”

She and Meghan Trainor are helping others express their creativity with a huge pop-up in Los Angeles this weekend.

Hosting a pop-up, filming a Netflix show — it’s a lot of pressure! How do you decompress?

“It can definitely be overwhelming,” Cathcart says. “I think social media is a great thing. But it can also cause a lot of stress, especially when it’s a part of your career, when there are certain expectations and it definitely can get to me. I’ve learned to go on Instagram only when I feel like it.” She’s not on the apps 24/7 or they would suck up all her time. (I need to take some of that advice.)

“I’m definitely a creative person,” she says. “I journal a lot and I draw a lot…And just surrounding yourself with good people. I’m best friends with my older sister, and we hang out a lot and just talk and rant about different things. Spending quality time together is definitely a way for me to decompress and feel just calm and on track and know I can continue and keep going.”

You aren’t very active on TikTok even though you have more than 2 million followers.

“I cannot bring myself to go on this app, because I will be on it for another four hours,” she admits. “And I know I can’t afford to do that.” She was just too busy in the XO, Kitty world to find time, plus she would get in a lot of trouble if she accidentally spilled set secrets.

“So much of my camera were things I’m just dying to post when the show comes out that I have to hold for so long,” she says. “That definitely was a part of it. I think photo dumps are my new favorite thing because there’s so much pressure and you can just sum up like the last few months of your life.”

Speaking of the show, what does it mean to you to be a part of a series that features such great Asian representation?

“Our cast has so much diversity,” she says. “A lot of different ethnicities. Especially because we’re based in Korea, our show is about an international school there, and we have a lot of Asian representation. It’s so exciting to see that happen more and more often…This should be normal. But I love that we are headed in the right direction.”

“I think what’s cool about it as well, is Kitty just happens to be Asian,” she continues. “She’s just a girl who’s living her life. And she’s exploring who she is. She’s in high school and she’s doing her thing. Of course, [being Asian] is a really big part of her. And we do dive into that a bit. lt’s just a beautiful part of her. And that really special type of representation, I love getting to be a part of.”

Cathcart understands how important it is for people to see themselves on TV, to feel understood in media as a whole. “It’s such a magical feeling that you can’t compare it to anything else,” she adds. “I love getting to be a part of that.”

How was filming in South Korea?

“It sounds maybe dramatic, but I mean, every word of it: it was seriously the coolest thing I’ve ever gotten to do, to be immersed in a different culture, getting to live there,” Cathcart says. “I had been there when we shot the third movie, but that was a couple of weeks when we went to Seoul. This time, I was there for four months. I got to like really see the city and live there and experience it in such a different way which I loved and a lot of the cast as well were local.”

“I’ve been home now for like a month and a half,” she says. “I’m still trying to process what just happened. I can’t even believe that was real life.”

The beauty and fashion in South Korea are unlike anything else. Was it inspiring?

“The beauty industry there and style is so amazing,” she says. “Everyone, everyone, is just so stylish. Me and my mom would talk about it all the time. We’re walking down the street and go, ‘how does everyone look cool here?‘ Everyone just always looks awesome. I definitely went shopping a lot and tried to get inspiration.” She tells me the cute shirt she’s wearing is actually from Korea.

Of course, she had to get into Korean beauty while she was there, too. “I definitely got some face masks,” she says. “I had never had a facial before but I got a few facials while I was there and it was amazing. I’ve been missing out.”

What’s your beauty routine usually like?

“In general it’s low key,” she says. “I’m pretty natural but [beauty] is so much fun to play with and I love doing my makeup.” She uses a lot of drugstore items and cannot, cannot live without lip balm and/or gloss. She loves Glossier’s Balm Dot Com — but only the clear or mint ones. “That is my favorite because it works on a no-makeup face and makeup days because it works as a gloss but also works as a normal lip balm,” Cathcart adds.

Good taste and a hit Netflix show in the works? This girl is going places.

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