“When we were first getting started on this movie, we had some social distance barriers,” the actress, 22, exclusively told Us Weekly. “We were told when we were in rehearsal in the offices, we had to wear masks and shields, and we had to be this far apart and whatever. But then as shooting went on and it was kind of clear that our characters were this close to each other most of the time, it became a lot easier off set for us to be like, ‘You know what? Let’s just hang out. We have to make out with each other anyway. So we might as well just be close and be friends.’ We definitely got there, but at first, it was like, ‘Oh, dang, we don’t even get to, like, hug.’”
Allen, 27, pointed to one awkward encounter with King in particular that was caused by safety measures. “We had, I think, a face shield handshake at one point,” he shared.
In the film, the Kissing Booth star plays Tessa, a young woman who falls in love with Allen’s Skylar. After Skylar is tragically killed, Tessa tries to reconnect with him in the afterworld.
The movie’s heavy material made it a rewarding experience for King.
“I really loved playing Tessa because I feel like she has so many different complexities as far as the things that she feels,” the Act alum told Us. “I think that, for one reason or another, we’ve all related to or with Tessa’s feelings. At some point, everyone’s had something that’s hurt them, whether it be something to do with relationships or family trauma that makes us kind of closed off to love or letting ourselves feel happy. And so, I felt really connected to Tessa and going into playing this character ‘cause even though I don’t feel like I have the same kind of closed-off nature to love that Tessa does, I feel like I have at one point in my life. I think she’s really brave and really strong, and I loved playing her alongside Kyle.”
Allen, for his part, had worked with Steven Spielberg on the 2021 reboot of West Side Story prior to filming The In Between, and he brought the lessons he picked up from the iconic director, 75, to the set with him.
“I think [I learned] just an overwhelming trust for the director and the people around you,” he explained. “He definitely leads from behind and yet guides the ship in its entirety and the best idea wins. … I just got to kinda sit in on that and sort of project the previous experience onto this one. That was wonderful.”
King is familiar with the romance movie genre, having starred in the Kissing Booth trilogy from 2018 to 2021. While the franchise seemingly concluded with its final film, she is open to revisiting her character, Elle Evans, in the future.
“I’d say if there is a revival of The Kissing Booth, it might be in many, many years,” she teased. “Like one of those reunions that are, like, 20 years later. So I’m holding out for Elle when she’s a soccer mom.”
The In Between begins streaming exclusively on Paramount+ Friday, February 11.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi