Cruel Summer's Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia Detail Their Transformation Into '90s Kids

In an exclusive interview with E! News, Cruel Summer's Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia revealed how they got into character for the thrilling Freeform series that is set in the '90s.

By Cydney Contreras Apr 19, 2021 7:00 PMTags
Watch: "Cruel Summer": Olivia Holt & Chiara Aurelia Tease New '90s Series

Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia traveled back to the '90s for Freeform's new show Cruel Summer.

And though Olivia and Chiara didn't exactly live during the peak of the '90s—Olivia was born at the tail-end of the decade in 1997, while Chiara came into the world just two years into the new millenium—the actresses expertly crafted their characters as if they themselves were tried and true '90s kids.

As Olivia told E! News in a Zoom interview, "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."

The 23-year-old actress, who previously starred in Disney's Kickin' It, added that music was especially important, saying, "I think that 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."

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Chiara agreed, but noted that she felt a connection to her role as Jeannette, saying, "There's parts of these characters that are reflected in all of us."

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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," she explained. "Coming from being, you know, a kid 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."

That being said, Jeannette and Kate go through the wringer in the thriller series, contrary to Olivia and Chiara's amazing on-set experience. In the first episode, it's revealed Kate has disappeared, and everyone suspects that Jeannette was somehow involved. 

To see how Cruel Summer, which was executive produced by Jessica Biel, plays out, tune in to Freeform on Tuesday, April 20, at 9 p.m.