How Old Is Lola Tung? The Hollywood Newcomer That Came Out Of Nowhere

Lola Tung is 19 years old and will soon be 20. She is the star of The Summer I Turned Pretty.

By Erika Hanson | Updated

Lola Tung

Lola Tung may not yet be a household name quite like Sandra Bullock, but the young starlet is quickly changing that, whether she is really trying to or not. With no prior credentials, Tung landed the lead role in Amazon Prime’s new hit series The Summer I Turned Pretty. She portrays the character Isabel “Belly” Conklin, who has just turned 16, but in real life, Lola is a bit older.

She Met Her Current Manager While Attending Laguardia High School Of Music & Arts

Lola Tung was born and raised in New York City. In the Big Apple, she aspired to be a performer from a young age. When in sixth grade, she realized acting was her aspiration.

Previously, she had taken her turn at acting in a talent show in the fourth grade. But it was when she took on the role of the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz in middle school that she realized her calling. This led her to seek out acting classes in high school.

Lola Tung went on to attend the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. The school has taught plenty of Hollywood alumni over the years, like Jennifer Aniston and Timothée Chalamet. During her time at the prestigious school, she took part in the senior acting showcase, where she would meet her current manager, Carissa Stewart of GSA Entertainment.

Lola Tung Auditioned For Her First Role Over Zoom

Lola Tung

After graduating from LaGuardia in 2020, Lola Tung moved to Pittsburg to attend the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. To no surprise, she majored in acting. However, after just a year into her studies, she would be forced to put college on the back-burner, but for pretty good reasons.

It was during her time at the Pittsburgh school that she would get the chance to audition for her first big acting role. In her second semester, her manager reached out with an auditioning opportunity. It just so happened to be for the role she would eventually nab as Belly in The Summer I Turned Pretty.

Lola Tung spoke about the audition process with Glamour. She made it appear that she had little interest in the role at first, saying, “Alright, I’ll submit tapes for this audition, but I’m really focused on school because it’s really important to me.” From there, she would go on to audition with the creators of the series at Zoom conferences.

Quickly after, Lola Tung was officially offered the role of Belly, to which she accepted. Little did she likely know, the show would garner extensive popularity with the show’s audience. But what makes the series so wildly popular?

The Summer I Turned Pretty Scored 91% On Rotten Tomatoes

The Summer I Turned Pretty is based on a romance trilogy novel series of the same name by author Jenny Han. The coming-of-age teen novels first debuted in 2009. For years, all three titles have toppled best-seller lists, including in The New York Times

So far, Lola Tung and the cast and crew have proven that the TV adaptation is just as successful. The first season, which premiered on Amazon Prime on June 17th featured seven episodes. With Tung at the lead, the show followed Belly during her annual summer vacation.

At Cousins Beach, Belly and her family vacation with her mother’s friend, Laurel, and her family. This includes brothers Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher, with whom Lola Tung’s character ends up becoming entangled with in a love triangle. The series symbolizes the epitome of endless summers, first heartbreaks, and young love. 

The show proved to be a major hit for the network. Oftentimes, these types of series – frequently labeled as dull teenybopper TV – produce bad critic reviews. However, even Rotten Tomatoes gave the series a 91% approval rating, calling it a “charming and sweet” show for viewers of all ages. 

Lola Tung Says That Belly Is A Lot Like Her In Real Life

lola tung

Proving she had what it takes to propel the show into the binge-worthy series it is now, part of her success may have come from the fact that Lola Tung says she is much like Belly Conklin. The 19-year-old compared herself to the book’s main character, saying that both are “headstrong” and committed. “She’s figuring everything out and finding her own path and coming into her own,” she said.

And that last part does sound a lot like Lola Tung and where she came from. From the sounds of it, Tung was set on finishing up her college experience before seeking out a career in Hollywood. But also flying by the seat of her pants much like Belly, she took a chance on the role.

Lola Tung will continue on playing the character of Belly, as the series has already been renewed for a second and third season. It is likely each will follow the series’ next-in-line titles, which are It’s Not Summer Without You and We’ll Always Have Summer. Filming these will likely keep her busy, which also means her return to school may be further prolonged. 

She Is On Instagram

The world may know little yet about the up-and-coming star. However, Lola Tung’s fans can get a peek into her real life on social media. The 19-year-old still rocks the same Instagram account she first started when she was 16 – long before she would blow up on television. 

She used to be quite frequent in posting pictures of herself on the app, but since The Summer I Turned Pretty took off, she keeps a low profile these days. However, Lola Tung often updates her Instagram stories. Likewise, a look back at her pictures through the years gives fans a peak at the Hollywood newcomer and where she came from. 

Lola Tung Will Be Back For Two More Seasons Of The Summer I Turned Pretty

While her future in seasons two and three of The Summer I Turned Pretty is solidified, there is no confirmation about any other upcoming projects for the 19-year-old. But given the immensely positive reception she has received, don’t be surprised to see the young starlet in more upcoming projects. For now, you can look forward to seeing Lola Tung once again take on Belly when season two of the Amazon Prime series premieres in July 2023.

Lola Tung Is 20 Years Old

In the real world, Tung is three years older than her character. In fact, the actress is set to turn 20 soon, as her birthday falls on October 28th. Now, many are wondering how the young New York native landed such a role at her young age, so let’s dive deep into her story.