There were a few reasons that fans anticipated The Kissing Booth 2, a sequel to the popular Netflix rom-com of the same name. One of them? To dissect the scenes between Joey King and Jacob Elordi, real-life exes who reunited to play Elle Evans and Noah Flynn, an on-screen couple. Elordi and King fell in love while filming the first movie in 2017. They split prior to filming the sequel (and surprise third movie) in 2018.
King knew fans would have interest in knowing what it was like for her to play the love interest of her ex, she told Cosmopolitan for her September cover. When asked about working with her ex-boyfriend, the actress admitted, “No one’s thinking to themselves, That was easy, because it wasn’t," adding, "I’m sure people will analyze every movement and every detail. And you know what? Let them. But at the end of the day, I was just thrilled to be Elle Evans again."
King explained that her obligation to The Kissing Booth franchise came before all else, even any personal discomfort she may have working with Elordi because of their breakup. “There’s so much I want to say,” she said, pausing for a laugh, according to Cosmo. “What’s the most, um, correct way to go about this? Elle Evans needs her Noah Flynn, and whatever that means for my personal life, I’ll do anything to make sure the story of my character who I care about so much is complete.”
This isn't King's first time addressing questions about working with Elordi post-split. Back in October, she opened up on the Mood With Lauren Elizabeth podcast about the experience. "I'm a fan with how [the film] resonated with the world, it resonated with me. So going back and doing that and making the sacrifice of what, obviously, everyone is thinking about—outwardly addressing, but what I'm kind of on the sly addressing, making those sacrifices was totally worth it," she said.
Elordi, meanwhile, told Entertainment Tonight that he tends to "ignore it" when people focus on his private life. "Just even the fact that somebody you don't know knows your name could be quite disembodying," he explained. "But then eventually, for me personally, it's got nothing to do with me, you know. Imagine the store around the corner from where you are now. Whatever people are talking about is not your business, it's kind of how it feels. Unfortunately, it just has my name involved in it, but it literally has nothing to do with me. It just doesn't affect the trajectory of my life."
It appears that Elordi and King are both in new relationships following their 2018 split. King is reportedly dating The Act producer Steven Piet, whom she referred to as her "sweet boyfriend" in a recent essay for InStyle about quarantine. (Rumors she was dating Kissing Booth 2 co-star (and second love interest) Taylor Zakhar Perez have been put to rest.) Elordi was first spotted kissing his Euphoria co-star Zendaya in February 2020 in New York City. They have yet to confirm their romance.
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