Hartford native Christopher Briney stars in Amazon’s ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’

Photo of Jailene Cuevas

The new Amazon Prime Video drama show and adaptation of Jenny Han’s “The Summer I Turned Pretty” has been making headlines as its first season gains popularity. Helping bring Han’s story to life is Connecticut native Christopher Briney, 24, who plays one of the main characters, Conrad.

The actor and director was born in Hartford where “he lived for most of his life,” according to his website. He attended the Waterbury Arts Magnet School, where he took an acting class that sparked his passion for acting. He later attended Pace University to pursue a Bachelor’s of fine arts in acting for film, television, voiceover and commercial.

“The Summer I Turned Pretty” premiered June 17 and is based on a best-selling book series by Han, who also wrote "To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before" and its sequels. The show follows Belly (Lola Tung), a teenage girl who’s relationships with two brothers — Conrad, played by Briney, and Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) — she has known all her life start to change.

In an interview with Glamour, Briney said when he found out he’d be playing Conrad, he purchased a box set and read all three books. While reading the books, he “kind of hated” Conrad at first, but later found saw more of himself in Conrad.

“He and I both — at least when I was younger — had a lot of trouble expressing and understanding how we feel. I think it’s common as a teenager to be going through a lot of things and to be confused, not knowing how to share that with people, or if you even can,” he told Glamour.

In the first season, his character suffers a panic attack and said it was tough scene to shoot, emotionally and physically.

“Everybody experiences panic attacks in different ways, I worked a lot with the director on the actual physicality of a panic attack and what that aesthetically looks like. That took a lot of weight off of me because then I could just focus on honestly feeling those things. But it was hard. It's hard to have a bunch of people watching you,” he told Glamour.

“The Summer I Turned Pretty’ currently has season one available on Amazon Prime, though season 2 is rumored to already be in the works, according to an interview Han gave to CBS in June 2022.