Lana Condor Says She's 'So Grateful' for Noah Centineo (Exclusive)

Lana Condor is getting ready to say goodbye to Lara Jean. ET’s Katie Krause recently spoke to the 23-year-old actress about the third flick in the To All the Boys franchise and the “proper ending” it provides.

“We ended on a really, really good note,” she teases. “I’m forever grateful for the character and I’m really excited for people to see the third movie because I think the third one is my favorite movie out of the three.”

According to Condor, the third film is more about personal growth and less about Lara Jean’s romantic life, which was complicated in the second flick with the entrance of John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher), who fought to steal Lara Jean’s affections from Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo).

“I think we’ve watched Lara Jean and myself grow up through these movies and I’m proud of the way that we end with her. I’m hopeful for her future. I see a bright future for her, and I know that she’s gonna go off and occupy her space and do the things that she loves,” Condor says. “Particularly in the third movie you see a lot of personal growth from Lara Jean.”

“Our movies are romantic comedies, so they are a lot about the guys, but I do believe that the third movie is truly about Lara Jean,” she continues. “It’s not about, oh, is she gonna pick a guy and all the love triangles all these things, which are great. But I think we also need to focus on who she is as a young woman and what she’s gonna do with her future. She’s going off to college and everything, so it does feel like a proper ending.”

Since the first film premiered on Netflix back in 2018, Condor and Centineo’s star power has risen. The actress tells ET that she’s “grateful” her co-star has been by her side through it all.

“I talk with Noah all the time and he’s a really good friend of mine. I’ve always felt really grateful for him because, what we went through in the past three years of these movies has really changed both of our lives,” she explains. “It’s such a weird weird life change. It’s nice to have someone who went through it with you, who can relate to the same thing that you’re going through.”

Happy birthday sweet Noah! I had no idea the first time we met, that you’d be such an awesome part of my life. We’ve been thru it all, & should be sick of each other, but yet I still find myself so excited to see you always. I’m so proud of the guy you are and wish I was there to smash a cake in your face. xx @ncentineo

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Though the third installment finished shooting last year, Condor, Centineo and other cast members recently reunited in Canada to do reshoots. While Condor says it was “really great” to get the gang back together again, she lamented being separated from her boyfriend of five years, Anthony De La Torre, who was unable to travel with her due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When I was in Canada, every night we would put our iPads next to our pillows and we fall asleep on FaceTime,” she shares. “I have nightmares, so I’d wake up and be like, ‘Anthony?’ and he’d be like, ‘Yes?’ So we did that.”

Prior to their work-required separation, though, Condor says her relationship only grew stronger in quarantine.

“I feel like I got really, really busy in the past couple of years, and I realized how much sometimes I would neglect our relationship because I was just busy,” she admits. “… So now that we actually have gotten this time to really be able to talk with each other and make up for the days that we didn’t put as much effort as we would like into our relationship, that has been really amazing.”

“I feel like we’ve grown a lot,” Condor continues. “He’s my favorite person in the world. He makes me laugh and there’s no one that I would rather just sit next to. It’s been really good. Obviously there are days where I’m like, ‘You stay downstairs!’ But for the most part, it has been amazing.”

So amazing, in fact, that Condor is itching for a proposal from her longtime beau.

“I literally told him the other day, ‘Listen kid… we’ve been together for five years. We have a house, we have a dog, we have a car, OK? You better put a ring on it,'” she says. “I always say, ‘I’m a hot commodity!’ So hopefully, but we’ll see.”

5 years with the man of my dreams. You are still my most favorite person in the world. You are my best friend. You have taught me how to love and to be loved, to forgive and to grow, to never give up, to be each others teammate and cheerleader. You make me laugh like no other and it doesn’t matter where we are in the world, as long as I’m with you, I’m home. I love you @anthonydltorre happy anniversary. Let’s cuddle. 🐶

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In addition to work and her love life, Condor has been busy using her platform to encourage people to vote in the upcoming election.

“We gotta vote, we gotta educate ourselves and we’ve got to realize that our voice does matter and it does make a change, because I’ve seen great change in the past couple of months,” she says. “There has to has to be a change in our government. It’s so scary and I don’t even want to think about what would happen if it didn’t go the way that I hope.”

I'm so excited to be partnering with @favorednations in the fight against racial injustice and inequality in our country. ⁣⁣To raise money for organizations leading these efforts, Noah and I will be doing a live table read event, along with important messages from activists and artists from the Black community. ⁣⁣Together, let's learn more about systemic racism and how we can create change.⁣⁣ ❤️ Follow @favorednations to get involved,⁣⁣ and go to 𝐟𝐚𝐯𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐝𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬.𝐨𝐫𝐠/𝐢𝐝𝐤 to RSVP (link in bio)

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Condor wants her fans to know that voting is important because “as a human being you matter, your voice matters,” a message she also hopes to bring to her new job as a spokesperson for Neutrogena. 

“I do feel like I was kinda put on this earth to make people feel seen and loved and wanted,” she explains. “I think that’s just the way that my mom raised me, but I just feel the responsibility is one that I am meant to do and I love doing it.”

“All the time young girls will come up to me and tell me how they feel represented and how they feel… similar to past characters that I’ve played. It’s the ultimate honor,” Condor continues. “I feel really grateful and fortunate that I’m even in this position in the first place, to even have even the smallest amount of influence.”

Condor says she considers her new job “the perfect partnership” and “one of the biggest honors” in her career, largely thanks to the brand’s dedication to diversity.

“Being an Asian-American woman, when I was growing up I didn’t often, if ever, see a face that looked like me in mainstream, household name brands,” she says. “… Now the fact that Neutrogena wanted to work with me, and wanted to [have] an Asian-American face to be a part of their brand — that is just so iconic and a staple in so many peoples homes — that meant the world to me.”

I am BEYOND thrilled to finally announce I am the newest face and brand ambassador for @neutrogena !!! I am thrilled to partner with Neutrogena 😍😭. I’ve waited so long to tell you all the news and I couldn’t be more excited to finally share. I have been a true fan of the brand for as long as I’ve known about skincare and it’s truly an honor to be able to work with them! Here we go! #NTGSpokesperson

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While Condor didn’t think “in a million years” that she’d become the face of Neutrogena, she says her hiring, as well as the diversification across media as a whole, makes big honors such as this less “unattainable.”

“If you work really hard and you stick to your guns, you just focus and believe anything is possible and I think this partnership with Neutrogena is a perfect example of that,” she says. “… The scripts that I’m seeing now, the characters that they want me to play, are much more three-dimensional, and I think that is a sign that things are changing and they will continue to do so.”

“We’re all learning to use our voices in an even more powerful way, especially during this time,” Condor continues. “I choose to believe that it will be great in the future. Because I see it.”

Watch the video below to see more of ET’s interview with the actress. 

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