“I thought it was a shame because to my knowledge, everybody else had such a wonderful experience,” Perez told me Thursday at the GQ Men of the Year party at Bar Marmont in West Hollywood.
“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,” he said, alluding to the COVID 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.”
Elordi sparked headlines earlier this week by bashing the franchise in his GQ Men of the Year cover story. “I didn’t want to make those movies before I made those movies,” he told the magazine of the “Kissing Booth” trilogy. “Those movies are ridiculous. They’re not universal. They’re an escape.”
In the three Netflix films – released in 2018, 2020 and 2021 and based on Beth Reekles’ novel series of the same name — Elordi played Noah Flynn, the football jock love interest of Joey King‘s Elle Evans.
Directed, co-written and produced by Vince Marcello, the second movie finds Elle as a senior in high school and caught in a love triangle with Noah and the new guy at school (Perez).
The “Priscilla” and “Euphoria” star opined that “The Kissing Both” felt like part of a “trap” some actors fall into in Hollywood. “You have no original ideas and you’re dead inside. So it’s a fine dance,” he told GQ.
While Elordi said he hasn’t heard directly from anyone from the cast about his remarks, he told me, also at the GQ party, “I’m incredibly grateful to everybody in it.”