The 22-year-old star of Netflix's teen rom-com hit, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, has been breaking hearts as lacrosse jock Peter Kavinsky ("literally 15 million hearts," if you ask Lana Condor) ever since the movie debuted two weeks ago. So much so that he's been dubbed the unofficial new king of teen romantic comedies and the internet's boyfriend. But don't think all the adoration is getting to Centineo's head.
"I'm kinda just hanging out," Centineo told ET's Courtney Tezeno in our Burbank studio on Wednesday, adorably downplaying his newfound heartthrob status. "Not much has changed, not yet. I hope not a lot does change."
Centineo, who next stars in Netflix's other high school rom-com Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, is well aware that the spotlight on him will only increase as time goes on, but he's hopeful that he'll maintain a clear head through it all.
"I'll say the same thing I've kind of said before in anticipation, the outer world is going to change for sure, whether that's more people knowing who I am or the jobs coming in, but I want my inner space to stay the same," Centineo said. "That's really important to me."
With the added attention coming his way, Centineo admits he's been bombarded on social media. And sorry fans, he says he's trying to keep some distance from the avalanche of private messages and DMs he's been receiving.
"For the most part, I don't even look at it," he said, sharing that he's started using his platform to engage "with people I've looked up to for years," like artist Quinn XCII. "That's been really, really cool [to] talk to people I've looked up to."
With Sierra Burgess about to hit Netflix and a few other rom-coms coming down the pike (he stars in The Stand-In opposite Riverdale's Camila Mendes), Centineo has the romantic comedy genre on lock, but he's totally down to do something completely different, like play a villain.
"I'd like to turn around and do something else. I think there's really healthy ways to segue into different roles and different genres," Centineo said, even hinting that he's open to cutting off his signature locks if a part called for it. "I'm not completely opposed to shaving my head and doing something crazy."
In Sierra Burgess, Centineo plays Jamey, a charmingly awkward, adorably goofy high school quarterback, who texts the wrong number and begins a text-based relationship with the wrong girl (Shannon Purser). While Peter Kavinsky was much cooler and suave, Centineo says he's "more Jamey."
"If I'm in an environment or circumstance that calls for, like, a Peter, like ego-aggressive mentality to come out, then sure. But in my day to day, most of the time, I stick to Jamey," he explained. "[He's] definitely goofy. He's got his dope friends and they're super conscious. I like him."
Centineo also dished on the To All the Boys lock-screen photo of him and Condor that had fans in a tizzy after director Susan Johnson revealed it was actually a behind-the-scenes snap of the actors napping between takes.
"Because we love each other! Duhhh!" he said with a laugh. "I was pretty sure that was in the middle of night shoots and it's not uncommon for all of us to cuddle with each other. Like Israel [Broussard, who played Josh,] and I cuddled together. It's not uncommon. I was just laying there because I sleep a lot. If I've got five minutes, I'm out. And I think one of those times, Lana was just like, 'I'm going to sleep with you!' And I was like, 'All right, cool,' and she cuddled in."