Kissing Booth 2 star Taylor Zakhar Perez is doing nothing to quell the film's fans' hopes that he's moving into more-than-friends territory with his co-star Joey King. The 28-year-old actor appeared on Barstool Sports' Chicks in the Office podcast on Monday and said he was very much into the possibility of dating 21-year-old King.
Dating rumors surrounding the two ramped up earlier this month when they went on a picturesque getaway together with a group. Perez Instagrammed photos of the vacation, which included cozy pics of them in their pajamas and swimming under a waterfall together. He also left a flirty comment on a bikini photo she recently Instagrammed in honor of her birthday. During the podcast on Monday, Perez said the two of them were "quarantine buddies."
"I would see her all the time because we lived five minutes away from each other, just happenstance," he said. "We know what our relationship is, like, we love each other dearly."
He acknowledged he wasn't blind to the dating rumors.
"It's been interesting how everyone is trying to make something out of it, but it's fine," he said. "It's like, hey, I would love to be dating Joey King. Like, she's dope."
"I'm a huge fan of dating your friend, someone that you know and you trust, because that's where it all starts, right? That trust," he continued. "For me ... non-sexual intimacy is so much more important to me, first."
Perez noted that he was much more of a relationship type of guy as opposed to being up for a fling.
"I'm all about an ROI, what's your return on investment?" he explained. "If I'm investing this much time into this person that I'm gonna start dating, I want make sure this is not just gonna be just, like, a three-month thing. I always feel like I'm more into long-term goal-wise when it comes to work and relationships and just, everything. Life's short ... you want to spend it with the best people. I'm so much more turned on by emotional intimacy than sexual intimacy, just at first. Like, I love that."
"We just kind of hit it off," he shared. "When we were in South Africa, we had dinner together. I cooked for her, she cooked for me. We just became kind of like the best of friends. When we got back to Los Angeles we just kept hanging out. We live really near each other. And then the quarantine hit and we kinda just needed someone to trust during that time, like, 'OK, I know you’re not going out. I know who you’re seeing.' So we just became really close."
"In this world, everyone wants to know your business and what you're doing," King said. "And I think it's very interesting when you go through things and people kind of feel like they're owed an explanation, but I understand."
"For me, I've publicly gone through some things, privately gone through some things, it's all about finding your balance, finding what makes you comfortable," she continued. "And it can be brutal, but you know happy endings do come to those who are patient."
As for 23-year-old Elordi -- who is now rumored to be dating his Euphoria co-star Zendaya -- he said it initially "bothered" him that people would pay so much attention to his dating life.
"Just even the fact that somebody you don't know knows your name could be quite disembodying," he shared. "But then eventually, for me personally, it's got nothing to do with me, you know. Imagine the store around the corner from where you are now. Whatever people are talking about is not your business, it's kind of how it feels. Unfortunately, it just has my name involved in it, but it literally has nothing to do with me. It just doesn't affect the trajectory of my life. So I just kind of ignore it."