Brooklyn Sudano can currently be seen starring as Angela Prescott in the hit Freeform series Cruel Summer. The psychological thriller is airing its first season on the network and has become a quick fan-favorite amongst viewers who can’t wait to theorize what happens next.
We spoke with Brooklyn about traveling back to the 90s on Cruel Summer, the twists and turns up ahead for viewers, Angela’s relationship with the Turner family, and how this season is only going to get better and crazier.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Brooklyn Sudano below:
I just want to say how much I am loving Cruel Summer so far. This is just the kind of series we needed right now.
Thank you so much! The response has been so incredible. I don’t think any of us could have anticipated the outpouring of excitement. People are just loving it. Its fun to work on something and have people respond this way.
Can you talk a little about your character Angela Prescott and what viewers can expect from her?
Angela Prescott comes to Skylin and immediately meets Greg Turner and he helps her find a place. She’s not from this small town and she really approaches things from a much more broader mindset. She’s really a stabilizing force, particularly for Jeanette’s character. I think you see that relationship develop along with the relationship with Greg, particularly in the 1995 section of the show. Angela is a bad ass. She’s not messing around but she also will give you a hug at the same time.
Cruel Summer takes place over three summers in the 90s and I am loving reliving the different fashion and seeing all the references. What was it like to essentially travel back in time for this role and what did you enjoy most about that?
It was so fun to travel back! I remember getting a bunch of the references in order for wardrobe. I was like “Okay, I think Angela is like this…” and I pulled a couple of pictures of Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson and who was doing what then. Pulling together the outfits was really fun. For me, it’s usually one of the steps that’s really important for becoming the character. The music really makes you go back in time and connects you so well to it. It was a lot of fun to go back to all of it.
Angela seems to have a good heart and she can see that Greg’s daughter Jeanette is struggling with everything that’s been going on for her. She seems to have made it her mission to get her to open up. Can you talk a little about why that was important for your character to be that one person Jeanette can turn to right now?
I think that when Angela sees Jeanette she just sees a young girl struggling. I think Angela understands that. She was a teenage girl herself; she’s not that far off from it that she would have forgotten all of the turmoil and the questions and insecurities and anxieties that a teenage girl would have. Particularly in this enhanced and intense situation. I think Angela sees the humanity in her and wants to connect to that. She understands that everybody needs an advocate and support.
Do you think Angela had a sense of whether or not Jeanette is innocent or not?
Well, I can’t tell you that! [laughs] Whether she did it, saw it, didn’t see it… I don’t think that really matters as much to Angela. Of course she cares about the truth but I don’t think that would change the way that she would be to Jeanette. I think she understands life is gray and that good people make bad choices and bad people aren’t all bad. I think that’s really what guides her. She sees some girl who is trying to stay afloat and she’s trying to give her a life raft.
My favorite part of the recent episode was the karaoke scene with Jeanette. How fun was that to film?
Thank you! I haven’t seen the whole scene yet so I was super nervous about it.
It’s so good!
Thank you, thank you. I got the script and I was like “Oh, we’re singing! Okay!” There’s always a little extra nerves when it comes to that. I’m glad it turned out well [laughs]. It was super fun to film and Chiara and I had a great time doing it.
It was such a good song too. When I think of [What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes] I think of the 90s.
Pure 90s! The entire time I was singing it I could see the music video and Linda Perry in my head while I was doing it. It was a lot of fun.
Cruel Summer is described as a psychological thriller with many twists and turns. What would you say sets this series apart from others out there?
I think the thing that sets Cruel Summer apart…It’s set over three years and set in the mid 90s. It also has shifting perspectives. You’ve got a lot of different elements converging into this one show. And it could have not worked, but our creator and our showrunner and our producers are so extremely talented that they were able to make this story seem so seamless.
You jump through these years so seamlessly. It gives you just enough information to want to know more and to keep going and to keep the story moving forward. I jut think that it’s really worked and it’s very different then a typical linear story. It’s a lot to keep track of. I think they did it in a way that really has worked well.
I keep thinking that I’m so confident and I have it all figured out but then something gets revealed and I’m like, “Well. Nevermind.”[laughs] Yeah! There ya go. That’s also part of the brilliance of the way that the story is told with the shifting perspectives. I’ve never gotten as many emails and texts and phone calls and questions wondering “Is it this person?” and then it changes. And I have to say I can’t tell you anything, not one thing. It’s fun to get the response that we’ve been getting.
What can you tease about what viewers can look forward to next in these upcoming episodes? What are you most looking forward to us seeing?
Gosh. There’s so much that happens in the last few episodes. From my perspective the relationship between Angela and the Turner family and how they come together I think for me, was really fun to figure those twists and turns out.
But just in general, the show is crazy. It’s only gonna get crazier and it’s only gonna get better. I’m really excited what people will think when the last beat happens all the way at the end. Because you have to watch it all the way to the end! That’s the great thing about this show, it all matters.
I’ve heard that some of the upcoming episodes are going to be jaw dropping and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.
I feel like this show is interactive. It’s taken on this whole life outside of the show because everybody feels like they have a theory. It’s been so much fun.
Thank you so much to Brooklyn Sudano for taking the time to speak with us!
Tune in to Cruel Summer airing Tuesdays on Freeform.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.