Noah Centineo Shared His Favourite Montreal Meals Spot & Is Shocked The Metropolis Is ‘So French’
One thing about Montreal that surprised Noah Centineo is the religiously associated French profanity. He laughed as he said “sacrament” and “tabarnak.” It’s clear the 26-year-old had a blast filming his new Netflix series The Recruit in the city.
The Miami-born actor lived in Montreal for six months for his latest role starring as Owen Hendricks in the CIA spy series.
For many, he is recognized as the heartthrob on To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and the two sequels that followed. To others, he was Atom Smasher on Black Adam. And to many Montreal fans, he’s the actor who hung out with them, chatted with them and took selfies for the gram.
But it was the workload and the hectic shooting schedule for The Recruit that Centineo says gave him further insight into his capabilities. He said it was one of the greatest opportunities of his life.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
When you got the script, what resonated with you?
I love how when the going gets tough, Owen doesn’t back down, he doubles down in the face of adversity. He’s just ready for the challenge and when he’s swimming in waters that are far deeper than you could possibly understand, he just has no problem taking a huge inhale and diving down and exploring.
I think that’s enticing to play and I love playing that. But he’s also got a home life, right? He’s a young warrior at the CIA but he’s got roommates. He goes from being at a CIA black site in Yemen and getting his fingernail pulled out to, within 10 hours, being home again with his roommates and not being able to talk about it. I think that’s such an interesting lens to tell the story of the CIA.
I know that you love stunt work. Do you recall a favorite scene for which you did the stunts yourself?
Noah Centineo in ‘The Recruit.’ Netflix
Yeah, jumping off that bridge in Vienna was epic. I had a bungee cord on me and they only let me fall about 20 feet, but I wish they would let me jump into the river.
I did it a few times. I would have done it as many times as they would let me. And then I jumped into a river with Doug Liman. You know, a boogie board, a camera and two dudes just jumping off a boat, floating down a river with a wild current. It was so funny. It was in Vienna in a snowstorm in a river, it was so great.
What have you learned about yourself as a person or as an actor from The Recruit?
Not even in terms of range or an emotional way of acting because it’s not about that for me. It’s what I’m capable of as far as workload. The longest day we had was I think 17 hours and sometimes we were working six days a week, and oftentimes we were working nights. We would work on a Friday night until Saturday at 7 am and then Monday morning, we started going back to the regular schedule. So you really have 36 hours to rest and after that, back to work, which I loved.
It was challenging, and you’re fighting and there’s a lot of pages that you have to get every single day and nobody cares if you’re tired. Nobody should care. You’ve got crewmembers that are working their asses off and need to pay rent and get holiday presents for their families. I just loved it because no matter how tiring it gets, and whatever words you gotta learn, you just gotta do it and make it work.
It was such a family in Montreal in the way that we all came together and got the job done. And for me, that was wonderful. It was such an awesome experience and I loved it. And I would do it again.
I had never worked on something that required that much work. It was one of the greatest opportunities of my entire life.
What did you find most surprising about Montreal culture?
Noah Centineo in ‘The Recruit.’ Netflix
I didn’t realize it was so French. I didn’t know that. In fact, many people in certain places in the city didn’t want to speak English. That was cool. I love that.
Also, I didn’t know that people hated being compared to Parisians. I never did it. But I was at dinner and someone said, “are you from Paris? You have a very Parisian accent,” and our server got so pissed.
There was a very European vibe in the city and the people were so friendly. You meet them on the street and they are so willing to invite you along and just go have a great time.
Did you try to speak French in those places?
I did try un petit peu. So in Montreal, all the curse words are blasphemous in nature. They have to do with religion. And then instead of saying “oui” they say “ouais.” There’s like crazy differences in the dialect.
What were your favorite food spots in the city? And what did you order?
I didn’t get out a lot at all. Of course, I went to Joe Beef once. It was good. There was a place that I went to in Little Burgundy that was a corner spot. It was industrial. There were Edison bulbs. There’s like stairs up into the back, where there was a bathroom. I don’t remember the name. But my assistant Jose took me to it and it was the best food I had in Montreal. It was f***ing amazing.
[Centineo is possibly referring to restaurant Grinder at 1708, rue Notre-Dame O.]
So lovely to hear you had such a great time filming in Montreal.
We really created such a family with our crew in Montreal. When we wrapped the show, people were crying. It was a really, really incredible experience.