Noah Centineo has emerged as one of the most exciting young actors in Hollywood. His hard work, perseverance, and ability to connect with viewers has landed him coveted roles on The Fosters, Austin & Ally, Shake It Up!, and #TheAssignment. He’ll next be seen as one of the fresh faces joining the addictive series, T@gged. Not only is he incredibly talented, he’s well-spoken, thoughtful, and has a terrific outlook on life. We were lucky enough to chat with Noah about his character, what excited him about the project, and how he’s overcomes obstacles.
P-C: What drew you to this project?
Noah: I knew it was being done by AwesomesnessTV through go90. For some reason, that whole spectrum of entertainment and media is something that I always question whether the content is up to the standards of network television or if it’s as groundbreaking as HBO or Showtime. I’m always hesitant when I look at those projects, but with this one, when I read the scenes, I was like ‘Whoa, this looks sick’. Also, Lia is a friend of mine, so I thought being able to work with her would be really dope. During the cast reads, I got to meet Hannah, the director, who is absolutely incredible. The energy that she gave me in the room, the direction when Lia and I were working on our chemistry…I realized that there was something special about this one and I think that I was 100% right. I was so psyched to be able to work on a project like this because it really pushes the boundaries of what Awesomeness has been doing over the past nine years. It’s funny…I knew Awesomeness way back. I had a buddy that was doing a lot of segments with them and even sat down to have a meeting to write with them, and their evolution and transformation has been incredible. I’m just really, really psyched and honored to be part of something that’s so groundbreaking, not just for the network, but also for the world, because I don’t think anyone has seen something like T@gged, ever.
P-C: Were you familiar with the series before you auditioned?
Noah: No, I wasn’t, but as soon as I found out that I was going to read for it, I definitely did my homework and I watched all the episodes and that actually got me even more psyched to go in and hopefully book it.
P-C: Can you tell us a little bit about the character you play and what his role is in the overall story?
Noah: Without giving you all the dirty little details, Hawk at first look, I would say, is an introvert. He’s very thoughtful. He comes off as a bit standoffish, but really, if you get to know the guy, he’s very compassionate and caring. He doesn’t put up with a lot of excuses and he’s kind of like a tough love individual. Both of his parents are conservationists—you’ll find out—so that has deeply rooted in him a desire to take care of the world and the people that inhabit it. He’s a very conscious individual. He’s very aware. He’s a tutor at the school and that’s how he and Lia’s character, Hailey, meet. The story unfolds from there. It’s beautiful.
P-C: You said you knew Lia beforehand. What was it like coming on to a set with a cast that’s already filmed a season together? Was there any cast initiation? How did you build that bond with them?
Noah: It was incredibly easy. Knowing Lia was great because we got to work together in a professional environment. I actually met Lucas and Braeden on a flight at 6:30 in the morning from LA to New Mexico and we hit it off immediately. We got there and we were like, ‘Man, it’s early’. From that point on, we bonded. When we got to New Mexico, there was such an energy out there. I’ve never been able to shoot there before and it felt like one big family. I’m not sure if you’ve interviewed anyone else, but I’m sure if you did, they would probably say that it’s like summer camp. We get to go out to a new location with insanely beautiful energy, beautiful surroundings, a gorgeous environment, and we get to be with really, really genuinely amazing people and have a great time on and off-set. It really didn’t feel like I was stepping into a show that I wasn’t already a part of, which I’m kind of used to. The other show I’m doing, The Fosters, I joined halfway through the third season and that was not easy, but I think I’ve always been able to kind of read people’s energy around me and work my way and find my place and where I need to be with them in their lives. With T@gged, that wasn’t even a concern, it was just a smooth sail the whole time.
P-C: The show tackles the dangers of social media and what you share online. Were you more cautious about what you post after you finished filming?
Noah: No, I don’t really govern my posts, to be completely honest with you. Nothing that I post is ever belittling. I don’t like to bully people; I’ve never been one for bullying. Whenever I saw bullying, I would always stand up or try to subdue the situation as best as I can.
P-C: What are you most excited for fans to see with T@gged?
Noah: With T@gged…you’re asking me a question where I’ve got to pick out one thing out of 100 things! The final episode of T@gged—I may be a bit selfish with this answer because I could say other people’s moments that are super dope, but I’ll just let them say it instead of myself, so I’ll speak to what I know: one of the last scenes I’m in, later in Season 2…it was a scene that when I read it, I immediately thanked Hannah for giving me the opportunity to play a role that I’ve never played before. It’s one that I wanted to play for so long in my acting career and I think it really is true to who I am as a person and I relished and enjoyed the fact that she provided me the opportunity to do that. I cannot wait for everyone to see it.
P-C: Great teaser! Of all the characters you’ve played, would you say Hawk is the one you relate to the most?
Noah: Yeah, 1000%. I’m not as introverted as Hawk is, but yeah. We have so many parallels outside…maybe how we treat people when we first meet them. He’s one of those people that doesn’t truly reveal himself; you’ve got to peel his layers and break down his walls and then, he’s probably a lot more like me.
P-C: How do you think brands like go90 and AwesomenessTV have really changed the industry and how we consume media?
Noah: AwesomenessTV has grown and evolved over the past 5+ years. The content that they push out is so varied and what I love most is that it’s not on television; sometimes it is, but for the most part, it is on something that everyone has access to at any time. That’s what the networks are trying to get at. They’re trying to get streams, they’re trying to get downloads of their shows and their content. Awesomeness has been doing that for a while via YouTube. They’re releasing high-quality content on YouTube and that completely shatters all of Hollywood. You had the old Hollywood and now you have the new Hollywood and it’s the new Hollywood that’s taking over. It’s wild! Now everybody wants to be doing it when Awesomeness has been doing it for God knows how long.
P-C: Do you have any other upcoming projects that you can chat about?
Noah: In between shooting The Fosters, I filmed Sierra Burgess is a Loser. It’s being done by Black Label Media and Ian Samuels is directing. I am so excited for the world to see that—it’s a great film. I’m currently shooting The Fosters. I’m on Season 5, Episode 4 right now, about to start 5 in the upcoming days and I’m super excited for this season. Oh yeah, and I’m intending to learn how to teleport!
P-C: When did you realize you wanted to be an actor?
Noah: Oh boy…I was eight-years-old when my sister realized that she wanted to be a model. Do you want the story because I can just say when I was eight and I’ve been doing it for almost 13 years? I can give you the story, but I talk a lot, so…
P-C: No, give us the story!
Noah: My sister realized that she wanted to be a model. I was living in South Florida at the time. John Robert Powers was an agency that helped prepare you to get another agency. A lot of people say that it’s a scam. I’m not going to speak to that, whether it was or it wasn’t, because somehow, it worked out for me…I think I’m the exception. My sister found out that JRP was doing open-call auditions for talent and she begged my parents. Me, being eight years old, I wasn’t interested. I wanted to play professional soccer, I really liked playing drums, and I was into acrobatics, so I wasn’t into it, but they forced me to go with her, because they said, ‘You have to be a supportive brother and that’s what we do as family—support each other’. She 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’. At that point, eight-year-old naïve Noah is like, ‘Wow, they believe in me. Okay, yeah, I’m definitely going to do this’, but really, they were like, ‘That’s a body and we can make money out of it’. I did all the classes that they make you pay for and then, I got an audition and an opportunity to sign with a bigger agency; I think its name was Stellar. I started to work with another one after them—Irene Marie. I started doing commercials and print jobs and I think I’m a baby face in Macy’s catalogue from 2004 or something! It’s ridiculous! From Irene Marie… Funny enough, Irene Marie ended up going out of business. They called us in for a business meeting and when I got there, there was a sign on the door saying ‘out of business’. It’s pretty funny. I just continued down the path and I came out for pilot season one year, didn’t even get a call back on like 40 auditions I went on and then I came back that summer and I ended up booking three out of four jobs. I was with Ausburg Agency at that time and one job was Austin & Ally on Disney Channel, funny enough, turned into a recast; it was a one-liner and turned into like five-liner on the episode, five-liner turned into reoccurring, and I moved out to LA. That was six years ago; I was fifteen. Wow, time flies, but somehow I made it onto a show and then another show and now I’m doing my thing, so how did I start? Because my sister wanted to be a model and I was dragged along to support her!
P-C: So you own your success to your sister.
Noah: I give it to her. She gets really tense when I tell the story, but I give it to her.
P-C: What kept you going? You said you went out for 40 roles and didn’t get any of them. What kept you motivated to keep going?
Noah: My father and my mother really instilled in me this mantra, if you will, that failing is not a bad thing. Failing is a lesson to be learned; you cannot fail. The word ‘failure’ shoots fear into people and that is not what failure is supposed to do. The connotation of the word ‘failure’ should not be negative. It should be ‘lesson’ because you learn from what happened. From a very young age, I was been blessed with an incredible set of parents, and at 17, I guess, I came up with this mantra: ‘Life without failure is a blank canvas and people don’t like looking at blank canvases’. People want to look at colors, they want to look at the abstract design, and movement, contour, all of that stuff, but you can’t get any of that without failure, in my opinion. What kept me going is every time they said, ‘no’, I was like, ‘That’s fine. What can I do better?’. I had never worked on a show, I had never worked in LA before. Little Noah walks into a room nervous as sh*t—it makes sense they’re not going to book you. But then, after the 41st, you’re not shaking as much. It’s also about time—good timing for good projects.
P-C: Great answer!
Pop-Culturalist Speed Round
P-C: Guilty pleasure TV show?
Noah: This is Us! My God, I finished it and like…it’s so good!
P-C: Guilty pleasure movie?
Noah: Yes, Love by Gaspar Noe. If you’re under the age of 15, do not watch that! Or do…nah…ask your parents first for permission to watch that movie!
P-C: Favorite book?
Noah: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
P-C: A band or artist that fans would be surprised to learn is on your playlist?
Noah: Let me look…I have access to it right now…Curtis Mayfield.
P-C: Favorite play or musical?
Noah: Hand to God
P-C: Favorite social media platform?
P-C: That’s the best answer I’ve ever heard! A hidden talent?
Noah: I’m really good at hiking barefoot and sitting on top of mountains for a long time.