AceShowbiz - Taylor Zakhar Perez is not dating Joey King. The actor playing Marco Pena in "The Kissing Booth 2" has set the record straight about the swirling speculations about his romantic relationship with his 21-year-old co-star.
Sharing his thought on the rumors in an interview published on Wednesday, August 5, the 29-year-old actor opened up to Entertainment Tonight that he "loves her dearly" and "would do anything for her." Nevertheless, he stressed, "We're not dating. I'll end it with that." He added that the dating speculations "cracked [the two of them] up."
When talking about his close bond with Joey, Taylor spilled on how they became friends during production of "The Kissing Booth" sequel. "We just kind of hit it off. When we were in South Africa, we had dinner together," he recalled. "I cooked for her, she cooked for me. We just became kind of like the best of friends."
The friendship between the two grew stronger during the coronavirus pandemic. "When we got back to Los Angeles, we just kept hanging out. We live really near each other," he shared. "And then the quarantine hit and we kinda just needed someone to trust during that time, like, 'OK, I know you're not going out. I know who you're seeing.' So we just became really close."
During the chat, Taylor also pointed out that he got closer to "The Act" actress partly because she had to work with her ex-boyfriend Jacob Eroldi, who still portrayed her love interest in the sequel. "I'm sure it was odd for her to go back into a production with someone that she dated," he acknowledged. "And so me being this new castmate and Joel Courtney being there and Meganne Young we kind of just all meshed really well together."
Taylor and Joey got fans rooting for their off-screen romance over their on-screen chemistry in the Netflix film. He further generated questions about the nature of their friendship after he shared a sweet Instagram tribute for her 21st birthday, and posted photos from their weekend getaway.
"Honestly I could write about this woman all day. She is the reason I joined the KB2 family, she welcomed me with open arms and love, she supported me, she pushed me, she made me laugh (like pee my pants laughter and had to check my underwear), she inspired me to be a better actor, she shared her family with me, THE LIST GOES ON," he gushed in his July 30 post. "Grateful for you forever. #tbt."
Three days later, the Indiana native made public a series of photos of him and Joey having a great time at a waterfall with friends. While he did not share much of the trip, he did point out that the group got tested for COVID-19 before enjoying the adventure together. "Disclaimer* we all tested negative," he simply noted.
Taylor is expected to reprise his role as Marco and star opposite Joey once again in "The Kissing Booth 3". The follow-up to the sequel has been confirmed to be in the making during a livestream fan event on July 26, with a planned release in 2021.