Based on the novels by Jenny Han, the Netflix original romantic dramedy franchise about Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) and her beloved Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) concludes its trilogy with To All the Boys: Always and Forever, with the two preparing for the end of high school as they figure out what comes next. With graduation nearing and Lara Jean faced with figuring out whether she’s truly following her dreams or trying to make others happy, she’ll have to make important decisions that will ultimately change her life.
During a virtual junket to promote the final film in this popular series, co-stars Lana Condor and Noah Centineo spoke to Collider about how playing their character on day one compared to the final day of filming, favorite moments, the sister bond, and the story’s ambiguous ending. Condor also talked about what her Deadly Class character would think of Lara Jean, while Centineo shared his excitement to shoot Black Adam.
Collider: How did playing your character on the first day of the first movie compare to playing her on the last day of this final movie?
LANA CONDOR: Whoa, great question. The first day of the first movie, I believe we were shooting the intro diner scene with Noah [Centineo]. That was my audition scene, so I felt pretty good about it, but I really was still trying to find her voice, and find her little weird quirks and the things that make her Lara Jean. So, I felt confident, but I also have a lot to learn. Also, we didn’t even know people would see the first movie. We very much made it as an independent film and hoped that someone would pick it up and people would see it. Never in our wildest dreams, did we think that it would be received in the way it was. We were just like, we love this movie, we love the script and we love the book, so let’s just make a movie. And then, the last day of shooting the third movie felt a lot different. I had spent hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of time with Lara Jean, so I knew exactly who she was and how she spoke. Lana and Lara Jean start to mesh and I’m like, “Who am I?!” I felt great about that, but also not a day goes by where I’m not like, “How did this happen? I’m in Korea, in a movie that changed my life. How did I get here?” It very much was and still is surreal, for sure.
Image via Netflix
NOAH CENTINEO: I think the first day, the first few takes, everyone was trying to figure out exactly how we wanted to present Peter. By the time that last day came, it was crystal clear and solidified. As the actor, there was definitely a lot more confidence in how to play the role. In general, I think Peter really grows up, by the last day of work, and takes on a lot of his demons, if you will, and a lot of his fears.
Lana, what was the scene in this film that you were most concerned about getting exactly right, and how did it feel to actually shoot that moment?
CONDOR: I actually haven’t seen the final cut of the movie. I’ve seen like parts of the film, but I haven’t seen the final, so I’m hoping it’s probably in the movie, but who knows. It’s very simple, but it was the last shot of the film and I think it’s still that, where it’s just a really close-up shot on Lara Jean’s face, looking out to her future. I wanted to get that right because it was very emotional for me. I was like, “Don’t cry. Do not cry. Anything you do, don’t let emotion come through.” I just wanted to get it right because I just see it as this really beautiful future for Lara Jean. I see her becoming the woman that I know she can, and I just wanted to show optimism and hope and excitement for the new day. I feel that in my personal life. There’s obviously ebbs and flows to everything, and particularly the past year, the collective emotional state of humanity is [an example of that]. I think what’s so important is to believe that greatness is coming and believe that goodness is right in front of you, so I really wanted to get that down. I also didn’t wanna crack. I wanted to be a good actor.
Image via Netflix
Noah, do you have a favorite scene or moment in this third film?
CENTINEO: In the third film, for sure it’s the bakery scene in New York, between Lara Jean and Peter. They really surmount some really intense obstacles together and they fight with each other against the problem, which I think is really cool. I love it. It’s a great turn. You’re expecting one thing and it goes a different way entirely.
You got to have a prom in this film, where you got to dress up and have a big dance party. Is that something that’s fun to shoot, or is it just weird because you don’t really get to have any music and you’re just pretending music’s playing?
CENTINEO: It’s cool. It’s fun. It’s great to see what the production designers and the set designers do and how they completely transform a room and make it super spectacular like they did in this film. There really is usually no music playing. It’s just a dull thumping so that everyone’s in time and not dancing to their own tune. It’s quite an experience. I love doing it.
Image via Netflix
Lana, aside from the obviously dreamy romance between Lara Jean and Peter, one of the things that I love most about this story is the family relationship and specifically these sisters. What is a favorite moment that you shared with Janel Parrish and Anna Cathcart, on this last film?
CONDOR: I love that you said that because her relationship with her sisters and the relationships with all the women in the movie are the reason she is the young woman she becomes. She’s very influenced by the female figures in her life, particularly her sisters, and particularly her older sister. Her mom died at a young age, so Margot raised her. It was really awesome to spend more time with them in this film. I was desperate for that, and I’m happy it worked out. Everything is great when we’re together and every memory is fantastic, but there was definitely one day in Korea. Here’s the truth, the time difference was insane and we were all exhausted, and there was a typhoon. It was so overwhelming. There was one day that we were all just feeling so tired and overwhelmed, and we decided to read the scene of the day, which I believe was the opening scene in the café, as each other’s characters. They all played Lara Jean, and it was so funny to hear and see them act as Lara Jean. They would do all of these little nuances that Lara Jean does, and sometimes I’m aware that she does it and other times I’m not aware. It was so cool to see them talk in the way that she does. That was a really great memory. And also, just me and my sisters, whenever we’re together, we just hold hands, which was really nice. Just everything about those girls is awesome.
Noah, how do you feel about leaving the story in a place where it feels like life continues on for these characters? Have you thought about who he might be five or 10 years after the film ends?
CENTINEO: It could go a multitude of ways. Who knows? He could be a professional lacrosse player. He could be retired. He might take a complete left turn and go into some sort of other career path. I like how ambiguous the ending is. We try not to have a monopoly on any of the characters’ lives. It’s very much what happens, happens. And they’re so young, so who knows.
Image via Netflix
After playing Peter for three films, is he a character that you were sad to say goodbye to? Is he someone that you miss, like a friend?
CENTINEO: Definitely a little bit. I did The Fosters for four and a half years, so I’ve said goodbye to characters before. It’s always such a bittersweet moment.
Lana, you got to play a bad-ass on the Syfy show Deadly Class. What do you think your Deadly Class character would think of Lara Jean?
CONDOR: Oh, my God, she’d hate her. She’d be like, “Things are not all lovey-dovey and rosy. We have people we need to kill.” I don’t think they would get along. They’re so polar opposite. I shot Deadly Class between shooting [the first and second movies], so it was full-on personality whiplash, doing that.
Image via Netflix
Noah, now that these films have finished, how much has being a part of these movies and playing this character changed your life and career?
CENTINEO: Oh, my God, infinitely. It’s night and day. You go from auditioning and trying to get a callback, trying to get a director session, trying to get a chemistry read if you’re fortunate enough to test. You go from having to go through all of these different levels to having scripts just put down on your desk and someone saying, “Hey, do you like this?” It’s night and day. It’s so different. It’s such a blessing. The character’s enriched my life. The universe and all of its voices have enriched my life infinitely. And also, there’s personal security. I get to rub shoulders with professionals that I’m a huge fan of. It’s mind-blowing. And I have a connection to millions of people that feel a connection to me. I get to learn about what they’re interested in, I get to interact with them, and I get to have friends on the street randomly. It’s just wild.
What are you most excited about with Black Adam? Do you feel like you’re up to the challenge of taking on Dwayne Johnson?
CENTINEO: Yeah. He’s a big guy. It’s gonna be very fun. I can’t tell you how excited I am to start shooting that. We’re in preparation now. I’m so excited. I cannot wait to get there.
To All the Boys: Always and Forever is available to stream on Netflix.
‘WandaVision’ Episode 6 Recap: That’s Not How I Remember It
In Season 1 Episode 6, “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!”, the weirdness really gets ramped up.
About The Author
(4715 Articles Published)
Christina Radish is a Senior Reporter at Collider. Having worked at Collider for over a decade (since 2009), her primary focus is on film and television interviews with talent both in front of and behind the camera. She is a theme park fanatic, which has lead to covering various land and ride openings, and a huge music fan, for which she judges life by the time before Pearl Jam and the time after. She is also a member of the Critics Choice Association and the Television Critics Association.
From Christina Radish