Newcomer Nile Bullock on Season Two of Cruel Summer

Jun 3, 2023

Things get cruel again this summer. Cruel Summer was a breakout hit after it debuted on Freeform in 2021. Season two launches June 5 and with it a new Y2K-centric mystery for a posse of fiery teens. The first season explored events on the same day over the course of three years: 1993, 1994, and 1995. We watched as the series tracked events after the disappearance of popular gal Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt). Vice-principal Martin Harris (Blake Lee) had a hand in that, of course. The ripple effects found socially awkward Jeanette (Chiara Aurelia) blossoming, and even stepping into Kate’s groovy social life. Kate resurfaces a year later and accuses Jeanette of witnessing her abduction but not reporting it. We all watched Jeanette’s dreams shatter.

Season two’s new mystery takes on different timelines again, and this time around leaping off some Y2K brouhaha as it follows two teen girls whose lives are upended because of a lie. Look for new friendships, a love triangle, and the mystery that impacts everybody’s lives. That includes newcomers Griffin Gluck, Lexi Underwood, and Nile Bullock, who plays Jeff, somebody who becomes part of Megan’s (Sadie Stanley) inner circle. The new setting is an idyllic waterfront town in the Pacific Northwest. Let the games begin.

MovieWeb caught up with Nile Bullock to learn more about the upcoming season of Cruel Summer.

Stepping into the Cruel Summer Landscape


For Nile Bullock, playing Jeff was filled with both excitement and uncertainty. The actor, who starred in Seven Seconds alongside Regina King, liked the character — Jeff is shy and introverted but has a passion for filmmaking. That he captures interesting moments with a snap of his camera is bound to generate some plot twists this season. The main thing that puzzled Bullock going into the show was that he wasn’t that familiar with the first season.

“So of course, I dove right into that,” quipped Bullock. “I made sure to binge the whole thing immediately. Once I got into the show, I was so friggin’ hooked. The first season just had me at the edge of my seat. I was just blown away by the storyline and the cast. When I found out I had the opportunity to play the role of Jeff, I was freaking drawn to the character. He has this big crush on the main character. The storyline gets juicy. The role was just super relevant to me personally at the time with what I was dealing with in my life.”

And that would be…? Well, personal stuff of course, but when nudged a bit Bullock did admit some similarities between him and Jeff. “I don’t want to give too much away, but we definitely do watch Jeff get intertwined into a love triangle in the show. So, for it me it related in some ways with just kind of picking from pieces of my life, you know, even dealing with girls and relationships. I had definitely been in, maybe not necessarily a love triangle, but close to that. And, you know, Jeff is kind of like the odd one out of the group because he is kind of soft-spoken and quiet. I’ve always kind of felt that I’m a huge extrovert, but I’m also a big introvert. All that made that just more fun when it came to character development.”

Related: Times That Freeform Shows Discussed Important Topics

What to Expect in Season Two

Be prepared. If you thought season one was edgy and out there, season two of Cruel Summer is even more intense. Sure, there’s a love triangle, but expect the “cruel” factor to weave its way in other ways as the show deals with the curious friendship of Megan and Isabella. Bullock, who hadn’t seen the full season scripts prior to coming on board here, further explained: “There are so many different themes and so many different things going on during the season. If you are a fan of season one, we see the same roller coaster of relationships being ruined and new ones being made, and family secrets getting out.”

To that end, expect an entirely new mystery to grapple with. Mostly, viewers may appreciate the influx of new faces. “I think people are going to be super excited just to see the new cast and the talent that we have,” shared Bullock. “There are a lot of people we have not seen on the big screen yet. And it’s such a diverse cast as well.”

No doubt Bullock wanted to bring something unique to the character of Jeff. In addition to culling from some of his own real-life experiences, he also studied the show to really get a grasp of the “vibe.” “But it was daunting,” he admitted of coming into such a breakout hit. “I’ve been fortunate in the past to work on a couple of projects… something that already had previous shows out, but I felt this was a big step forward for me. Even filming in Canada. That was my longest time away from home and being without friends and family. I tend to be in New Jersey and New York all the time, but everyone was just super accepting.”

Related: Exclusive: Single Drunk Female Cast on What to Expect in Season Two

When asked what he felt audiences really resonated with in regard to Cruel Summer, Bullock noted the show raises a different type of conversation. “I feel like the show zeroes in on the importance of the foundation in our household. We see a lot of these characters kind of go through what they go through. Not because of their own personal demons and reasons, but because of what they deal with within their household, within their family and friends.

“The second season, we see the effects of the online world, meeting strangers or not knowing what we’re getting ourselves into. It raises certain issues that we deal with in this generation, and we see a whole new spin and new take on this season with a completely different theme, and just the same suspense and intensity as before. I loved it.”

Season two of Cruel Summer premieres on Freeform June 5. The first season can be streamed on Hulu.

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