Taylor Zakhar Perez doesn’t like lying. But that’s what he was forced to do while he was promoting “The Kissing Booth 2” when he was asked about a third movie. Perez feigned ignorance and pretended like he didn’t have any intel.
But it was eventually revealed that the cast and crew shot the second and third films at the same time. “Netflix had a gun to my head,” the actor tells me on this week’s episode of the “Just for Variety” podcast. “I talked to my PR team afterward and I was like, ‘Guys, it’s so hard just looking them in the eye and being like ‘We’ll see, we’ll see’ as my foot’s tapping under the table.’”
In the third and final movie of the YA rom-com trilogy (available on Netflix), Perez returns as Marco, who once again causes love-triangle problems for Elle (Joey King) and her boyfriend Noah (Jacob Elordi). “If you’re a team Noah guy, a team Marco guy, or just a team Elle guy, or a team Lee [Joel Courtney] guy, you have so many people you want to root for throughout it,” Perez said. “So I would say there will be some heartbreak for the viewers, but I think it will be very empowering for a lot of the female audience, which is great.”
Perez was busy with work during the pandemic. He shot “1UP,” about female gamers, as well as HBO’s upcoming “Minx,” a series about the launch of an erotic women’s magazine in the 1970s starring Ophelia Lovibond and Jake Johnson. Perez describes the “Minx” as “wild” and “raunchy.”
Just how raunchy does Perez, who is no stranger to shirtless photo shoots and scenes in “The Kissing Booth” movies, get? “Oh, yeah, we’ll see more,” he teases. “We’ll see more.”
One of Perez’s favorite memories from the “Minx” set happened off-camera. He and Johnson were being driven to the set in the same van for the second day of shooting when the veteran funny man and fellow Chicago native turned to Perez and said, “Fucking’ funny stuff, dude. Yesterday, funny fuckin’ stuff,” Perez recalls. “I just kind of like melted. He said I was funny! So that was my fanboy moment.”
Check out the full interview with Perez above. Find out what he has to say about his “Minx” wardrobe,” watching the Olympics (he’s a former competitive swimmer) and more. You can also listen to “Just for Variety” at Apple Podcasts or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.