Unless you've been living under a rock that is in a cave at the bottom of an ocean on another planet, you're probably aware that Noah Centineo has been deemed the internet's latest boyfriend and the best thing about Summer 2018. Though he made a name for himself as Jesus on The Fosters, the young actor has been on a meteoric rise since the premiere of Netflix's teen movie To All the Boys I've Loved Before, in which he plays the swoon-worthy lacrosse captain Peter Kavinsky.
The success of To All the Boys — which is being followed by another Netflix film, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, out Friday — is another highlight in the streaming service's sensational rom-com summer. It began with The Kissing Booth and continued with Set It Up, but Centineo and his two teen flicks are taking it to new heights. The actor recently sat down with TV Guide to explain why he thinks the genre, which has been lacking in mainstream theatrical entries in recent years except for Crazy Rich Asians, is making a big comeback in 2018.
"I think it's time. I think people love love," he says. "And I think it's hard to make romantic comedies because it deals with the modern times, it deals with what's happening right now, for the most part."
Centineo says he believes it starts with the script, and Netflix is investing in new talent that can make a modern love story feel real and relatable.
"It's hard to find a writer that really understands the intricacies of flirting, and the development of love, the development of getting to know someone, the development of chemistry in real life," he reveals. "I think finding the next wave of writers that are capable of conveying those emotions and those feelings through conversation and experiences in a script format is difficult. ... Maybe now we finally have more coming out."
Of course, there's no denying that Centineo's own charm is fueling a lot of the buzz around the films. The chemistry he shares with co-star Lana Condor in To All the Boys is immediately palpable, but Sierra Burgess offers a bit of a different vibe. After playing the ultra-popular archetype in To All the Boys, Centineo is allowed to play the more sensitive type in Jamey. He has to make hearts melt in a more abstract way because the film centers on his communication with Sierra (Shannon Purser) through text messages and phone calls rather than heated, silent looks across hot tubs and lacrosse fields. Centineo says that circumstances don't make the chemistry happen, it's all about your scene partner.
"Chemistry is one of those things; it's hard to nail down what it is or how you get it. I think when two people are present and engaged and listening to each other, that's what creates the chemistry. And then the ability to react off of what the other person is saying," he explains. "Shannon is just so great at that and makes it really easy to listen and to react as well."
The success of the rom-coms is obviously translating to a lot more awareness for Centineo as well. The internet's obsession with him specifically is going to mean big things, even if he manages to keep his day-to-day routine pretty similar. He's keeping a level head about it for the most part.
"It's pretty crazy, huh?" he admits. "I feel really blessed about it. I feel extremely fortunate that Netflix happened to buy the two films I was in and put them in release at the same time...I'm just really excited for the opportunities that it will bring."
Sierra Burgess Is a Loser premieres Friday, Sept. 7 on Netflix. To All the Boys I've Loved Before is streaming on the service.