Netflix star and 'America's boyfriend' Noah Centineo was 'discovered' by accident

Actor Noah Centineo
Michael Tran | FilmMagic

Noah Centineo is having quite the month.

The 22-year-old actor has the face that launched a thousand fawning headlines dubbing him "the Internet's boyfriend" following his starring turn in the popular Netflix teen rom-com "To All the Boys I've Loved Before." Released on August 17, the movie features Centineo as the charmingly sensitive Peter Kavinsky, the popular high school lacrosse player who manages to win over the film's female lead, played by actress Lana Condor, along with the hearts of countless Netflix subscribers.

To call the movie a breakout moment for Centineo is an understatement. His star has risen so rapidly that he told Seventeen magazine his Instagram account added millions of followers in just a few days after the Netflix movie began streaming. Less than a month has passed and the young actor now boasts 8.7 million Instagram followers, and counting.

But America's latest crush might never have been known to millions of adoring fans were it not for the somewhat accidental start to his acting career that came 14 years ago.

When Centineo was only 8 years old, the future heartthrob tagged along with his older sister (Taylor, then 13) to an open call audition for the talent agency John Robert Powers in West Palm Beach, Florida. At the time, Noah was not interested in pursuing acting. He would have preferred a career as a professional soccer player or a drummer, he told the website Pop-Culturalist in a 2017 interview.

"[Taylor] dragged me to this audition and I'm sitting there and someone comes over to me and they're like, 'Hey, are you auditioning?' and I was like, 'No!' and they were like, 'Come on, you should audition' and I was like, 'No, I don't want to' and they said, 'No, I really think that you have potential, you should audition,'" Centineo said in the 2017 interview.

The younger Centineo did eventually agree to audition and he ended up signing with the talent agency. After taking some acting classes, he went on to sign with a series of larger talent agencies while booking work as a child model for outlets like the Macy's catalogue, he says.

From there, Centineo started auditioning for television and movie roles. At 13, he landed a part in the 2009 Steve Guttenberg comedy "The Gold Retrievers."

When he was 15, Centineo snagged a recurring role on the Disney Channel series "Austin & Ally" — a job that required him to leave Miami and move to Los Angeles full time. That meant convincing his parents to uproot the family and move to Hollywood so that Centineo could seriously pursue his acting career, he told The Los Angeles Times in August.

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"I told them: 'This is what I want to do. If you move me out, I swear I will make it,'" Centineo told his parents at the time.

After moving to Los Angeles, Centineo says he soon had his first brush with fame when a pair of young fans recognized him from the Disney Channel show while he was at the movies with his mother. The teen girls asked him to pose for pictures while his mom "was kind of just standing there beaming," he told BuzzFeed.

Centineo continued landing TV roles throughout his teens, eventually winning a recurring spot on "The Fosters," a teen drama that aired on Disney's Freeform channel for five seasons before wrapping up in June — just in time for Centineo's movie career took off.

Now, the buzz around Centineo could kick into an even higher gear, with yet another teen rom-com starring the actor now streaming on Netflix. Debuting on the streaming service on Friday, "Sierra Burgess Is a Loser" is a modern retelling of the classic play "Cyrano de Bergerac." Centineo again stars as a high schooler who is the object of affection for the film's lead.

Centineo also has a few more movie roles in films yet to be released, according to IMDB, including a starring role in — you guessed it — another romantic comedy. "The Stand-In," also featuring "Riverdale" star Camila Mendes, is scheduled for release before the end of 2018.

More roles are likely on the horizon for a young star like Centineo, who has experienced such a rapid surge in popularity that it can sometimes leave him taken aback. In an interview on NBC's "Today," Centineo described the "terrifying" sight of witnessing fans stop their cars and jump out in the middle of traffic just to seek a photo with him.

Still, Centineo manages to be relatively nonchalant when describing his rise to fame: "Somehow I made it onto a show and then another show and now I'm doing my thing," he says. "So, how did I start? Because my sister wanted to be a model and I was dragged along to support her!"

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