“Hey, um, would you wanna maybe run some lines?” I see the shadow covering my script before I hear the voice, and I realize he was talking to me. I look up into a pair of brilliant hazel eyes, with small crinkles in the corners from his brilliant smile. I was focused on the small scar on the left side of his chin, just below his full gorgeous lips. He coughed a little, snapping me back into reality. “Um, sorry, I was, I was distracted.” His smile turned into a half smirk as he looked me up and down. “So, lines?” He asked again, reminding me that he had asked a question to begin with. “Oh, I really can’t get distracted right now, so…. No.” I shifted in my seat and looked back down at my papers. It was so hard not to look up at him again when I heard a small and confused “Oh” out of the cute boys mouth. I wanted this role, in some ways I needed this role. From the moment I read the script sides my agent had sent me, and then the books, I needed to be Lara Jean. This was not a role that comes along every day. I could not afford to get distracted by the hunk 5 minutes before my audition. “Lana?” My name was called by the casting assistant and I shot up, dropping my sides in the process. “Oh, I’m here, here, sorry.” I bent down to pick up my papers, and as I stood, made contact with the hottie from earlier. He bit his bottom lip and cocked his half smile at me, then mouthed good luck. I could feel the blush rise to my cheeks and nodded a shy thank you before heading into the casting room.
“Hello, My name is Lana Condor and I am reading for the role of Lara Jean Covey.” This is by far not my first audition, but it makes me more nervous than all of them. “Great, let’s do the sisters scene. Jen, to my left will be Margot, and Katie to my right will be Kitty.” The table of producers, directors and casting agents all looked directly at me. I took a deep breath, and let myself become Lara Jean. “But I have a secret too” Katie said, starting off a bedroom scene where Kitty confesses to Lara Jean she sent the letters. I focus on my lines, on the emotion of how Lara Jean would feel, between being upset with Kitty and wanting Margot to forgive her. “You owe me Braid Crowns for the rest of your life.” I took a deep breath, coming back out of the character. Susan, the director has a smile plastered on her face “That was great, thank you Lana. We’ll be in touch.” With that I was swept out the door to make room for the next Lara Jean. Before I made it to the door, the runner came up to me, “Hey Lana? Can you wait here? They think they wanna do some chemistry reads with some of the Lara/Peter combos.” She said, gesturing back to the seating area. That was good news, so I nodded and found a seat again. As I sat she handed me new sides, “Here, this is the scene we want to do for the chemistry read.” I took the pages in my hand, inhaled and exhaled slowly, and started to work on memorizing my parts. After a few minutes focusing on my lines, I heard “Noah Centineo”
“Here” I look up in time to see the hottie from earlier standing up. Oh my god, he is tall. Very tall, very cute, and damn, he had a really nice ass. He turned to wave to the person who had been sitting next to him, and caught my eye. He winked at me before I had the chance to turn my eyes away. For some reason I could not concentrate. Knowing he was in there, I wish I knew how it was going. Was he a good actor? Was he aware of how hot he was? Why would I ask that, of course he was aware. You only have that cocky little smile if you know you're hot. I tried to look back down at the pages in my hand, but then the door opened, followed by laughter, “Sounds good guys, thanks!” He, Noah as I had learned, came out of the room laughing, smiling, and joking. Damn, he must be good.
“We are going to do some chemistry reads. Lana Condor? Can you come in please, and John Dello.” I stood up, along with another boy who had auditioned earlier in the day, and walked into the room. “Ok, were going to use the dinner scene you were handed. John, please read as Peter, Lana as Lara, when you’re ready.”
“You did so good tonight, Gen was pissed.” John said sitting next to me at a small table. “Yeah, well I just hope she doesn’t put glass in my smoothie on Monday.” I added in a half laugh, showing that Lara Jean was scared it could be a reality, but also trying to shrug it off. John looked at me like the laugh had thrown him off “I love how you’re not afraid of her” John continued the lines, but I was not feeling it. He didn’t seem to play off my little pieces. My half laughs, my facial expressions, none of it. “You say that your scared of commitments and relationships, but you don’t seem to be afraid to be with me.” John finally looked me in the eyes, for the first time in the scene. Geesh he was not making this easy for me. “Well,” I said tucking the hair behind my ear, “There’s no reason to be.” “Yeah, Why’s that?” He went for the line faster than I was ready for, throwing me off my game, catching me off guard before I finished my line “Cause we're just pretending.” John smiles through his next line about Lara Jean’s honestly, and it gave me more of a creepy vibe than a hurt teen boy vibe.
“Alright. Thank you John. You’ll hear from us soon. Lana, can we have you stay? There was one more chem read we wanted for you.” Suzan asked, and I nodded, adjusting my seat, and nodding a goodbye to John as he exited the room. “Noah Centineo?” I heard them call into the waiting room. Shit, that was the cute guy, oh my god, wow, ok, I could do this. He had to be easier to read with than John was…. Right? I told him I wouldn’t read with him earlier, would he sabotage me for that now? “Hey, I’m Noah.” He said as he slid into the chair next to me. “Hi, Lana. Sorry about earlier, I just was um, really focused.” There, I said it, got it out of the way, that will make it better right? God why are my hands sweating? He laughed, “Eh no big, we were just saving the chemistry for the read right?” he winked and spread his legs out, wrapping one arm around the back of my chair before turning attention to the casting table. “Alright, diner scene, Lana, loved what you did earlier, play on that more.” Susan said, “When your ready.”
“You did so good tonight, Gen was pissed.” He started, moving his hand that wasn’t around me in an exaggerated fashion, before letting it fall to the table. “ Yeah, I just hope she doesn’t put glass in my smoothie on Monday.” I add the half laugh and slight eye roll. Noah’s face scrunches up in a way that makes his nose crinkle as he says “Oh right," with a laugh, leaning into me a little, before continuing. “I love how your not afraid of her.” He says looking directly into my eyes. Ok, wow he was a much better scene partner than John was. “Oh no. no. I’m terrified of her.” I say playing with the fake glass of water and turning towards Noah. Comfortable enough that I could have forgotten that we are in an audition scene. He is so easy to play off of. “But you don’t let her steamroll over you. Like that day in school when she was being a bitch about your shoes.” The way he leaned in and out of our conversation made me want to follow him. When he head leaned in, I would tilt mine in, when his head went back to laugh, I laughed. “You remember that?” I added continuing the scene. “Yeah, you kidding me? Of course. I mean I couldn't say anything cause we were together and everything,” He took his hand off the chair behind me and looked away, like he didn’t want to be talking about another girl while with me. “Those shoes weren’t just cool, I thought they were” He paused, scanning my body up and down, “Kinda hot” He said, making eye contact with me as the said the end of his line. My eyes bugged out of my head. That was sort of how the rest of the scene went. It was probably the most give and take I have ever had in a chemistry read. “So you guys still talk on the phone then? I said, as I slid a jacket on to walk away from the table. “I mean, not as much as we used to , but yeah, sometimes.” This was the moment I had to shine, to show what I could do. I made my eyes bug out, my mouth agape, shaking my head “What?” he said, “Hmm?” I asked in return, “Your doing this thing, with your face, this judgy scenario going on.” Wow he played that well, the face remark wasn’t even in the script. “I guess I think it’s weird that you still talk to your ex-girlfriend on the phone.” I could feel the dynamic between us, I could feel the energy, the chemistry. I was hoping we were the couple they were really looking at. I could go to work with him every day, we could totally make this couple come alive if this read was any indication. We continued with a give and take his little eyebrow moves verus my facial reactions, with the leaning in and the eyes, god he really did have amazing eyes. As he talks about Peter’s dad the emotion he puts in amazes me. He was saying so much more with his eyes than with his words.
“ I think it’s funny you say that your scared of commitment” He pauses and looks at me, biting the bottom of his lip, “and relationships, but you don’t seem to be afraid to be with me.” He leans in, moving his hands closer towards mine on the opposite end of the table. “Well there's,” I said tucking the hair behind my ear, “There’s no reason to be.” “Yeah?” He looks away from me, and then back to directly locked eyes before continuing, “Why’s that?” I feel my body involuntarily tighten as his eyes lock and stay locked with mine, then I shrug, biting my bottom lip before responding“Cause we’re just pretending.” He exhales, and it looks like I punched him in the gut with those words, “Right, of course, Lara Jean Covey, ladies and gentlemen, you can count on her to be honest, always.” He says standing up from his spot flashing me a smile, that is clear across his face, but doesn’t reach his eyes, and wait was he supposed to stand? I don’t remember that part? “Wait, Peter?” He stops moving to look back down at me, towering over me while I sit, “Are we cool?” I shake my head and squint my eyes together, trying to figure him out, “Yeah” His voice goes up an octave, it’s slight, but noticeable, “Were fine Covey. Thank you for coming to the party tonight.” I nod my head with a smile, as his smile falls from his face, he turns away, and he walks a couple steps past the marks. I sigh and look to the table.
"That was great guys. Thank you.” Susan says, Noah turned back to me, a huge smile taking over his entire face and wrapping me in a hug before I could even think, “Oh my god that was awesome. Thanks for giving so much in that scene, totally made it for me.” I laughed, trying not to focus on how strong his arms felt around me, lifting me off the floor even. I smiled back, “Right back atcha. That was great. I loved your little eyebrow wiggles.” I giggled, “Man I loved your facials, seriously they were awesome. Like totally in sync with how I feel Lara Jean would react, like we all feel that way and you can express that, that’s sweet.” I felt myself blushing at the compliment before I heard someone clearing their throat behind us, that’s when I realized he still had his arms around me. “Oh, um, well, thank you for the great read” I said, taking two steps back and holding out my hand. Damn him and his cute dimples, and smile, and those twinkling eyes. He connected our hands, but instead of shaking them, pulled me in for one more hug. “I hope your the Covey to my Kavinsky” He whispered in my ear, before letting go. “Thank you Lana, Noah if you can stay we have another read for you.” He winked at me as I gathered my bag and water bottle, before heading to the door.