Lana Condor is opening up about how she developed her steamy onscreen chemistry with costar Noah Centineo for their hit Netflix film To All the Boys I've Loved Before

By Alexia Fernandez
August 23, 2018 10:30 PM
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Lana Condor is opening up about how she developed her steamy chemistry with costar Noah Centineo for their hit Netflix film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

The actress, 21, revealed how the two bonded in order to make their onscreen romance believable, saying the experience wasn’t awkward at all.

“I think it could have been but we clicked instantly and we had a lot of chemistry from day one,” she said during an appearance on People NOW. “Actually he tried to approach me during pre-reads. He was like, ‘You wanna read lines with me?’ And I said, ‘No.’ “

Despite saying no, Condor said the two quickly became friends. Some of their bonding experiences helped them during one particular scene in which their characters, Lara Jean and Peter, kiss in a hot tub.

“We actually have really wonderful chemistry and we spent so much time with each other out of work,” Condor said. “We went to the hot tub all the time in our apartments and stuff. The transition was super easy to bring to the camera. I’m so blessed to have worked with him — he’s an awesome guy.”

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Courtesy of Netflix

The film also stars former Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parrish, who Condor also developed a deep connection with.

“We talk all the time, we’re constantly texting, we call each other sister — she’s amazing,” the actress said.

Condor added, “She is such a professional and she’s been doing this for so long I feel like she’s taken me under her wing and given me advice as a new actress.”

Jenny Han, the author of the book, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue she had to fight for an Asian American actor to play her heroine.

“I really didn’t get to see myself in the stories,” Han, 37, says.

“For me, [writing] To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was a chance to make a new modern-day classic,” Han says about creating Lara Jean, who is half Korean and half white. “Take Anne of Green Gables, where you have a character who is bright and optimistic and spunky and all those things we love in a classic, young heroine. [You] put her in the now, and write [a character] readers can really relate to and fall in love with in the same way that I did, but bring that fresh perspective to it.”

Noah Centineo and Lana Candor
Netflix

Han tells PEOPLE she turned down initial film offers because some studios wanted Lara Jean to be played by a white actress.

“It was a difficult position,” Han explains. “You have to say no again and again.”

Eventually, Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment, picked up the film rights and later partnered with Awesomeness Films.

“At that point, it was great because we all had the same vision for it,” she says, “and the fact that the lead was Asian American wasn’t seen as a liability. It was something they were excited about.”

Han explains that her biggest hope is that more people of color will get starring roles.

“I just hope that if movies like mine and Crazy Rich Asians do well, we’ll see more getting made,” Han says. “That means more points of view and more stories told.”