Here’s How The Original John Ambrose McClaren Actor Feels About His Recast in ‘To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You’

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was a massive hit that blew up overnight. After it premiered, Noah Centineo and Lana Condor were all anyone was talking about, Peter Kavinsky became the internet’s boyfriend, and the film claimed its spot as a new rom-com classic. It really had everything you need in the genre, and now the sequel will introduce the age-old love triangle. But how does the original actor who played John Ambrose feel about being recast?

Jordan Burtchett at John Ambrose McClaren in 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' / Jordan Fisher and Lana Condor as John Ambrose and Lara Jean in the sequel, 'P.S. I Still Love You.'
Jordan Burtchett at John Ambrose McClaren in ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ / Jordan Fisher and Lana Condor as John Ambrose and Lara Jean in the sequel, ‘P.S. I Still Love You’ | Netflix/Bettina Strauss, Netflix

John Ambrose McClaren was recast with Jordan Fisher in the role

At the end of the first movie, a new boy shows up to the Covey household holding flowers and one of Lara Jean’s famous letters. It was John Ambrose McClaren, and you can already guess what was in the letter and why he’s there. It’s a hint at what’s to come and it’s going to get messy (maybe) because Lara Jean is definitely taken by Peter Kavinsky. For this small cameo, Jordan Burtchett was in the role of John Ambrose.

But, on March 28, 2019, it was announced that Jordan Fisher would step into the role previously held by Burtchett in that last scene. The character has a much bigger part this time around. There were mixed feelings, but Fisher has also proved himself as a great actor with infectious charisma in his roles in Teen Beach Movie, Grease: Live, and RENT: Live

Why did they recast the role for the sequel?

There wasn’t a direct reason behind the recasting, but odds are it took place so that John Ambrose could hold his own against Centineo’s Peter Kavinsky. “It was a lot of pressure,” the producer for the movie, Matt Kaplan, told Entertainment Tonight about casting a new John Ambrose. 

“We auditioned thousands and thousands of people, and when Jordan [Fisher] came on screen, I think, unanimously, Ace [Entertainment] and Netflix felt like this was John Ambrose,” Kaplan continued. “We were fortunate to have someone who has so much pure likability in him, and I think audiences are going to freak out when they see what he’s been able to bring to the screen.”

Jordan Burtchett said being replaced in ‘To All The Boys…’ was “kinda lame”

So how did Burtchett feel about the recasting? In an Instagram post on March 31, 2019, a few days after the recasting was announced, Burtchett shared some of his feelings about it. He had apparently posted a YouTube video on his channel before the Instagram post, where he talked about it further, but decided to delete it instead. 

“‪Hey Fam, ‪I removed my video because its sole intention was to thank you, my friends and fans, for your incredible support over this past year. Because you matter to me, and you deserved my honesty,” he wrote in the caption. “Unfortunately, some are using it as a way to be hurtful towards others and I will not be a part of that. Hate is the opposite response to love.” A quick look at Fisher’s post on Twitter just shows the hate Burtchett spoke of.

Burtchett then wrote how much he appreciated his fans and thanked them for the support. He came back to his vlog in May and gave a life update. He touched on the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before recasting, and said it was “kinda lame.

“From the recast for to all the boys, I know a lot of people were disappointed,” he concluded at the end of the video. “And the outflow of support for me kind of really encouraged me… It’s too bad, but great things will happen to them and great things will happen to me.”

Even though the recasting will create a bit of continuity error that it might touch on, author Jenny Han said Fisher “steals hearts” in the role. So Peter Kavinsky better watch out.