Noah Centineo: Love for Zach Galifianakias, a Surprising Backup Plan and More Things Left Out of Hollywood Reporter's Cover Story

The actor who broke out as a high school heartthrob in 2018 talks about his unbridled (and unexpected) love for the 'Hangover' star.

After the late-summer releases of Netflix movies To All the Boys I've Loved Before and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, Noah Centineo saw a massive spike in his Instagram following, as well as an uptick in industry interest. The actor talked to The Hollywood Reporter about his trajectory from Disney Channel guest star to the internet's latest boyfriend.  

Here are five more facts about the streaming star that didn't make it into his Next Gen cover story.

1. He’s a huge fan of Zach Galifianakis.
When asked whose careers he admires and even aspires toward, Centineo rattles off the usual suspects — Tom  Hanks, Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey — but tops off his list with a more eccentric choice. "I'm serious, man," he contests. "I think Zach [Galifianakis] is one of the greatest actors." Centineo says that Galifianakis was able to display his full range in 2010 road movie Due Date, starring opposite Robert Downey Jr. "He does Hangover, where he is the goofball, and then he comes into Due Date and he's the fool again. [But] then he's in a bathroom stall with Robert Downey Jr. and starts crying about his father. And it's like the saddest, realest thing."

2. He was gunning for a different role in Sierra Burgess Is a Loser.
Centineo made his mark this summer as the boyfriend-in-residence for Netflix. But, as he tells it, he wasn't always happy about the castings. "It was always boy next door, love interest, across the board," he says of the roles he has traditionally been offered. "Even in [Disney Channel Original Movies] and shit."

For the contemporary teen Cyrano retelling Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, Centineo hoped to be cast as the "dick college kid" Spencer (played in the movie by Will Peltz) but was steered toward the well-intentioned jock. "They were like, 'No, man, you should audition for Jamey,'" he remembers. "I was like, 'That's all I play!' I don't want to be typecast as that. I fought it for a while." But, Centineo says, he has since made his peace with the love-interest roles. "I don't think I'm boxing myself in. The only thing that will box me in is myself and I think we can break all that when the time is right, for the right role."

3. He Is trying to start a nonprofit.
"I have a lot of people putting an effort in and coming to me for the first time in my career," says Centineo, who began working with a new agent and manager this year. "And so it opens up a lot of free time." So he has begun to fill the time between projects that used to be reserved for nonstop auditions with other ventures. "I'm actually developing a 501(c)(3) right now, a nonprofit, called Favored Nations," he explains. "The idea is to create a blueprint for influencers and celebrities to just sign up and donate their energy and their time. You can either choose to like sign a hundred headshots and a hundred scripts from your last project and sell them and then that [money] gets donated to a charity of your choice. Like, we'll do all the work for them, they just have to show up." 

4. His Instagram philosophy has stayed the same.
Centineo has had Instagram since he was 15 but he has recently gained the attention of the internet. "I have more photographers trying to work with me, right? And that's tight," he says of his newfound social media status. "I did a shoot with this kid Jorden Keith less than a week ago [at the time, early October] and the pictures that we got are so raw and reflect how I felt when I was overwhelmed by all this shit and how I felt like I couldn't go outside. I’m going to, like, paint that picture for people." While more people may be watching, Centineo says he sticks to a simple principle: "Social media to me is a way to express, it's not a way for me to glorify my life."

5. If acting didn't work out, he had a backup plan (kinda).
Centineo has worked steadily for the past couple of years, but had he ever considered a career other than acting? "A vagrant," he says with a surprising lack of hesitation. "I’m serious, just like a straight-up vagabond." 

Well, there you have it.