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Noah Centineo: The Boy Next Door Is Growing Up

In 2018, 22-year-old Noah Centineo starred in two young adult rom-coms—To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser—released successively on Netflix. Seemingly overnight, he was dubbed “the internet’s boyfriend.” Four years later, he enters blockbuster territory as the superhero—sorry, “metahuman”—Atom Smasher in Black Adam. “Pierce Brosnan is to the right, The Rock is to the left,” he marvels. “I’m getting a master class.”

BORN IN Boca Raton, Florida, the aspiring drummer tagged along with his sister to a modeling go-see. There, he was discovered. “I was eight. Twist my arm, I’ll be famous.”

Tank top by Calvin Klein; jumpsuit by Prada; necklace and ring by David Yurman.PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK RILEY BENTHAM; styled by Olivia Weeden.

AFTER A MOVE to Park City, Utah, at 13, his mother rented an apartment in Los Angeles and let Noah give pilot season a go. A month of rejections later, she made him choose: Keep going or quit. He kept going. “I couldn’t do it again, though. Rejection is so much harder to deal with than it was at 15.”

ONCE HE GOT his license, it was game over. “I dropped out of high school. It was just couch surfing in the Valley with these lost boys and girls whose parents aren’t there but are paying their rent.” Before too long, he landed something big: Freeform’s The Fosters.

AFTER To All the Boys, his sudden fame was overwhelming. “I got mobbed by a small army of fans. I came inside and I rolled a cigarette—at this point I was still smoking—and I realized that I wasn’t allowed to just go and smoke anymore. And the panic hit me.”

FOR SOMEONE who loved dressing up as a superhero as a kid, making Black Adam was a big-budget dream. “Dwayne [Johnson] is 99 percent more present than most people. They say don’t meet your idols—not true with Dwayne.”

Clothing by Dior Men; watch by Cartier.PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK RILEY BENTHAM; styled by Olivia Weeden.

UP NEXT, he developed and stars in a Netflix drama inspired by Vanity Fair contributor Adam Ciralsky’s time in the CIA. “I know I can work like a workhorse, but now what do I want to create?”

HIS DREAM DINNER PARTY includes Gandhi, Miguel de Cervantes, Joan of Arc, and Shakespeare. “Did you know that Cervantes and Shakespeare died a day apart, same year? I think they were friends. Imagine they were like, you know, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon!”

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