Both Laura Marano and Noah Centineo were part of the Disney umbrella in their teen years, with Marano starring in Austin & Ally and Centineo joining the show for three episodes, as well as other Disney Channel series. Now in their early 20s, Marano, 23, and Centineo, 22, reunite onscreen in Netflix’s The Perfect Date.
“We were able to have some pretty deep, mature conversations, which brought us closer and helped with our chemistry and the bond overall in the movie,” Marano tells The Hollywood Reporterduring the latest episode of In Studio.
The same went for the other young talent in the movie, Camila Mendes and Odiseas Georgiadis. Says Marano, “The movie is a pretty light movie, but having that trust with your cast does make the process easier acting with them.”
The film follows Centineo’s character Brooks on his mission to not only be accepted into Yale, but also be able to pay for it. He creates an App called The Stand In to provide dates to its users, which as the film points out repeatedly is totally legal.
What sparked the idea for the app is his first meeting with Marano’s Celia, who marches to the beat of her own drum and is reluctant to give him any attention and attend any society school dance. In the film this school has multiple dances.
Says Marano of her character, “Every character I play I always bring a little bit of myself to the character. I was so attracted to her because she’s this unlikely female heroine for a rom-com. She’s sarcastic and bitter and kind of dark and really fun to play.”
And with Marano and Centineo’s reunion there is also a much-deserved slap. Jokes Marano about the multiple takes it took to get it right, “I felt really bad and I was giving it. And Noah was like, ‘OK, so when are we done?’ I gave him a mark. I don’t enjoy hitting people!”
As for whether or not fans will be seeing these characters again, Marano teases, “We’ll see how they do long distance. Everyone’s story doesn’t just end at high school. I definitely imagine there’s more to their story, but I like how it ends.”
In addition to contributing the song “Lie to Me” to the Perfect Date soundtrack, last month, Marano released her first-ever EP, simply titled Me.
“It’s the first time I ever put out a body of work for my music,” she says. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. We’re in such an interesting time with film and television and with music, when it comes to consuming. In music, it’s a little bit more of a singles-based economy, but there’s something so special about having a body of work that’s cohesive and there’s a story there.”