Q: At this point of “Manifest,” how do you view your character Michaela?
A: She’s a bit of a tragic character because she keeps trying and she keeps messing up, but her relationships are everything to her. I don’t know what she would do without her brother or the love that was there with (her ex-fiance) Jared, so it’s fun to explore that.
Q: What do you think about Michaela’s relationships revealing so many different sides of her?
A: The great thing is that a lot of these relationships are so awesome off-camera as well, it’s such a safe space to explore the depth of each of them. With Josh (Dallas, who plays her brother Ben), he and I have become like brother and sister, so that dynamic is there. And with J.R. (Martinez, who portrays Jared), we’ve gotten really close, so for that friendship to translate on-screen as well is great.
And with Victoria (Cartagena), who plays Lourdes (Michaela’s former best friend who’s now Jared’s wife), she’s just down-to-earth and game for anything. She’s been a blast to play with.
Q: Do you enjoy the range of emotions that “Manifest” gives you to play?
A: Oh, totally! We all joked when the show first started that if these characters existed in real life, they’d all be in the psych ward. You don’t go through something like this and come out normal, so with what Michaela is experiencing on the screen, it’s the simplest version of what really and truly happens.
You can’t be blubbering your way through every single episode, but these moments get the best of her, for sure. We see that with Ben, too, with his struggle with his family and trying to do the right thing there. Both characters meet their breaking points every once in a while.
Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.