QUESTION: Early into Cruel Summer season two, we are really leaning into this theme of being ride or die for certain people. So, between Megan, Isabella, and Luke, who would your ride or die choice be? Who would you pick?
GRIFFIN GLUCK: I would choose Isabella. She's the realest ride or die.
LEXI UNDERWOOD: I would have to say Isabella too. Like she's just hardcore.
SADIE STANLEY: Really guys? You wouldn't say Megan?
GRIFFIN GLUCK: No.
SADIE STANLEY: I feel like Megan's a healthier ride or die. Isabella is ride or die to a fault.
LEXI UNDERWOOD: I feel like Isabella has a lot to say about that when it comes to,, like later on. I feel like Megan switches up a little bit, but she's very consistent with her loyalty.
SADIE STANLEY: I agree with that. I agree with that.
QUESTION: How do you navigate the 90s nostalgia, Y2K, just all of that happening in the show in the season, as a as a young actor?
LEXI UNDERWOOD: Well, I think that the beauty of right now is that a lot of those trends are coming back. So, a lot of, you know, even the shows, movies from the 90s, a lot of those, like you see the sounds or the edits on TikTok. So, it wasn't really that hard to be able to kind of do our research and tap into that, tap into that realm. But I feel like really through fashion and music, it helped us be able to immerse ourselves into that world. I was born in '03 so I have no clue what it was like to be a teen in the 90s, but every time that I put on one of Isabella's outfits, I kind of immediately felt as though I was emerging into that space.
SADIE STANLEY: Totally well said. It was super fun to get to kind of immerse ourselves in that world. I mean, we're not super far off from it. So yeah, the trends were already coming back, music, fashion, so I was super into it.
GRIFFIN GLUCK: I echo what they said. They keep stealing all the good answers before I get a chance.
QUESTION: Since the show is built a lot on relationships between the characters, how they shift, how they change, and not even just with you three, there's with the other cast as well, I was curious to see if there was a relationship that you enjoyed exploring whether that was on set, or even just between the characters on screen?
SADIE STANLEY: I think my favorite relationship to explore is really the one between Megan and Isabella. I love to see a really kind of strong, intense female friendship portrayed on screen. I think it's kind of done in a way that hasn't [been done] before. And we really dive into like what that looks like in two young people and how that can get super messy. So, I love their friendship, and even when it gets kind of messed up, it's still really interesting.
LEXI UNDERWOOD: I couldn't agree more. I love just over the span of the three timelines their friendship goes through so much. And especially being able to see that arc and, you know, even just as actors being able to play that out in real life, it was really fun to be able to explore.
GRIFFIN GLUCK: I personally really enjoyed Luke's relationship with his family members, so his dad and his brother, and seeing how that evolved and also seeing how that fit into the larger picture near the end of the show.
SCIFI VISION: For all three of you, what was it about the characters that initially you connected with that made you just think that you had to take the roles, for all three of you?
GRIFFIN GLUCK: I think playing a damaged person, because Luke has a lot of issues. He's very damaged, but you don't really know that off the top when you first meet him. Me, personally, I thought that was really interesting, just seeing him develop and seeing him kind of evolved throughout the show and knowing that it was going to start one way and end another way with how you will perceive him, I thought just that was really, really interesting to me.
SADIE STANLEY: Yeah, I'd say that first of all the three timelines was immediately super intriguing. I've never done anything like that, and I haven't really seen a lot like that. It's a formula that's kind of new, but it worked really well last season. It's almost like getting to play three different characters, because my character Megan is so drastically different and going through different emotions in each timeline. Especially in that third timeline you see she's really hardened and really kind of sheltered off from the world and won't let anybody in and is dealing with a lot of grief and trauma. So, that was intriguing to me too. Getting to do something a little bit grittier, a little bit deeper, was exciting.
LEXI UNDERWOOD: Yeah, same here. Isabella is such a complex and layered character, and the first time that I read the script, I immediately was just so excited, because it was something that I had never done before, and as an actor, it was definitely a challenge. But I love challenges, I love when I take a role and it really pushes me to come out as a better actor on the later end of it. So, when I first read the script, I saw that as an opportunity to be able to do that with Isabella. I think that we all had such a great time doing it, and I'm really grateful for this project.
QUESTION: One thing that I really was kind of personally put off a little bit [by] was like, “Oh, love triangle, I'm a little afraid.” Being as a lot of people are afraid of love triangles right now in that kind of drama, what's your elevator pitch for people to watch the show, for people who may be fearful that it's just teen angst-drama?
GRIFFIN GLUCK: I was going to say there is a lot of teen angst and drama.
SADIE STANLEY: But the stakes are pretty high.
LEXI UNDERWOOD: Yeah, I mean, I don't feel like any normal high schooler would be going through what these kids are going through, but I definitely think that it's just so much more. Even the love triangle, I think that the more and more that you watch, you understand that it really isn't. I feel like if anything, no offense, Luke, but Luke is like a third wheel to Megan and Isabella. I feel like that friendship is the most important thing, especially by, you know, later on, you see that friendship outweighs any love triangle that exists. So it's there, but it's really not.
SADIE STANLEY: Yeah, I would not classify the show as like a romance of any kind. I mean, there is like some sweet moments between Megan and Luke, and I love seeing their relationship kind of grow and change together, but there's so much more to it than that.
GRIFFIN GLUCK: Yeah, I would agree. Although, you know, I would say that Luke's interesting, Lexi.
LEXI UNDERWOOD: Listen, no shade. Luke is a pretty cool person, but I'm just saying Megan needs to [unintelligible].
GRIFFIN GLUCK: Definitely a bit. Luke, I guess, is the point of the triangle. So, when it comes to Luke, it's definitely very triangle-y. But I find that interesting, especially because I feel like you rarely see it from the kind of perspective that we show it from. It's not the typical love triangle story. It's very much like an intricate twist and turn through like, high school relationships where it's more complicated than just like, “Oh, I like this person. I like this person.” It's like, here's all of this history, and then here's this new element that's added and how does that affect Luke and Megan's relationship? Because at the end of it, I mean, personally, at least [I] watch the show, and I go, “Okay, I'm obviously rooting for the two people that have been friends since birth and should end up together. And like, how does this new party affect that?”
QUESTION: This season explores the politics of image and reputation and the sexual double standard, and I was wondering what you guys hoped viewers, especially young girls and women, would take away from the show's depiction of that, of those themes.
LEXI UNDERWOOD: …I think that specifically with Megan and Isabella, you know, [specifically] really also Megan, I feel like Megan's arc is really interesting because of what she's going through academically, and there's so much pressure on her. But specifically for Isabella, Isabella is young, and race does also play into it. She's a young black girl that has never lived in the States before that is having her first all American normal experience, and there's a lot of things that come with it. I think that with her, the biggest challenge and obstacle that she's facing is that sense of stability. So, it's really interesting to be able to explore and navigate also that relationship between her and her parents, and also just what it means to be a young teenage girl, regardless of the generation, or where you live, or what your race is, like just to be a young teenage girl trying to figure out life and going through these hardships. I think that specifically the friendship between Megan and Isabella, I think it'll be really beautiful for a lot of girls to see. Also, when it comes to the love triangle, you don't see two girls just fighting over a guy; you see two girls coming together to create the - I'm not going to say like they're coming together for the good in the end, but just to create the story and the life that they want. So, I think that just being able to see two strong female leads come together and not fight or hate each other, in a sense, is really just refreshing to see on screen.
SADIE STANLEY: To be honest, you kind of cut out a little bit when you're asking the question. So Griffin, you go ahead.
GRIFFIN GLUCK: Oh, okay. I feel like, you know, I probably have less perspective on this, but I know that we had many, many conversations with Elle about this, because I would constantly complain. It'd be like Luke is coming off really toxic and gross here. But Elle, [she’s][ the showrunner, writer; she made it a point that she's like, “Yeah, you're supposed to feel that way. Like, this was a thing back in the 90s and the early 2000s.” It is still a thing today of like this toxic masculinity where men were kind of praised and made into heroes for these sexual conquests and the double standard was just so, so flagrant and obvious. That's a huge theme that we touch on constantly in the show, is that double standard, and it's a little uncomfortable to play and to portray and to do for six months straight while we're shooting. But I think that's the point; it's not supposed to be enjoyable to watch. It's supposed to kind of hold up a mirror and go, “This is what it actually looks like, if you were to take a second and look at it.” And I think that I'm glad that we do touch on that, because I think it's just as relevant back then as it is today. And, you know, we're taking steps towards things being better, I think, as a society, but we [have] a long way to go.
SADIE STANLEY: I think that was really, really well said, Griffin. Yeah, I'm super glad that we that we touch on that theme in the show. I mean, we see it when the sex tape is leaked, how Luke is kind of praised for it and gets a pat on the back from all of his bros, and Isabella and Megan are kind of ostracized for it and judged for it and criticized for it. You know, Megan almost loses her scholarship over it. So, that's really interesting. And we also touched on class and the way that affects things as well. Luke comes from a pretty predominant family in the town and they have a lot of money and power, and we see later in the season how they use that power against people who don't have it.
QUESTION: I'm going to go ahead and assume that a lot of the scenes are filmed out of order. So, I guess this question is much more for Lexi and Sadie. I want to know about the hair game. How do you switch back and forth so much, and what was the favorite style?
LEXI UNDERWOOD: I feel like with because they use your real hair -
SADIE STANLEY: Yeah, my story was a rough one. There was a lot of like back and forth. I obviously have slicked back hair in that third timeline. So, if we did that in the beginning of the day, we couldn't use gel or anything, because that would like leave a residue, and then I'd have to wash my hair, et cetera. So, sometimes they would just spray me down with water. Literally, in between takes I was just wet, which was just the only way to really make that happen. I mean, we were on a tight schedule. It was an ambitious shoot, and we had to do what we had to do. Then, also, I'm having to like take off all this black eyeliner and this eyebrow piercing and everything and switch over to like perfect, clean little all American Girl. So it was it was pretty, pretty crazy. My hair went through a lot.
LEXI UNDERWOOD: Luckily, for me, we used wigs, just because [as] Isabella, it probably wouldn't have been best for me to go from curly hair to straight hair every single day. But I would have to say that my favorite look was the first timeline, just because it just it shows the essence of who Isabella really is. She's just like this confident, outgoing girl. The blonde, I had never done that. It honestly inspired me to add blonde highlights into my hair, but I had never done that before, so being in that wig, it really helped me transform into Isabella. Plus it looks so cute too.