[EXCLUSIVE] Laura Marano Talks Breaking Out Of Her Child Star Image And Her Past With Noah Centineo
Text and Interview Aina Nur Sarah Photography Netflix
A movie about high-school student and Ivy League hopeful Brooks (Noah Centineo), who is hired to escort Celia (Laura Marano) to a school dance. After a successful date, Brooks launches a dating app that sells himself as a stand-in date. His clients can customise him into their ideal boyfriend, which leads him to question who he really is and what he wants for his future.
We spoke to The Perfect Date’s lead, Laura Marano on how she decided to pursue this path, breaking out of her child star image and her past with Noah Centineo.
Do you remember the moment you realised you wanted to pursue acting?
It’s something that I fell into to be honest. My sister wanted to act and as the little sibling I was like ‘Oh yeah me too!’ then I really did fall in love with it. I think I really knew that it was something i wanted to do when I was probably around 11?
You started so young! Were your parents okay with that?
I had already been working for a few years, then I think I got to a point where it was getting a bit challenging because the business is tough, a lot of hard things happen. My parents were like, ‘Do you really want to do this?’ to both my sister and I. They were giving us an option of you don’t have to do this at all and it’s something you should be doing if you really want to do it because it’s so tough. So I thought about it and realised that yeah, it’s something that I really wanted to do. No matter how tough it was.
Your sister Vanessa is an actress too, have you ever had to go against her?
We have auditioned against each other a few different times but honestly when we don’t see it as a competition. We’re both quite different so if somebody wanted one of us as that character they probably wouldn’t want the other.
Do you confide in your sister about the things that happen, since it is a tough industry?
Oh totally! I think at the end of the day, she’s my best friend. She knows me better than anyone else and I know her better than anyone else. I think it helps that we both act and the knowledge of how crazy this industry is. Y’know, if anything, I think it’s brought us closer. We can talk and confide in each other– she has my back and I have hers.
As a former child star, Was it hard breaking away from that image? Were there any challenges you faced in trying to do that?
Y’know what, I think it’s still a struggle. The thing about being a child star or transitioning from an age or a project is that it’s pretty gradual. So sometimes it can be frustrating with how slow it feels. I think sometimes people (which i completely understand) want to go in a completely different realm to try to set the image a little bit faster but I think for me it’s just about finding projects that intrigue me and get me excited.
Were you ever faced with that situation of being rejected because they see you a certain way?
Obviously, there are projects that I’m excited about and I audition for them or meet the producer/director. Then they end up seeing me in a different light because of the past projects I’ve done so that’s always a bit more frustrating and disappointing. I guess it just comes with the territory so you just have to deal with it.
What was the process like of getting into the character of Celia Lieberman? How did you prepare for it?
Oh my god, Celia is so fun to play! She’s really sarcastic, a little dark, a little bitter but she’s fun and likable even in her sarcastic, dark persona. This sounds a little bit funny but I would actually look up Jennifer Lawrence interviews and shape Celia as a little Jennifer Lawrence– which is fun because I do see some similarities between them.
Oh yes! We saw the preview last night and now that you mentioned it, there are similarities here and there.
Yeah! I mean obviously she’s still her own person but it helped shaped my interpretation of Celia.
How does it feel like reuniting with Noah Centineo after so long?
Oh it was so fun to see him! I was so happy to see that he was still so lovely, wonderful and such a joy to work. Not only in his personality but he’s so talented so he made it such a fun work experience. I think the chemistry between Celia and Brooks was so good because we knew each other before and had a little bit of history— it was really nice.
That history between you two must’ve really helped form the chemistry between your characters.
I think so! For Noah and I, and for Brooks and Celia, having any sort of familiarity and having that friendship bond cemented really helped that partnership you see in the movie. But I have no doubt even if we didn’t already know each other, we still would’ve been able to make it amazing.
were there any memorable moments during filming?
Aw man, this didn’t happen while we were filming but Odiseas, Cami, Noah and I, after a wrap party, decided to sneak into our production office at like one in the morning because we were convinced it was haunted. So that was a little bit of a crazy night! Luckily no one got attacked by a ghost or anything but we ended our night with all of us in Noah’s room, watching old episodes of ‘Austin and Ally’ so that was a really really fun night.
Catch Laura Marano alongside Noah Centineo in The Perfect Date. Now streaming on Netflix.