Taylor Zakhar Perez is reacting to his co-star Jacob Elordi describing the Kissing Booth films as “ridiculous.”
Speaking to Variety at the GQ Men of the Year party at Bar Marmont in West Hollywood, California, the 31-year-old actor said it’s “a shame” that Elordi felt that way about appearing in the three popular Netflix romcoms, which also stars Joey King. The films are based on Beth Reekles’ novel of the same name.
Elordi starred in all three films as Noah Flynn, who ultimately ends up with Elle, played by King. Perez joined the series for the two sequels, portraying Marco Valentin Peña, a new transfer whom Elordi and King’s characters are trying to recruit to be part of the kissing booth.
But in a recent interview with GQ, the 26-year-old Australian actor, who portrays Elvis Presley in the Sofia Coppola-directed biopic Priscilla, slammed the Kissing Booth movies as “ridiculous” while also admitting that they made him feel “dead inside.” He also told the magazine that he never intended to be part of the films.
“I didn’t want to make those movies before I made those movies,” Elordi said. “Those movies are ridiculous. They’re not universal. They’re an escape.”
Perez, however, had a different take.
“I thought it was a shame because to my knowledge, everybody else had such a wonderful experience,” he told Variety.
“It’s a shame that was his experience on the set. Especially when those movies came out, it was a time when we really needed something like that,” Perez added, in reference to the pandemic. “I know from our fan interactions, getting stopped everywhere I go, what Kissing Booth means to people and what it brought them during such a dark time. I guess the silver lining is he still made people laugh and feel good.”
For what it’s worth, Elordi also told Variety at that same party that he hasn’t heard directly from anyone from the cast about his Kissing Booth comments to GQ, adding he’s “incredibly grateful to everybody in it.”
In any event, Perez opened up about another romcom. He gushed over the response from fans for his gay romcom Red, White & Royal Blue film, an adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s 2019 novel of the same name. The enemies-to-lovers tale follows Alex Claremont-Diaz (Perez), the son of the first female U.S. president (Uma Thurman), amid his developing relationship with Britain’s Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine).
Perez spoke to ET’s Denny Directo on the red carpet at the GQ Men of the Year party about watching the fans’ reaction to the film on social media, which was especially difficult for him given actors couldn’t talk about any projects amid the since-settled SAG-AFTRA strike.
“It was insane. I went to fashion week in September and it was nonstop,” he shared. “People waiting outside our hotel. Everybody had their books. I was like, ‘This is amazing.’ I loved how much fans loved the film, and how much they loved the book.”