Noah Centineo Almost Missed Out on Being Sierra Burgess Is a Loser’s Lead

Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. Photo: Netflix

Noah Centineo, internet crush of the summer, with two back-to-back romantic comedies: The star of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has an even newer Netflix rom-com, out this week. In Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, co-starring Shannon Purser, Centineo plays Jamey, an earnest-but-uncool football player with a crush. Jamey texts Sierra’s number thinking she’s popular cheerleader Veronica (Kristine Froseth), and instead of correcting him, Sierra kind of … catfishes him. Though Centineo is charming as Jamey, he originally read for a much smaller role: “Noah originally came in as a supporting role,” Sierra Burgess director Ian Samuels told Vulture. “And we just loved him so much that we had him come back in and read for Jamey. I think [the original role] was Veronica’s boyfriend.”

Samuels said he liked Centineo from the first audition, and that his chemistry with Purser felt especially palpable. “The thing that’s special about Noah that’s going to probably make a lot of girls excited is that he’s the same person onscreen as he is in person offscreen,” he said. But does Samuels see those Mark Ruffalo comparisons? “I said that to the casting director when he came in. It’s similar to Mark: Something just feels very real about him, and approachable, but also he’s very charming and funny. He has all those sides, and he’s a little rough around the edges in a good way. He’s not your typical blond, clean-cut, stereotypical male lead in a teen movie.”

Noah Centineo Almost Had a Smaller Part in Sierra Burgess