Exclusive Interview with Heroes Reborn’s Jake Manley

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Jake Manley is an actor and producer. He’s best known for Bad Hair Day, Joy Ride 3, Love, Rosie and 3 Audrey. On September 24th at 8/7c fans will be able to see Jake starring as Brad on NBC’s Heroes Reborn. Read our interview with Jake below to see what he had to say about his character and the upcoming season!

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We know that you took a filmmaking class in high school so what made you transition into acting?

“I guess I kind of transitioned into acting from working on our own independent productions and needing to have actors when we didn’t really have a budget to hire a whole cast of people. I had dabbled in acting before, but I think maybe I was little too shy to be in front of the camera. The more I did it the more I fell in love with it and became more comfortable. Then I started studying it more and learning more about it at that point. I still do take part in doing video production and things like that as well, but acting has kind of switched to my main focus the past couple of years.”

You just premiered the pilot of Heroes Reborn at TIFF, right?

“Yeah, we just did last night!”

How was that? Have you been able to see any films? 

“It was such a blast. It was so exciting to have everyone in one place, be it the cast and crew and creators. We were able to watch the fruits of our labor and hard work on the big screen together. The energy was great. I think it was received amazing by the fans that were there. It was such an exciting night!

I actually was able to see The Lobster with Colin Farrell, Lea Seydoux, Rachel Weisz, etc. That’s my Tiff pick!”

Was this your first time seeing the full cut of the pilot?

“It was, yeah. I think it was all the casts’ first time. We had seen a couple clips just from ADR in the studio, but no one had seen it all together. I think it blew everyone away. It was really cool.”

Now that it’s fresh in your brain what scene from the pilot are you most excited for fans to see?

“I think there’s a scene I’d say about 10 minutes in with Zachary Levi’s character and Judy Shekoni and I can’t give too much away, but it’s a pretty action-filled scene. It kicks off the episode and gets things rolling and will kind of surprise people I think.”

What was your audition process like for Heroes Reborn?

“I went out for Stephanie Gorin who is a great Canadian cast director. She’s doing all the casting here in Canada and abroad as well. I just went in for a call in Toronto and yeah, I think it was two or three weeks later I got the call and found out that I got the role. I was actually shooting the very first day of the pilot. I think it was maybe within five days of finding out that I had booked the role I was on set. It was very quick and exciting.”

What can you tell us about Brad?

“Brad is, when you see him, he’s a typical kind of high school jock. I think he’s got a bit of an edge to him. He might come off as a bit of a mean person, but I think people will start to understand him. He’s this teenager that’s trying to make his way in this kind of crazy world and figure things out. Like everyone, I think Brad is just looking to get ahead.”

Did you watch the original Heroes when it was airing? 

“I had watched a couple episodes back in the day when it was live, but I was never deep into the series like some people were. I went back and watched a whole bunch of it.”

Who’s your favorite EVO from the original series and from Reborn?

“Good question, good question! I really like Greg Grunberg’s character from the original. I think he’s super cool and had an interesting storyline. From the new one I mean he’s in the new one a little bit as well, so him and I’d say Robbie Kay, his character, Tommy.”

We know that you’re probably going to get asked a lot what super power you would want to have, so what’s one power that you would not want to have?

“That’s a really interesting way to flip it! (laughs). I guess something that would make it difficult to interact with people or something that was difficult to hide. That’s kind of a theme. People, they’re trying to hide these powers because they’re seen as different and weird and being chastised for it. I think it’s a really good representation of how people would feel if it was what was happening. Something that just wasn’t crazy obvious.”

How would you describe Heroes Reborn in five words?

” I’d say intense, exciting, a little dark or edgy. That’s three. And fun ride! That’s five (laughs). I think it’s a fun ride for viewers.”

What’s your personal favorite genre of TV to watch?

“My personal favorite would definitely be like dark, gritty dramas like True Detective or Breaking Bad. Stuff like that. The Sopranos, etc.”

What would your dream role be?

“I think my dream role would be to play a character who existed. Someone that was an interesting person. I’d like to represent them in kind of like a true story. Dive into this person and how they thought and become them. That would be super interesting to me. Playing someone like Frank Sinatra or something would be really cool. I’d like to be a young Frank Sinatra!”

Since they’re reviving Heroes, what show if you could pick one of your personal favorites, what show would you want to revive?

“The Sopranos would be cool to revive. That’s what’s tricky with reviving shows, it’s hard to do it justice. I think Heroes does a great job of that, bringing the old and the new together. Like Tim Kring said this universe of Heroes is so elastic and it’s great that you can keep bringing these new exciting roles and material to it.”

What other projects are you currently working on?

“I’m just in the midst of something, a movie for the Lifetime Network out in Ottawa. I’ve been kind of just bouncing back and forth.”

So for our last question:  our website is “Talk Nerdy With Us,” so do you have anything that you’re into that makes you a little bit nerdy?

“I have an insanely large playlist of movie soundtracks that I listen to all the time. I think that’s a little nerdy. (laughs). I like to pretend I’m in the movie. Yeah, I think sometimes being an actor itself is pretty nerdy because you just have this strong desire to be these crazy, weird characters that live in these magical worlds.”

Do you really Larp? Is that true?

“Not seriously, but from time to time I might be known to spontaneously Larp someone if they’re asking for it.”

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