Photo: Sarah Krick

Anna Cathcart

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before fans — this one’s for you! XO, Kitty is the next installment in the Jenny Han and the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before universe. This time we’re joining Lara Jean’s youngest sister, Kitty Song-Covey, as she embarks on an exciting adventure in South Korea. Kitty is now all grown up and entering her junior year of high school where she will realize how complicated love and relationships can be. 

Reprising the role of Kitty is Anna Cathcart, the 19-year-old Canadian actress who stole viewers and critics’ hearts from the very first To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before film in 2018. It’s a testament to her talent and acting skills that she was able to turn a two-dimensional character into a fan favorite enough to inspire a spin-off series. She started acting at a young age, appearing in commercials, before auditioning for the Emmy award-winning PBS children’s series, Odd Squad, where she landed the role of Agent Olympia. Cathcart also starred in the Disney Channel’s Descendants series as the character Dizzy. 

In addition to acting, Cathcart is also keeping busy with her studies. Having graduated from high school in 2021, the Vancouver native is now attending the University of British Columbia where she is studying sociology and creative writing. We chatted with her about the new show, her friendship with Lana Condor, her passion for acting, and more!

How does it feel to reprise the role of Kitty? 

Honestly, very surreal. When I first got the role of Kitty at age 14, I never anticipated the amazing journey I was about to begin and that I’d be playing the same character again 6 years later. Coming back feels like reuniting with an old friend and learning what about them is the same, and what’s changed.

Can you tell us more about the show and what adventures Kitty will be up to this time?

Kitty’s in a totally new stage of her life. She’s in grade 11 now and is going to an international school in South Korea. It happens to be the same school that her mom used to go to as well as the school her long-distance boyfriend goes to now! All throughout the show, she’s learning who she is while trying to navigate the ups and downs of growing up.

Kitty has always come across as really confident and wise beyond her years. She advised her older sisters, especially about love. How do you think her views on love have changed having now experienced it herself? 

Kitty is realizing that love isn’t always predictable and that things might not be as simple as she thought. My favorite part about this is that she’s also learning that that’s ok. You don’t have to have it all figured out all the time and the ups and downs that come with love can be what makes it so beautiful.

In what ways do you think Kitty has grown and changed since we last saw her in the third To All the Boys movie? 

When we see Kitty in the films, we know her as someone who is very confident and sure of herself. XO, Kitty is the first time we see her not so sure — both about herself and love. Things are continuously changing around her and she is facing new challenges that she’s never dealt with before. She’s exploring her own path and learning how to be independent for the first time.

Did you hit up Lana Condor at all to ask her for any advice now that you’re in the lead role? 

Yes! I’ve always been so lucky to have Lana to look up to and lean on. We had talked before I started shooting and it was so comforting to have someone to talk to who understood the excitement and overwhelmingness of it all! She taught me the importance of taking care of yourself and standing up for what you need. I learned so much from her as an actor and a person!

Can you tell us what drew you to acting and led you to your first audition?

I did a couple of commercials growing up because my older sister did them. I idolized her and wanted to do whatever she was doing, and I remember after shooting one of them, I turned to my mom and said, “That was the best day of my life.” That was when I was 10, and at age 12 I did my first audition for film and TV with no further experience. I was lucky enough and completely mind-blown to have booked the lead role on Odd Squad from that audition and that’s honestly what changed everything. I never thought I would actually be an actor. Growing up it felt as realistic as being an astronaut!

How did you find it balancing both school and your different acting roles? 

I’ve had to balance acting with school all throughout high school as well as now with university, and it can be challenging at times. This past year I was really lucky that the timing worked out. Shooting wrapped on XO, Kitty and I started university shortly after. School has always been important to me and I always dreamed of having the chance to go to university. I think having that passion for it definitely helps! Because both paths are priorities for me, it makes it easier to balance.

How are you liking university and what made you want to study sociology and creative writing? 

I’ve truly been loving it! I really like what I’m studying plus I’ve gotten involved with campus clubs and student life and it’s been so fulfilling! I chose to study sociology because learning about people and society and the different dynamics between the two have always been intriguing to me.  Creative writing has been one of my favorite topics since I was in elementary school so getting the opportunity to study it in a university setting and explore different types has been so much fun. I’ve taken children’s and young adult literature and creative writing in comedy. I loved both!