Jessica Biel, creator of teen series ‘Cruel Summer’, says ‘I was a theater nerd’

Joy (Andrea Anders) and Kate (Olivia Holt), characters from 'Cruel Summer,' new Amazon series Photo: Bill Matlock/Freeform

The Brazilian audience is not only familiar, but also quite a fan of the narratives that play with mystery as to who is the villain and who is the girl in the story. In 2008, Joo Emanuele Carneiro made history with “A Favorita”, driving audiences crazy by revealing that Flora (Patricia Pilar) was the wicked in the soap opera, and Donatella (Claudia Raya) was the unjust beneficiary.

Looking back at history, “Brutal Heat” is likely to be quite successful here. Set to open on August 6, the Amazon Prime Video series begins from a single premise to tell the stories of Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) and Janet Turner (Chiara Aurelia), two girls from the interior of the United States tragically Absolutely with luck. Three straight summers in the 1990s.

Kate is the classic high school sweetheart, admired by her classmates and the girlfriend of the prettiest and most popular boy in the yard. Zeenat, on the other hand, is a sweet girl, wears glasses and braces, and feels like a stranger in the wheels of constant conversation. To illustrate its plot, “Cruel Summer” uses three timelines and a mysterious kidnapping as a guiding thread to lock in its little game with viewers.

Joy (Andrea Anders) and Kate (Olivia Holt), characters from ‘Cruel Summer,’ new Amazon series Photo: Bill Matlock/Freeform

The series is executive produced by Michelle Purple and actress Jessica Biel, not coincidentally the same names behind “The Sinner.” Like “Cruel Summer,” the Netflix production also tours memories and mixes up the narrative timeline in its episodes.

The star of the first season of “The Sinner,” Jessica Biel, revealed that the parallel timeline is the great attraction of “Cruel Summer.” But not only that.

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– Memories of the 1990s were also very tempting, as it was the decade in which Michelle and I went through our teens – says the actress and producer. There was also a difference in the presence of strong female characters.

While still visiting the past, Jessica reveals that she recounts many of the issues rooted in the “High School” universe and portrayed as bullying in “Brutal Summer”. reason? She was very busy filming the TV series “Seventh Heaven” revealing the actress in 1996, when she was just 14 years old.

– I spent a good part of that phase immersed in the universe of the series. But if I could define myself, I’d say I was more Jeanette than Kate. A little awkward and out of place, she was like a theater, ”confesses Jessica.

Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt), classic high school preppy, is one of the main characters in 'Cruel Summer' Photo: Bill Matlock / Freeform
Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt), classic high school preppy, is one of the main characters in ‘Cruel Summer’ Photo: Bill Matlock / Freeform

The one who also had a teensy, let’s say, pretty weirdo, was Olivia Holt, who plays preppy Kate Wallis. The actress and singer began her artistic career at the age of 10, with a trajectory to appear in various Disney productions. The precariously troubled professional life also distanced her from her American “high school” experiences.

– I saw these experiences at home with “home schooling”. I could choose if I wanted to be the preppy, nerdy, player – Olivia enjoys.

With ten episodes and already renewed for a second season, “Cruel Summer” pushes the limits of debate on daily school life, on more serious issues like “grooming” the name given to grooming minors via the Internet. sheds light.

Jessica Biel says that the production of the series used experts, such as psychologists and teachers, to put the subject matter as delicately and responsibly into the script as possible.

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– “Cruel Summer” shows that teenagers of the 1990s and today face very similar issues. But today you have the power of social networks and in the series, we show when it all started, with the advent of online chat – analyzes the creator.

About the author: Will Smith

Will covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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