Well on his way to becoming the centerpiece of any teenage girl’s bedroom wall, up-and-coming teen heartthrob Jake Manley gave us the scoop ahead of the fall premiere of his new NBC show Heroes Reborn (which, yes, is the much anticipated mini-series spinoff of Heroes). We chatted about his past projects, which includes a supporting role in the rom-com Love, Rosie as well as what’s around the corner.
Cliché: When did you first get into acting?
Jake Manley: I started off doing a lot of filmmaking in high school and then eventually gravitated to being in front of the camera. I started studying acting at various places in Toronto and even did some workshops in NYC. I think it’s something I’ve always had a great love and admiration for, but was too shy to jump into it. Some professional idols of mine would be River Phoenix, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Farley, and Frank Sinatra.
You will be starring in the new series Heroes Reborn. Tell us about your character Brad and how he fits into the show.
Brad looks and comes off as a typical high school jock, but underneath, he’s a normal teen, trying to navigate and find his way in this confusing world of being amongst evolved humans. Brad is also the boyfriend of Emily, a sweet and innocent girl who befriends Tommy, and together they give Tommy support in a time of need.
You were also in Disney’s Bad Hair Day. How does the experience of a film compare to a series?
I feel like films have a more consistent theme throughout, whereas with a series, there are ever-changing themes. With a film, you get the script ahead of time and you know how things are going to end. It’s very interesting being part of a series when you don’t know what’s going to happen next and you’re kind of hanging in suspense. It’s great because it keeps your mind open to more possibilities and it keeps things exciting.
Although relatively new to the industry, you’ve gotten to work with respected actors and actresses, such as Sam Claflin, Lily Collins, and Lori Loughlin. Have you learned anything from them?
I’ve been super fortunate to be able to work alongside and learn from so many great actors and actresses. The greatest thing I’ve learned is to always treat everyone with respect. Whether it be cast or crew, we’re all there because we share a common love for film and TV and want to make the best product/experience possible. It’s also been very inspiring watching these actors take risks and think outside the box. I love watching people push themselves.
What is one “pinch me” moment you’ve had over the past year or so?
I think it would have to be collectively my experience on Heroes Reborn. I was on set the very first day of the pilot and the energy and enthusiasm was out of this world. Since then, I’ve met and worked with so many amazing people that I will never forget. It’s really been one of my best life experiences this far.
Anything else on the horizon for the end of this year or early next?
Going into the fall, I am starting a film for the Lifetime network called Pregnant at 17. It’s a fun, good-hearted script that I think is going to be a blast to film!
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Jake Manley Interview: Photographed by Kalie Johnston