'Deadly Class': Lana Condor trades her pen for a katana, but who does she channel more — Lara-Jean Covey or Saya Kuroki?
The 21-year-old Vietnam-born actress has wowed fans by donning arm tattoos and bidding goodbye to her checkered dresses in Syfy's latest 'Deadly Class'
Had it been last summer, you would have never guessed the cute girl next door writing secret letters to all the boys she had loved before, in less than a year, would exchange her pen for a katana to kick asses of boys, irrespective of the love.
Lana Condor has traded her cute pretty dresses for an all black leather suit as she takes up the role of Saya Kuroki, a trained assassin attending a high school exclusively for killers, King's Dominion. Looking nothing like Lara-Jean Covey, the character she played in Netflix's hit 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before', Condor had her fans in awe with her new look as soon as Syfy dropped the trailer for 'Deadly Class' last September.
saya is already my favorite character of deadly class 🤪— ً (@wotvibes) September 4, 2018
HOW DID I NOT KNOW LANA CONDOR IS SAYA IN DEADLY CLASS???? NOW I HAVE TO WATCH IT OMFG OMFG OMFG OMFG OMFG OMFG !!— Rosie Knight (@RosieMarx) September 6, 2018
my baby lana condor as the badass assassin saya in deadly class. i am in love! 😍 pic.twitter.com/1T5eEUc4bz— 𝐋𝐈𝐀 | 𝐅𝐅𝐇 𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐍. (@GLOSSPHOENIX) January 17, 2019
Based on the graphic comics by Rick Remender of the same name, the only similarity you will find between Saya and Lara-Jean is that they both attend high school. However, the differences begin to unfurl, not just because Saya is the daughter of a Japanese crime mafia and the leader of the Kuroki Syndicate, but also because she is not your average girl crush. Lana Condor said it herself:
Set in the backdrop of 1980s San Francisco, 'Deadly Class' follows the story of Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth), a homeless teenager on the run from the law. He gets enrolled in the school when living on the streets. Though he rejects the offer at first, he joins the school nevertheless after Saya persuades him to, noting that he has nothing to lose. He soon finds out that surviving within the four walls of the school is even tougher than living on the streets as he has to battle the hierarchy system established among the killer cliques from mob royalty to children of FBI agents, since he is a nobody, the lowest in the food chain.
Less than 20 minutes into the pilot episode which aired on January 16 on Syfy, Saya and Marcus exchange a kiss but the very next day Marcus realizes that it was all about an assignment for Saya, who is basically the top student of the academy and a major confidant of headmaster Lin.
Unlike how Lara-Jean would easily give away her heart to a number of boys in the show, Saya is extremely guarded and portrays an unattainable woman.
In an interview with E!, Condor says that she wanted to switch to the role of Saya because she wanted to "be able to crossover all genres and to be able to pick different roles so that people can see me in a different light." Fair enough.
Establishing herself as an A-list star, not stuck to the same role, Condor has quickly moved on to conquer even more avenues of the industry as two more films under her belt are in post-production and the movie she shot to fame for is coming back with a sequel where she will reprise her role as Lara-Jean Covey.
The Vietnam-born actor got her first big role in 2016 in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' as Jubilee, a mutant who can generate pyrotechnic energy blasts from her hands.
In an interview with EW, Condor said that her brief time as one of Professor Xavier’s students helped her bag the role of Saya. "My experience on 'X-Men' really did prepare me for shooting 'Deadly Class' because I just had that knowledge of what it’s like to work on a project that already has a pre-existing source material and a fan base," she said, adding that because of 'X-Men', she knew she had to get the part right for the sake of fans.
Another similarity between the two shows based out of comics is the institution. Even though in 'X-Men' school is the X-Mansion and in 'Deadly Class', it's King's Dominion, "It’s kind of the same-ish story where there’s a group of kids that have a special kind of ability or a special skill-set. The difference is that Kings Dominion is just way darker than the mansion that we go to in X-Men,” she said in the same interview.
All the three prominent characters Condor has played so far, have a series of similarities since all attend high school, but at the same time, are very distinct. Condor says in an interview that Lara-Jean would definitely not have survived in King's Dominion, while Saya would have not survived in Lara Jean's world as well, but she was not sure if Jubilee could have in both worlds.
Anyway, with Condor's latest 'Deadly Class,' where arm tattoos are as prominent as her sharp jet black hair, the 21-year-actress is definitely the actor's strongest role so far. If you were to ask who does she channel more, Lara-Jean or Saya, here's the tweet from the creator of 'Deadly Class' himself: