Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:30 AM April 14, 2019
Though she is only 23, Laura Marano has the most experience among the young actors of “The Perfect Date.” Back in 2003, she had a recurring role as the lead’s daughter on the crime drama “Without a Trace,” the first of many TV roles that culminated in the starring role of Ally Dawson on Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally” from 2011 to 2016.
The former child star is all grown up now, and she finds herself the lead actress on the Netflix romantic comedy. She’s excited by the possibilities. “It’s so funny, it’s so exciting. I do think it’s important to not necessarily put that expectation on yourself in this business. Man, if I could tell you how many times I thought something was gonna happen one way and it didn’t.”
She understands the chance she has. “For me, it’s all about kind of the moment, and what I love is that filming was such an amazing (experience), and it’s important to live like that and hopefully people will like it.”
With a project this big, Marano experienced her own share of anxieties. “The scariest part when you’re filming is literally you’re doing your part and I have no idea how this is going to end up, because you’re filming out of order.” She recalls working on additional dialogue recording and worrying. “I was freaked,” she said, admitting texting onscreen partner Noah Centineo, with Centineo not helping the situation by jokingly replying, “Oh, it’s terrible. It’s really bad.” “What’s going to happen,” she asked herself.
But her fears were assuaged after she saw the finished product. “Then I saw it and I was just so happy. I’m really proud of it. And I’m really proud of everyone. I think it’s really cute. I love it.”
She loves the role of Celia. “Celia just looks at any stereotype and calls them out. They are not relevant and don’t treat me differently because you feel like you have to, like I’m on your level. I think our movie deals with that in a very cool way.”
She pointed out the comparison of the film to the 1990 rom-com classic “Pretty Woman,” which would make Centineo this movie’s version of Julia Roberts. “I don’t mind that at all,” Centineo said. “I’m totally into that.”
Marano is winning in the role of Celia, intelligent and ironic. She shares the character’s acerbic humor but has far more ebullience in real life than the snarky character. Bubbly and optimistic, Marano makes you want her to do really well in everything. She will be even bigger after this. It’s important to note that Marano has a music career as well, with her new EP “Me” released just last March.
In the spirit of “The Perfect Date,” Marano jokingly gave her idea of a perfect date: “I’m gonna go all in. My first date would be at a bookstore. He would be a barista. I plan the date like it’s our first time meeting, so he would be the barista, I would come over and order tea. I would like him to have some kind of accent, anything, as long as it’s not California. It can go anywhere. Go romantic, go for it.” —Ruel S. De Vera