Exactly one year ago, 16-year-old Anna Cathcart, aka “Kitty” in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, slid into the DMs of 15-year-old vlogger and Total Eclipse star Lauren Orlando. She responded to Lauren’s Instagram Story of her “ideal Saturday night,” which involved snuggling in bed with her dog Bentley, blasting Shawn Mendes on repeat. “Literally me,” messaged Anna, “every Saturday night thriving with my dog and Shawn.” Lauren DM’d back with about a thousand “hahahahas”—and that is how this cute celeb twosome started their epic long-distance BFF journey.
“I never DM people. Like, ever,” says Anna of that first convo. “With people I don’t know, I’m typically very shy, so I don’t know why I felt comfortable doing that. But, I mean, it worked out.”
Worked out is an understatement. The two—who initially bonded over their love of dogs and their shared Canadian heritage—started texting back and forth every day. Soon, they were meeting up whenever they could, even taking trips to Los Angeles together for events like the Spring Breakaway movie premiere and then later at a concert to see (who else?) Shawn Mendes.
As the two opened up to one another and chatted about balancing entertainment careers with full-time school, Anna and Lauren were able to connect on a much deeper level.
“We clicked so automatically, and I just felt like I could be myself,” says Anna, who admits she’d never made a friend through social media before meeting Lauren. “Being able to talk about real stuff is super important. Even when we finally hung out in person, it wasn’t weird or intimidating.”
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