Noah Centineo, Netflix's 'Perfect Date,' talks dating rumors, Mark Ruffalo and that scar
HOLLYWOOD – Noah Centineo has been answering the same two questions a lot lately: Yes, he is "Peter Kavinsky" from that Netflix movie "To All the Boys I've Loved Before." And of course he'll take a photo with you.
Actually, you don't even have to ask out loud. Walking out of Mel's Diner, the 22-year-old actor happily bends down to hug a wide-eyed teenager (he's 6-foot-2) and pose for a picture. She's too stunned to say much. (Until after, when Jehan Jaddi describes meeting Centineo as "one of the best moments of my life.")
"It’s all love," he says of his new fanbase from beneath a head of terrifically tousled hair. Since "To All the Boys" made its debut last August, the previously unknown actor's Instagram followers have increased exponentially (16.5 million and counting) and he's fielded numerous online proposals. "I’m not into polygamy, so it’s hard," he jokes.
You may have seen him on the Disney Channel or Freeform.
Centineo started acting at age 8. The first big break for the Florida native was as goofy-dancing guest star and love interest Dallas opposite Laura Marano's just-as-awkward Ally in Disney's hit “Austin & Ally.” (By the way: In "Perfect Date," he and Marano play romantic interests, again, and show off more silly dance moves.)
At 15, Centineo lobbied his parents – via a PowerPoint presentation of his resume – to move him to L.A. so he could act full time. That led to his gig as Jesus Adams Foster in Freeform’s “The Fosters.”
“I committed to acting," Centineo says. "I believe if you fully commit to something, it’ll happen.”
Unlike his Netflix characters, he wasn't a high school jock
Though Centineo plays jocks with hearts of gold in his first two Netflix movies, and a straight-A student set on attending Yale in "Perfect Date," the actor only “kind of went to high school,” he says.
Translation: He was at Boca Raton Community High for a year and a half, finished his sophomore year at Beverly Hills High, but “I was very into the truancy concept,” he says. He completed his junior and senior years via independent study.
However, “I understand the mentality of a jock,” Centineo says. “Right now, I’m dedicated 100 percent full time to my career. Before, I was like that with soccer. I played (defense). Nothing would get past the line!”
No, he and his 'To All the Boys' co-star aren’t dating.
In “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” Centineo’s Peter pretends to be the boyfriend of Lana Condor’s Lara Jean. There's onscreen chemistry, but, no, that doesn’t mean they’re a couple in real life, despite rumors fueled by an Instagram photo of the co-stars that Centineo captioned, “She melts my heart.” (Condor has talked about her relationship with actor Anthony De La Torre, aka young Jack Sparrow, who last appeared on her social media feed in February.)
“There’s something so great about platonic intimacy,” says Centineo of his friendship with Condor, 21. “We love each other dearly and we’ve been there for each other at different times and periods. So (the chemistry) is genuine.”
In December, Netflix confirmed that a "To All The Boys" sequel is in the works.
Yes, he knows he reminds you of Mark Ruffalo.
The comparisons started when he was about 15.
“In auditions, it was always, ‘Has anyone ever told you you’re like Mark Ruffalo?’ " he says. "I guess it’s the isms, the way I talk, the way my eyes move when I think.
"I’ll take it. His body of work is so vast and versatile, I have nothing but mad respect for him. I’d love to work with him.”
The actors have leaned into the comparisons, joking in interviews that they are related or the same person.
Centineo also says he's been compared to Ashton Kutcher. “How about Freddie Prinze Jr.?” we ask. Nope. “Never got that one.”
He used to cover up his scar for TV.
Like Prinze in early 2000s, however, Centineo is becoming the go-to rom-com guy who gets the girl. And both actors have facial scars.
“They used to cover (my scar), but nowadays, for the most part, they leave it, which I love. It’s my baby,” says Centineo, showing off the mark near his mouth that he got from a dog attack.
“He ripped a hole in my face. You could see my tongue, my teeth, gums. … You could see right through,” he says, and reveals two more marks earned in childhood: a scar on his head from going headfirst into a trampoline spring and a mark down his elbow from a rollerblading incident.
“I was a rambunctious little kid,” says the now decidedly calmer Centineo, who has a few more projects on the way, including the upcoming Jackie Chan movie "The Diary," the "Charlie's Angels" reboot and "Fosters" spinoff "Good Trouble."
“There’s a lot of potential energy in the air,” he says. “That’s super-powerful.”