The untold truth of Noah Centineo

Noah Centineo caught his big break when he landed the role of Peter Kavinsky in Netflix's 2018 movie To All the Boys I've Loved Before. By that point, he'd been steadily working in the entertainment industry for about a decade, scoring notable supporting roles on Disney Channel's Austin & Ally and How to Build a Better Boy, taking over the lead role of Jesus Adams Foster on the family drama The Fosters, and playing Camila Cabello's hunky love interest in her "Havana" music video. After seemingly earning the title of the "Internet's Boyfriend" overnight, Centineo solidified this new status with his portrayal of Jamey in yet another Netflix rom-com, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. And the actor's career has shown no signs of slowing down. 

So, what's the reason everyone's falling for the on-screen teen heartthrob? Here's what you need to know about the real life of Noah Centineo. These facts might just surprise you.

He nearly missed out on an acting career

It's hard to imagine, but, if it weren't for an accidental discovery, Centineo may not have ever caught the acting bug. At just 8 years old, he begrudgingly attended an open call audition with his older sister at a South Florida talent agency. "I'm sitting there and someone comes over to me and they're like, 'Hey, are you auditioning?' and I was like, 'No!'" the actor told Pop-Culturist in 2017. "And they said, 'No, I really think that you have potential, you should audition.'" 

Centineo ended up signing with the agency and started booking gigs, before making the big move to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles at the age of 15. As he later recalled to the Los Angeles Times, he'd told his parents, "This is what I want to do. If you move me out, I swear I will make it." And the rest is history. 

"Somehow I made it onto a show and then another show and now I'm doing my thing, so how did I start?" Centineo explained. "Because my sister wanted to be a model and I was dragged along to support her!"

So that's how he got that scar on his face

It may not be noticeable at first glance, but Centineo has a scar on the left side of his face stemming from a dog attack when he was 6 years old. "[A Mastiff] ripped a hole in my face, so you could see my teeth, my gums, and all the way through my tongue to the other side," he told BuzzFeed in 2018. "There was just a massive, gaping hole." However, Centineo has maintained that the dog didn't know what he was doing. "I specifically remember him lunging, and being pulled away from him, and then looking back and seeing him like cock his head like he didn't really understand what had happened. Some people were like, 'Yeah, do you wanna put the dog down?' I was like crying, like, 'No, no, he didn't mean to do it!'"

It's worth noting that Centineo spent this entire interview adorably playing with different puppies. So, it looks as though he thankfully hasn't harbored any hard feelings toward dogs following the literally scarring experience.

He was a high school misfit

Noah Centineo may be putting all of our high school boyfriends to shame on screen, but he actually really struggled to fit in during his teen years. "I was like this tiny little kid that was goofy and would always crack jokes or sit in the back of class and not listen to anything that the teacher was saying," he told Vulture in 2018, adding, "I didn't do well in school, and I didn't really care to cater to certain social structures that were in place to be cool."

With his eye already on Hollywood at the time, Centineo's big dreams led him to make a major decision about his education when he was just 16 years old. "I dropped out — halfway through sophomore year I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting, and I did one semester to finish my sophomore year," he shared with the publication. "I was working a good amount so I couldn't balance school."

The 'Internet's Boyfriend' was catfished

It may not have scored Centineo an appearance on a hit MTV reality series of a certain name, but the actor was unfortunately once the victim of catfishing. "It happened like a year and a half ago. I've met someone on Instagram, and I developed this ostensibly intimate relationship with them, and then turns out they weren't who they were," he told BuzzFeed in 2018. "As catfishing does."

Despite the less-than-stellar experience, Centineo, with his clear penchant for romantic comedies, is still a true romantic himself. "I'm really into love. I'm a hopeless romantic some days and a hopeful one on other days," he told Teen Vogue. He later revealed to Seventeen, "My concept of a perfect date really is just as long as conversation is flowing, you feel comfortable, and you can be yourselves around each other."

As for being dubbed the "Internet's Boyfriend," Centineo has taken the new title in stride. "I didn't know I was in a relationship," he quipped to IndieWire. "I think it's nice."

To him, self-care is key

While navigating the newfound pressures of celebrity, Centineo has become a big proponent of self-care. For the actor, this includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking breaks from social media. 

During an Instagram Live video in 2018, Centineo revealed that, after "partying like crazy" for years, he'd been "completely sober" since his 21st birthday (via Teen Vogue). Having replaced drinking and smoking with healthier activities like working out and doing yoga, he said he's gained more clarity to "identify [his] problems" and what's causing them. As Centineo later told the Los Angeles Times, this life-changing journey toward sobriety was "an act of self-love." As for unplugging from social media, Centineo admitted to W Magazine that "it's pretty easy" to put his phone down for a few hours every day. He explained that "it forces you to engage with the outside world," adding that it's "very therapeutic and invigorating!"

Many of Centineo's self-care habits developed out of dealing with heartbreak, stress, and anxiety. The movie star ultimately advised Teen Vogue readers, "Rediscover yourself, do things you like, do things that make you happy, feel empowered, and inspired."

His undeniable on-screen chemistry

On-screen chemistry between actors is something that's either undeniably there or painfully absent. So, if Centineo's connection with his Netflix love interests — Lana Condor of To All The Boys I've Loved Before and Shannon Purser of Sierra Burgess Is a Loser — is anything to go by, it's safe to say that he's really lucked out in this respect.

"It was definitely just developing a friendship with her as a person, getting to know her, you know, what she wants, and her life and the inner workings of it," the actor said of his relationship with Condor during an interview with Seventeen. He added, "She's such a giving actress. She made my job really, really easy." 

Meanwhile, Centineo had equally glowing things to say about Purser. "[She's] someone you have a true connection with. And she's just so available to that and open to that," he told Entertainment Tonight. "And I feel blessed to be able to work with her."

Chemistry is obviously a two-way street, and, since the common denominator here is Centineo, we imagine he must be a dream to work with.

Is he a Peter, a Jamey, or a Mark Ruffalo 2.0?

While Centineo loves both of his popular Netflix rom-com characters — the suave lacrosse jock Peter Kavinsky on To All the Boys and the adorably awkward quarterback Jamey on Sierra Burgess — he often feels more like one of the two. "If I'm in an environment or circumstance that calls for, like, a Peter, like ego-aggressive mentality to come out, then sure," he told Entertainment Tonight in 2018. "But in my day to day, most of the time, I stick to Jamey."

However, for anyone who's spent even 30 seconds watching the actor in action, he most likely reminds them of the equally lovable Mark Ruffalo. Centineo's been on the receiving end of Ruffalo comparisons his entire career — and it's easy to see why. "I guess it's just my mannerisms, like the way I talk, the way my eyes move around maybe when I'm thinking?" he told Vulture. "I don't know!" Not that being compared with the Hulk actor ever gets old. "Oh my God, my dream would be doing a film with him as his son or something," he enthused. 

Centineo has put this incredible thought out into the world, and we can only hope that Hollywood delivers.

He's feeling the price of fame

With his sudden loss of anonymity in 2018, Centineo had to quickly adjust to both the fortunes and pitfalls of celebrity. However, as he recalled during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, one experience with some, well, overeager fans understandably left him shaken. 

"I was at baggage claim, and I had my headphones on and I was just waiting for my bag to come out," the actor told the late-night host, explaining that he'd flown to New York City for work. "And then I feel like a presence approach me … without even knowing, I had to sidestep and like take my headphone off and there's like four people looking at me. … They somehow knew I was flying into JFK and the time I was going there." The four fans ended up following his cab into the city, and Centineo told Kimmel, "It was actually kind of scary. It was the first time you look at something and you're like, 'Oh wow, my life is changing.'"

But that's not to say that fame has gone to his head. As Centineo told Entertainment Tonight, "The outer world is going to change for sure … but I want my inner space to stay the same. That's really important to me."

He loves to write

As a man of many talents, Centineo is also a writer, who often uses different genres as a form of therapy. "I think I use writing as a catharsis," he told W Magazine, noting that he likes to use social media as a "vehicle" to express himself with the hope that people might "identify or relate to it, or maybe even learn something or have a thought." The actor added, "If I can inspire one spark of awareness or get a spark of introspection or reflection about someone else's life, that's a beautiful thing, in my opinion."

As for what he tends to write, Centineo isn't one to limit himself. "Just stream of consciousness, whatever I'm thinking or going through. I'll just write it," he continued. "Sometimes it rhymes, so it could be like spoken word poetry, other times it's just narratives. But nothing formulaic yet."

Oh, and he also writes love letters. Feel free to swoon, ladies and gents!

From actor to activist

With a seemingly meteoric rise to fame during the summer of 2018, Noah Centineo decided he wanted to use his newfound celebrity platform for good. After famously gaining an astounding one million Instagram followers in just one day — and becoming one of the top-ranking actors on social media — the movie star has become known for being outspoken on social and political issues with the hope of fostering change in the world.

"I'm currently strategizing the best way for me to leverage my platform, my growing platform, my friends' platforms, to help fight a various group of social injustices," the actor told W Magazine when asked if he planned to use social media for activism in the future. Centineo added, "Currently, I'm not really able to discuss it because it's still in the developing process, but to answer your question, absolutely." Way to go, Centineo! We can't wait to see how you use your fame for good.

Embracing the rom-com

Noah Centineo is all about embracing the rom-com, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't mind switching gears in his career at some point.

"This romantic-comedy genre has been really great thus far. … I love that whole world and I see myself continuing this," he told Vulture. "But at the same time, I'd really like to branch out and do some more auteur filmmaking like Gaspar Noé, the Nolan brothers, the Coen brothers, these very existential, philosophical, visceral films." While making a similar comment to IndieWire, Centineo went on to reveal that he'd also love to one day work with Mark Ruffalo's Marvel pal Robert Downey Jr.(Hollywood, are you listening?)

However, at the time of this writing in 2018, Centineo seems perfectly happy to continue making his mark in rom-com history. In addition to starring as Brooks Rattigan in the upcoming movie The Stand-in, he's also set to appear on the big screen as a love interest to one of the Angels in the upcoming Charlie's Angels reboot.