Cruel Summer's Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia Tell All on Their '90s Kids Transformation


| LAST UPDATE 04/20/2021

By Chloe Becker
Cruel Summer Freeform series
Instagram via @cruelsummer

Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia, stars of the new series Cruel Summer, gave the inside scoop on how they transformed into authentic '90s kids for their latest project, set at the end of the 20th century. Here are all of the details.

Chiara Aurelia Cruel summer
Instagram via @cruelsummer

The new drama thriller, set to stream on Freeform, follows the story of two young women: Kate Wallis, the town's adored girl next door who suddenly disappears, and Jeanette Turner, a nerdy girl turned popular that finds herself accused in the case of Wallis's disappearance. Did Turner really have something to do with it? Guess we'll have to watch to find out.

Olivia Holt Cruel Summer
Instagram via @cruelsummer

The series takes place over the course of three years, from 1993 to 1995. Olivia Holt stars as the popular girl Kate while Chiara Aurelia acts in the more controversial role of Jeanette, who ends up becoming despised by the people in her town. The talented gals are joined on screen by Teen Wolf's Froy Gutierrez, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's Harley Quinn Smith and other rising stars. Lucky for us, the two protagonists recently sat down to give the inside scoop on how they transformed into '90s kids for the new show.

How did Olivia (born in 1997) and Kate (born in 2002) authentically channel true '90s teens? "The inspiration really came from just embracing that era, whether it was with the hair and the makeup, or the wardrobe, or the location that we were in at the time," Holt shared with E! News. The starlet also used music from that time to connect to her character.

Cruel Summer Cast
Instagram via @cruelsummer

"I think that [music] was something that really helped me be transported to that time, and before every scene, to remind myself what exactly the moment before was, what year it was, what the scene entails because we would film, three different years in one single filming day which is very tricky and challenging," Olivia explained. For Chiara, part of the transformation came naturally, despite being a 2000s baby. "There's parts of these characters that are reflected in all of us," she said.

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"Transforming from '93 to '94 to '95 Jeanette, she goes through so many drastic transformations in those years which is something I think we can all relate to," Aurelia continued. "Coming from being, you know, a kit to a teen to an adult, which [are] the most developmental years in someone's life potentially, and watching her transform and growing with her and learning about her and seeing how much can happen in a year was honestly amazing." Cruel Summer premieres on April 20 on Freeform. Sign up and don't miss out on the drama (and 90s fashion) here.