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‘I don’t want to just be one thing’: ‘The Good Place’ actor Manny Jacinto says he’s done playing Jason-like roles

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Aug 17, 2021 8:36 pm

Fil-Canadian actor Manny Jacinto is ready to usher in a new era in his acting career.

Jacinto skyrocketed to fame through the NBC existential comedy series The Good Place. Alongside big-hitters like Kirsten Bell and Ted Dansen, Manny famously portrayed Jason, the fake monk-turned-himbo (male bimbo) with a heart of gold.

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Jason and Bell's Eleanor debating what happens after we die... in tracksuits. Photo from IMDb

Speaking to Variety, the 33-year-old shared that he doesn't want his roles to be centered on the stereotypical clueless character of Jason.

“I do think that Hollywood has a tendency to put people in boxes, and I don’t want to just be one thing. I didn’t want to go into acting and do all this as a career just to play one note."

He added that he was in his element playing the earlier parts of Jason, when the character had to pretend to be a monk named Jianyu to fit in to the afterlife aka The Good Place: “I like being the quiet one, and I like having a sense of mystery. It’s my home base, in a sense, being more still."

“I remember how awkward and how much of a struggle I felt that was. But then, there was so much comedy, there was so much interest from audience members in those three episodes because you didn’t know what he was going to do. So, there’s this appeal I find in that. I don’t know if I take advantage of it or if it’s intrinsic to me."

Still, the actor expressed just how much he learned from the comedy series, saying "I was able to learn and witness and just be in the presence of so many people that are just so damn good at what they do. I was put into a show where the fans are just so positive and so supportive."

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Three of the five main characters share an unsolicited hug. Photo from IMDb

Luckily, Jacinto has found the ideal role in the upcoming Hulu miniseries Nine Perfect Strangers, which sees the actor take on a more serious role opposite the likes of Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy.

He also shared that he'd be up to star in a live-action anime adaptation or indie film for his future projects.

Banner photo from IMDb and Manny Jacinto's Instagram