We're Watching You, Noah Centineo

What's next for the internet's favorite young actor?

Noah Centineo To All The Boys
Netflix

If you watched the Netflix teen rom-coms To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, then Noah Centineo has probably won you over with his undeniable charms. Having played a sweet-natured hunk and love interest to social outcasts in both of those movies, he’s quickly established himself as the streaming service’s go-to hunk with a heart of gold. Even I find myself feeling smitten by his smile and the characters he plays. I am not his target audience by any means.

But Centineo is so much more than “guy candy.” Quit objectifying him, internet (except for you, Kiernan Shipka, that’s adorable). Just because he’s making a name for himself playing dreamboats doesn’t mean he doesn’t possess other qualities. When I look at Centineo, I see an actor with an abundance of charisma and a commanding screen presence. A talent with unlimited potential and the world at his feet. It’s only a matter of time before he conquers the universe.

At 22 years old, Centineo is unlikely to play heartthrobs in teen movies forever. While I’m not opposed to that idea, I’d still love to see him branch out and blossom into the actor I see him becoming in my imagination. But we’ll get to my realistic dreams later. Until then, let’s start with the projects he currently has in the works.

Red Dots

Swiped

Anne Deborah Fishman might not be a household name yet, but her decision to cast Centineo as a lead in her second feature-length film is definitely a step in the right direction. Swiped centers around a group of nerds who build a hook-up app that contains unexpected consequences for people that use it. What those consequences are, I do not know. However, the trailer reminds me of The Social Network but for the Tinder generation. This one could be interesting.

The Stand-In

Centineo’s star is rising thanks to rom-coms. He’s a natural for these types of fluffy films. But his upcoming projects also indicate that he’s drawn to roles where characters are involved in dating app schemes. In this forthcoming comedy, he plays a dude who creates an app so that he can offer fake boyfriend services to those in need. That is until he falls for the girl of his dreams and becomes conflicted anyway…

The Diary

This one is a period piece about a man who travels to another continent to be reunited with his love. What makes The Diary an intriguing project, though, is the fact that it’s directed by Jackie Chan and co-stars Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs). Centineo is no stranger to romantic tales, but The Diary does sound like a departure from the fluffy comedies he’s known for. Hopefully Chan finds a way to incorporate some action, too. I’d love to see Centineo roundhouse kick someone.

Good Trouble

If you’ve been following Centineo’s career for a while, then you’re probably familiar with The Fosters. In that show, he plays a character called Jesus, who is a son and brother in the titular family. In the upcoming spinoff called Good Trouble, which revolves around the kids as they enter the big bad world on their own, Centineo will reprise the character. His involvement appears to be limited to guest star status, but that’s better than nothing.

P.S. I Still Love You

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before stole our collective hearts, so Netflix would be dumb not to make a sequel. Fortunately, Jenny Han’s YA novel series has already provided them with the source material to mine from. P.S. I Still Love You isn’t confirmed yet, but the stars want it to happen and so do the legions of fans. You know it’s going to happen, right?

Noah Centineo

What We’d Like to See Down the Line

Right now Centineo is on top of the world and making the internet swoon. He’s a natural for the teen fare he’s currently synonymous with, but he’s still young and has a long career ahead of him. Eventually, he’s going to mature and pursue more grown-up roles. Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe, Zac Efron all abandoned their teen idol roots after a while. I see this young stud embarking on a similar career journey.

Now I’m not Centineo’s agent, so chances are he won’t turn to this article for his long-term plan. However, I do have some ideas that he’d be perfect for and I’m sure most of you will agree that he’d knock each of them out of the park.

1. Get Sporty

In both of those aforementioned Netflix rom-coms, our guy is good at sports. Neither movie explores this aspect of his life in great detail, but he’s clearly athletic. When you couple this athleticism with his dramatic chops, a small town-set high school football movie is an avenue worth considering. Think about it: Centineo could play a quarterback for an underdog team. The team is constantly under the watchful eye of an entire town. He’s under pressure to deliver on the field, but he wants more from life. He also has problems off the field because he’s undergoing a coming-of-age crisis. Basically, this would be a Varsity Blues redux. But just imagine Centineo delivering dramatic monologues and throwing winning touchdown passes as an emotional post-rock score plays? You know it makes sense.

2. R-rated Comedy

Having already established himself in sweet teen comedies, the next natural step is a naughtier comedy. Now I’m not talking about something smutty here so get your minds out of the damn gutter. I’m thinking more along the lines of edgier laugh-fests where he gets to drop a few f-bombs, have a weird experience with drugs, and get caught up in some hilarious mishaps. Maybe he could co-star alongside Seth Rogen or John Cena? Or how about a buddy action-comedy where he teams up with Russell Crowe or Ice Cube for shakedowns? The possibilities are endless.

3. Become a Superhero

When I look at Centineo, I see a young Mark Ruffalo. When I think about Mark Ruffalo, my mind goes straight to Hulk. With Disney’s upcoming streaming service set to take over, I suspect they’ll be looking to produce lots of original content. Well, how about finally giving the go-ahead to that proposed Hulk TV series that was discussed a few years ago? Centineo would be a great Bruce Banner. At the same time, there’s no shortage of superhero projects in the works at the moment. With the DC streaming service and Sony’s ever-expanding Spider-Man spinoff universe currently ongoing, there will be lots of roles available in need of an exciting lead star.

4. Grow a Beard and Rob Some Banks

There’s no denying that one of Centineo’s biggest strengths is his innate likeability. He seems like a really nice guy and people gravitate towards that. But who wants to play a goody-two-shoes forever? One day he’s going to wake up sporting a five o’clock shadow and have an epiphany. He’ll look in the mirror and say, “It’s time to turn up the motherfucking volume.” When that day comes, he should consider playing a no-good banker robber out for a big score because he has nothing to lose. The beard will accentuate this new career mindset and showcase an edgier side to the young actor. This movie should be directed by David Ayer or the Safdie brothers.

5. Embrace the Darkness

At the end of the day, the best way to shake off that boy next door image is to turn to the dark side. Zac Efron knows what I’m talking about. Someday Centineo’s beautiful smile should be a front for a character that’s pure evil. Some of the worst serial killers in history portrayed themselves as charmers, so that’s definitely the type of role he could sink his teeth into. If he really wants to embrace the darkness, however, maybe he could play the Devil or a corrupt politician? Evil comes in various forms and so do juicy acting parts. All I know is that there’s a fictional monster in Centineo that needs to roar at some point. When that day comes, Peter Kavinsky will be nothing more than a foggy memory of the boy you loved before.

"Kieran is like a steady flame that refuses to waver in the breeze, eternally burning and guiding us to a better world." - Ian West