Manny Jacinto goes from comedy to serious, and now to romantic comedy –
There’s no shortage of Manny Jacinto these days.
After her breakthrough in NBC’s Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated comedy series the Good placethe Filipino-Canadian actor has become one of Hollywood’s most exciting, versatile and in-demand talents, in a burgeoning career marked by a string of charismatic breakthrough performances.
He recently starred in the miniseries Nine perfect strangers, as part of a star-studded cast, including Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall and Luke Evans. In it, he plays Yao, a bright-eyed hipster who, after a deadly encounter with resort manager Masha (Kidman), finds himself as her devoted right-hand man.
The series, based on the popular novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, premiered domestically on Hulu on August 18, 2020 and internationally on Amazon two days later.
He also appears in the Netflix horror thriller series New cherry flavoralongside Rosa Salazar, Catherine Keener and Eric Lang from designer Nick Antosca.
Over the weekend in time for Valentine’s Day, he appeared in the romantic comedy I want you to come back through Prime Video.
The film centers around a premise that director Jason Orley says is both relatable and timeless: “The idea of breaking up with your ex and wanting him back is something people have been dealing with forever. – it’s not unique to our generation.”
The film opens as Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate) are both caught off guard by their respective loved ones, who, without warning, dump them. Most people would be forced to accept the situation and reluctantly move on. But fueled by their mutual grief and despair, Peter and Emma hatch an outrageous quid pro quo to win back their respective partners, Anne (Gina Rodriguez) and Noah (Scott Eastwood). Trouble is, their exes have happily moved on to new romances: Anne with Logan (Manny Jacinto) and Noah with Ginny (Clark Backo).
The new man in Anne’s life, Logan Santos, shares her interest in the arts and theater and, in fact, is leading a musical comedy revival Little Shop of Horrors…at the local college where they both teach.
Cast as Logan, Jacinto said, “Anne and Logan met at school and I think we bonded really quickly because we’re both so passionate about the craft. He finds himself in an interesting and very unexpected love triangle between Anne and Emma, and it becomes something of a roller coaster between these three.
“Manny is the perfect embodiment of what we were looking for in Logan,” said John Rickard, one of the producers. “He obviously has a great work in comedy, but he grounded that role in a way that I didn’t see coming.”
“Logan was one of my favorite characters from the start because he’s so earnest and sincere that he really doesn’t realize how incredibly funny he is. ‘He talks like he’s a professor at Juilliard, that’s absolutely fantastic,” said Peter Safran, one of the film’s producers as well.
Bigger things are in store for Jacinto this year.
Among them, the highly anticipated Top Gun: Maverickwith Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Val Kilmer and Jon Hamm and directed by Joseph Kosinski, where he plays the role of a fighter pilot.
Not bad for an actor whose take on a not-so-smart goofy Asian (an antithesis of the nerdy Asian trope) has opened many doors. For his inspired work as Jason Mendoza, in The Good placeJacinto received critical acclaim and placed it on the “best of” lists of Variety, ET, Buzzfeed, Vulture, Indiewireand Uproxx to name a few. The Hollywood Reporter highlighted him as one of the best supporting actors in his 2019 Emmys class photo.
He was also appointed to People Magazine Listed “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2020 and was honored at the 2018 Unforgettable Gala, alongside Sandra Oh and John Cho, for his work on the series.
Jacinto made his debut as a dramatic actor and was nominated for a Leo Award for his role in the drama The Romeo Section from designer Chris Haddock. His early film and TV credits also include Bad Times at the El Royale; ABC’s popular fantasy series Once upon a time; and memorable appearances on AMC Bates Motel and ABC’s hit medical drama the good doctor.
A Filipino-Canadian native of Vancouver, Jacinto is also a trained dancer and studied civil engineering at the University of British Columbia.
In an interview with Collider, Jacinto shared that if time and money were no object, he’d love to see a good Filipino story, whether it’s on TV, in movies, or as a limited series.
“I would love to share something like this with the world, to show that aspect of different cultures and communities,” Jacinto said. “Something that revolves around a good Filipino story.”
With her star and influence growing day by day, fans and followers are hoping that wish might one day turn into a reality.
“I Want You Back” is now available to stream on Prime Video. not