Learning to be who you are might possibly be one of the toughest things you have ever done or are yet to do in your life. It requires owning a certain level of defiance and confidence similar to that of the protagonist in the film Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. Sierra (played by Stranger Things star Shannon Purser) is comfortable with her social standing in her high school but also constantly suffers from her own insecurities. When Veronica (Kristine Froseth), a popular girl in her school, decides to play a cruel joke on her, Sierra finds herself in a virtual relationship with cute and athletic Jamey (Noah Centineo). Only problem with this sudden romance is that Jamey believes that Sierra is Veronica. To keep her fake relationship with Jamey going, Sierra enlists Veronica by offering a simple trade. When Jamey wants to take things a step further, Sierra is put in a comprising position. She can either come clean to Jamey about who she really is or risk losing him forever.
The Young Folks recently got the opportunity to speak to Sierra Burgess Is a Loser star, Noah Centineo, and get the details about what it’s like working on the film and importance of self-love in the movie.
Sierra Burgess Is a Loser focuses on a lot of topics, however, the overall theme of the film is self-love. Which scene from the movie do you think best represents this?
There are actually a few scenes where Shannon Purser so vulnerably portrays a raw human who is full of insecurities and who is the opposite of self-love. Being at your deepest level of insecurity and your highest level of self-love, they’re just different rungs on the same ladder. I think before you get to self-love, you really have to look at your insecurities and your demons and confront them to avoid them controlling you so the scene that I would say would best portrays self-love is when she [Sierra] comes clean – I’d pick the scene in the kitchen where she comes forward to her parents and just really tells them how she feels. I think that’s when the true healing begins for her. I think we’re all these mushy, loving creatures inside and she just so beautifully embodies that.
I completely understand what you mean. I loved that from the get-go the audience learns about who Sierra is, especially her ability to comfortably be an outcast. It’s obvious that she’s comfortable with who she is but she still battles with a level of insecurity. I think that Shannon Purser did an excellent job at portraying Sierra.
How would you compare your character in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Sierra Burgess? What each makes them interesting to you?
Well, the difference, for sure is that Jamey in Sierra Burgess is far more intelligent. He’s more soulful. He’s not just concerned with his immediate world but thinks more globally while Peter K. is way more self-centered and egotistical, but I love both the characters. They both embody different types of young men but both are respectful, first and foremost.
What key messages do you want people who watch Sierra Burgess to walk away with?
I would say, do not let society define beauty. Do not let society define what you like or what you dislike. These are things that we should be figuring out for ourselves independently. That and love yourself.
Can you tell us what movie/project that you’re working on now?
Yeah, I completed a film called The Stand-In with Awesomeness Films with Camila Mendes, Laura Marano and a young man named Odiseas out of New York. I’m not sure when it will be coming out, but I’m very excited for it.
Thanks so much again for being a part of this interview.
Sierra Burgess Is a Loser premieres on Netflix on September 7.