Noah Centineo Improvised Some of the Cutest Bits in ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’
If you’re like us, you’ve already watched and rewatched Netflix’s new rom-com To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. And you probably have crushes on both Lana Condor (Lara Jean Covey) and Noah Centineo (Peter Kavinsky). The actors’ on-screen chemistry is undeniable, and they share so many sweet moments together in the movie — some of which, according to director Susan Johnson, were improvised by Centineo.
“He is the new Jake Ryan,” Johnson told Entertainment Tonight while discussing the hit film, comparing Centineo to the main love interest in the classic ’80s rom-com Sixteen Candles.
Asked whether she gave him specific direction for certain quirks — like moving the popcorn before the pillow fight with Kitty, or splashing the water in the hot tub scene on the ski trip — Johnson replied, “No, it’s just charming Noah. Noah’s just super present when he’s working and he’s very tuned into everything. For instance, the moving the popcorn was totally Noah. I didn’t ask him to do it. Kitty didn’t place it there every time, but she did that time and he was clever enough to figure out how to move it while throwing a pillow and leaning over, and I thought that was brilliant so we kept that take.”
Another unscripted moment? The scene where Peter spins Lara Jean around in the lunchroom. “He did it in the rehearsal and I was like, ‘That is beautiful, we’re going to change the shot around!'” Johnson recalled to ET. “He’s a natural flirt, so he knew what he was doing. The hot tub, it’s just their chemistry. There’s a little of Noah there and a little of Peter there.”
Johnson said she knew that Centineo’s performance in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was setting him up for big things, even before the movie came out. “I literally took him aside the day we wrapped, or maybe it was the day after we wrapped, and said, ‘You have no idea what you’re walking into here but the performance you just gave us for 21 days is so spectacular. You’ll get to do whatever you want to do. Be choosy and decide,'” she told ET. “I think he has all the potential in the world. I really do think he can have any career that he wants. He’s amazing.”
Johnson also revealed the truth behind one of the cutest snippets in the movie: the lock-screen photo of Peter and Lara Jean sleeping on the couch. “That was actually one of our crew members who took that photo. They were in the green room on set at the high school location, in the area where we put the actors. They actually were sleeping on the couch in that room like that, so we just stood over them and took that picture and it’s so friggin’ cute,” she told ET. “So yeah, we just borrowed it from our crew member. (Laughs.) There wasn’t [a scene]. I could make something up but I actually think it’s cute that they hang out like that.”
What’s your favorite moment in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(photos via Netflix + Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)