Meet the actor playing LA High School’s new heartthrob Marco in The Kissing Booth 2.

Taylor Zakhar Perez
Taylor Zakhar Perez

It’s finally summer and the kissing booth is back open for business! After a hilarious and romantic first film, we are thrown back into the world of high-school student Elle Evans (Joey King) and everyone’s best friend Lee Flynn (Joel Courtney) for another wild adventure. Picking up where the last film left off, Elle and Noah (Jacob Elordi) struggle to maintain their new romance in a long-distance relationship.

With Noah adjusting to life as a Harvard college student, Elle completes her senior year but not without distractions. Enter artistic new kid on the block Marco. Played by Los Angeles native and newcomer Taylor Zakhar Perez, Marco becomes the centre of attention at LA High School as Elle and Lee try to rope him in for this year’s kissing booth. We caught up with Taylor talking the new film, working in South Africa and what’s next for the actor.

Check out the interview below…

Taylor Zakhar Perez
Taylor Zakhar Perez

Hey Taylor! How are you, how has lockdown been?
Heyo! I’m as OK as anyone can be given the circumstances. But I have been trying to make the best of it. Lockdown has been an experience to say the least, but it has allowed me to get closer with family members again and spend more time reading and writing.

Congratulation on your role in The Kissing Booth 2! How did that come about?
Thank you so much! Oh man, the audition process started January and ended around April of 2019…it all felt like an eternity! Vince (director), Gary & Kamala (casting) had me bring in scenes, dance choreo, and 16 bars of song to the sessions. I think I read with them four to five times before having a chem read with Joey.

What was the best part about working on the film? 
Wow… Outside of the amazing cast and crew we worked within South Africa, I’d say all the musical elements. I was so supported from beginning to end while practising the performance aspects of the film that it helped me grow as a creative and knock down any wall in my mind that was previously there. You kind of become this machine that thrives on challenges.

How would you describe your character Marco’s relationship with Elle?
You’ll have to wait and watch! Just kidding. It all starts when a video of Marco is leaked working out shirtless and sweaty and Elle is caught over the intercom giving a raunchy commentary, which leads us to an embarrassing moment that ultimately creates this competitive and playful nature between them. As the movie progresses, they become friends, partners, and each other’s support. I won’t lie, if you’ve seen KB1 your allegiance may shift by the end of the film.

What can the audience expect from The Kissing Booth 2?
The audience can expect a rollercoaster of emotions…some may include fun and excitement, heartbreak, high school flashbacks, butterflies in your stomach, maybe a little tearing up…it’ll take you all over the place in the best way.

You started your acting career performing musical theatre in opera houses, what made you switch from the stage to the screen?
Not to speak for all actors, but I feel like it’s the natural progression for us. We see people on TV, want to be like them, but the closest reality to that is in the local theatres and opera houses. I always knew I wanted to be on a big stage or a big screen, so I kept that goal in mind and headed west.

Growing up, what made you want to pursue a career in acting?
I have a lot of siblings, so it was kind of a variety show every day of the week. Not seeking out attention, but more so having a blast together and playing our instruments. My sister was involved in the theatre before me, we went to all her shows, so that was kind of my push.My parents introduced us to Saturday Night Live and the films Lorne produced at a YOUNG age, so a lot of my comedy and humor comes from Chris Farley, David Spade, Horatio Sanz, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Chris Rock, etc. My family speaks in movie and skit quotes.

What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
Since you’re asking me to, I will gladly write my destiny…I’m vibing a project that’s equal parts comedy and high-octane action thriller, so holler at your boy. As for what I am most excited for, I would say looking forward to the day when it’s safe to travel and see my parents and seven siblings in the same place, I miss all of them and it’s not like us to go this long without seeing each other. But I guess the silver lining is that I’ll be streaming on their Netflix accounts and virtually in their living rooms on July 24th , so we can share that experience together from afar.

The Kissing Booth is now available to stream on Netflix.

Doug Inglish
Maria Zakhar
Brandy Moreno

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