NOC Interview: Barrett Carnahan Talks Freeform’s ‘Cruel Summer’

Barrett Carnahan plays Jeanette’s cooler older brother, Derek Turner, who stands by his sister through everything. A press release revealed that Cruel Summer marks the network’s best-ever series debut among Young Adults and scores Freeform’s most-watched series debut ever, averaging 3.81 million multiplatform viewers in the first week available. New episodes of the psychological thriller air Tuesdays at 10 PM EDT/PDT on Freeform and are available the next day on Hulu.


Cruel Summer follows the stories of Kate Wallis, the popular girl with a charmed life, and Jeanette Turner, the nerdy and seemingly innocent wannabee. When Kate goes missing, everything points to Jeanette’s guilt, but with different points of view in each episode, the audience is left constantly wondering who is actually telling the truth? The show takes place over three summers in the ’90s and begs the question, how can one girl go from being a sweet and awkward outlier to the most despised person in America?

Carnahan is best known for his work in Cobra Kai and Alexa & Katie. I got to speak with the actor about how Cruel Summer has become everyone’s newest TV obsession, what he loves about the character of Derek, the Turner family dynamic, the brother and sister bond between Derek and Jeanette, and more.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

Watch my interview below to see what the actor shared!