Teenagers all over the world fell head over heels for actor Noah Centineo–aka “the internet’s boyfriend”–after catching him in not one, but two back-to-back romantic comedies on Netflix last summer: “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Sierra Burgess Is a Loser”. In both movies he plays similarly oxymoronic characters that are equal parts brooding jock and sensitive nice guy–ever so slightly different iterations of an all-too-perfect boy next door written for a generation of young girls (and guys) who haven’t given up on the world just yet. And though the streaming platform won’t reveal any analytics, ratings, or data detailing on how many people are watching its original programming, it’s safe to say that the viewership for Centineo’s projects sits in the high tens (maybe even hundreds) of millions. Over the course of a few short months he’s gone from an already impressive 600,000 Instagram followers to a staggering 15 million and counting. And you, dear reader, are probably one of them.
“It takes years of dedication to blow up overnight,” notes Centineo who’s been on his grind in Hollywood for nearly a decade,landingsmall parts over the years on the Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally” and “How to Build a Better Boy”,a leading role on Freeform’s hit show“The Fosters” — for which he received a 2017 Teen Choice Award nomination for ‘Choice Summer TV Star’: Maleand more recently, an opportunity to play Camila Cabello’s love interest in the viral music video for her hit single “Havana”.
When he was 15, Centineo (now 22) was living in his native Boynton Beach, Florida when he caught an episodeof ‘Victorious’ on Nickelodeon — a show about a bunch of kids who, like him at the time, attended a performing arts high school. It was in realising this glaring parallel between his own life and those of the characters unfolding on his TV screen that he caught the acting bug.
“As I’m watching this show, I’m thinking to myself, I can totally do what they’re doing. I know I can,” Centineo muses. So he went downstairs, told his parents that he wanted to pursue acting, and without hesitation they agreed to pack up everything and move to LA. “I’m super privileged to have parents who were able to not only support me emotionally, but financially as well,” he adds, sounding genuinely touched by their generosity. It isn’t lost on him that not every high schooler’s parents would be as accommodating.
Centineo’s made-for-TV looks, the expertly tousled hair, toothy grin and big lashy brown eyes are things you either have or you don’t. But the Floridian’s on screen appeal isn’t just smoke and mirrors. He’s more than just another handsome heartthrob; he’s the real deal. You can’t fake charisma like his. And perhaps that’s why his mom and dad took that leap of faith and followed their son out west.
“My dad is freaking out,” Centineo notes of his family’s reaction to his recent success. “He’s friends with all of the people that follow me. He interacts with them every day and let’s them know how I’m doing. And my mom is just over the moon. They’re both very proud.”
It’s fair to say that Centineo is having a moment. A kid who wasvirtually unknown this time last year has become every girl’s shining example of what their ideal man looks, acts, sounds, and even dresses like. That’s a lot for anyone to live up to, but Centineo–ever the gentleman–hasn’t let the intense public adoration throw him off course.“I’d like to think that regardless of whether people are looking at me or not, I have always treated women with respect and dignity” Centineo says. “Now that I’m in the public eye, I’ve been afforded a platform to share my perspective on how to treat women and value them. With great power comes great responsibility. But I don’t feel any pressure, I just see an opportunity to lead by example.”
Centineo adores his fans (“It’s because of their support that I get to work”) but teen girls aren’t the only ones paying attention. After director Elizabeth Banks took notice of Centineo’s meteoric rise to Hollywood’s brightest new it-boy, she tapped him to star in her buzzed about reboot of Charlie’s Angels.
“It’s so wild to be a part of such a strong, historic, and storied franchise,”Centineo gushes, beyond stoked for his latest credit; a career move that will further cement his status as a bonafide teen idol. “Icouldn’t be happier with where things are heading.”