Check out our interview with talented Jack Messina who stars as Cal Stone on NBC’s edge-of-your-seat hit series “Manifest”. Young Cal struggles with a terminal illness, and his world is upended even more when he returns from Flight 828 and must reconcile the sister and mother he knows with a new reality. Eleven-year-old Jack began acting at the age of seven. He attended classes at the Actors Garage in Manhasset, New York, and has appeared in commercials for Eliquis and MVP Health.

In his spare time, Jack enjoys downhill skiing, playing drums and playing video games. He loves animals, especially his dog, Cookie. Jack currently resides in New York City.

Follow Jack at @jackjmessina

Hi Jack, please tell us a little about you?

Hi. I’m 12 years old, I’m from New York. I live with my parents, my two older brothers and my dog Cookie.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Fun, curious, and caring.

How did you get started into acting?

I took an acting class in my neighborhood just for fun and I discovered that I really liked it. I really took to it.

How has this changed your life?

It totally changed my life. Once I started on Manifest, acting became my job. I wasn’t just a regular kid anymore. People started recognizing me in stores and I had to figure out how to balance school and work.

What is the best and worst part of being an actor?

The best part is being able to work with amazing, talented people and being a part of something special. The worst is trying to adjust back into school when I return from being away for weeks, but I love it and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Tell us about your work in NBC’s hit series “Manifest?”

I am so lucky to be part of this show. There are many different storylines, a little science fiction, mystery, drama, and a great family bond. My character, Cal, gets to go on so many fun adventures and really connects with other characters.

And about your role as Young Cal?

Cal is such an interesting character to play. He’s been through a lot, fighting cancer, returning home to find out it’s 5 1/2 years later, getting these strange callings and trying to solve the mysteries – it’s a lot for a kid to handle. That’s what makes it a great role for a kid my age.

How do you prepare for a role?

I read the script first, and then I go over my scenes and lines. When there are emotional scenes, I work with my acting coach. For Manifest, my mom helped me research childhood cancer so I could understand what it was like to go through treatment. The producers told me I would have to shave my hair because hair loss is a side effect of chemotherapy.

What other projects you have been part of?

I did an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in season 2. I had to speak and sing in Italian. My scene was with Alex Borstein, she’s great. It was so much fun.

What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?

I would love to be in a movie where there are a lot of stunts. I like to learn new things and be part of the action.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

Being part of this amazing cast and getting to know all the people who work on the show is rewarding. Everyone is really nice and caring. The whole experience is rewarding.

How would your best friend describe you?

My best friend would say I’m an easy friend to have. I am not demanding or difficult to get along with. I’ve had the same best friend since I was three years old; she was in my nursery school class.

What’s next for Jack Messina in 2020?

It’s hard to say what the rest of 2020 will look like after the quarantine is over, but I’m hoping I’ll be working on season 3 of Manifest.

What is your own definition of happiness?

Happiness is being healthy, enjoying nature, and being with my family.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

My grandfather died before I was born. I never knew him but I would have liked to. My mom tells me how kind and gentle he was and how he would have loved to take me to play golf.

Best advice ever given?

The best advice I was given, especially as an actor, was to just be yourself.

Do you support any charity?

I don’t have a specific charity, but I support children’s hospitals and animal rescue.

Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?

I hope I will still be acting, maybe in movies.

Favorite song? Why?

I don’t have one favorite song, but I like Imagine Dragons.

What do you think of Social Media?

It’s useful when it comes to talking about the show, stuff I’m doing, and connecting with friends, but it could get a little overwhelming sometimes. But I don’t really know life without it.

Where we can follow you?

I’m on Instagram @jackjmessina and on Twitter @thejackmessina

Quote: “It’s all connected”

Favorite Singer/Artist: Imagine Dragons

Movie: Daddy’s Home

Travel Destination: Sicily.

Sports Team: The NY Mets

Tv Show: The Simpsons

Book: The Outsiders

 


 

Photo Credit: Hunter Arthur