DAMAN is thrilled to welcome back American actor Josh Dallas to our pages, as we unravel the final episodes of hit show “Manifest”
Across Hollywood, where talent often shines brightly and fades away just as quickly, one name has consistently captivated audiences with mesmerizing performances: Josh Dallas. Many know him as Prince Charming/David Nolan in “Once Upon a Time,” his first television series for seven seasons. Once the hit series ended, Dallas landed yet another enigmatic role, that of Ben Stone in “Manifest.” Initially canceled after its third season, but when almost a hundred thousand fans signed a petition to save it, Netflix picked up the series for its fourth and final season.
Dallas has consistently showcased his ability to bring depth and authenticity to his characters. Whether portraying a courageous hero, a conflicted soul or a complex individual, Dallas effortlessly breathes life into every role he undertakes. Dallas shares his thoughts and emotions in this exclusive interview as “Manifest” reaches its final chapter.
DAMAN: Hi Josh, thrilled to have you with us again. Let’s dive right in. The second part of “Manifest” season four is coming out this June. How do you feel now that the series is ending?
Josh Dallas: Thank you for havingme back DA MAN… feels like a second home at this point. Yes, the end is coming on June 2. It’s bittersweet on the one hand, but I am so excited for fans to finally get the answer to what happened to these characters and Flight 828. On the other hand, I’m super sad. Not only because I have to say goodbye to these characters but to the “Manifest” family we have built. I wish there were some way to continue the story.
DA: What initially drew you to your role as Ben Stone on “Manifest” and how did you prepare for the role?
JD: What immediately hooked me was the idea that a plane went missing for five and a half years and suddenly landed again, but no time had passed for the passengers. I wanted to know what happened and see how these people would piece their lives back together and find a way forward. It was so intriguing. And what I loved about Ben Stone is that he’s a guy who is so practical and effective in all situations—a realist. But now, he’s faced with a situation that he has no idea what the solution is. It forces him to approach life entirely differently. He goes from non-believer to believer, which was a journey I could grab onto.
DA: The show deals with many complex themes, including family dynamics,spirituality and, of course, the unknown. How do you incorporate elements of these themes in your performance?
JD: It really does. These characters are in an extremely complex situation. Luckily for me, it’s all in the writing. I start with what’s on the page and the writers are so brilliant that it always catapults me into the situation and dynamics.
DA: Your character has been through a lot of ups and downs throughout the series. With that in mind, what has been your favorite storyline to explore?
JD: He certainly has; they all have. My favorite storyline has been his fatherhood journey and his trying to balance caring for his kids and all of humanity. And in not being selfish in either case, he has done all of these things with the best intentions. And he has done them imperfectly
DA: “Manifest” has developed a passionate fan base. What has it been like to see the show’s impact on audiences? And how do you engage with your fans?
JD: We love our Manifesters. We make it for them. And the fact that they have embraced the show and these characters are the most you can ask for and it is completely humbling. Social media is the place, as are fan conventions. And, basically, I love to meet a Manifester anytime, anywhere.
“We love our manifesters. We make it for them. And the fact that they have embraced the show and these characters are the most you can ask for and it’s completely humbling”
DA: You’ve been with the series since the beginning. How do you think the show has evolved and how have you grown as an actor?
JD: Yes, since day one. Every season the show evolved. There’s been a reset at the beginning of each season. And that’s made it so exciting. Anytime I’m acting, I’m growing as an actor and the show was no different.
DA: You made your directorial debut in “Manifest” with episode 407. How do you feel about what you’ve achieved by being behind the camera this time?
JD: I’m really proud of it. I loved every minute of directing, particularly something so close to me. When you’re directing, you realize every single job on a film set is important, necessary and crucial. I love the collaborative nature of making film and TV, which becomes even more evident when you’re directing. I can’t think of a more collaborative, artistic process— maybe an orchestra? All these individual parts move towards the same goal in mind. The 360-degree view you must have as a director is something I really responded to. I hope to do much more in the future.
DA: What do you hope audiences will take away from your performance in “Manifest,” especially in these final episodes? And on a related note, what does the experience of working on the show mean to you personally?
JD: I hope the audience takes away a transformational journey of a man who has grown and learned. Personally, the experience of working on the show has been extremely rewarding. Anytime you’re allowed to explore a character over this amount of time is a gift. When you can play a character for four years, you have an opportunity to evolve for the character and as an actor.
DA: Throughout your career, you’ve had the opportunity to work on various projects, from big-budget films to TV shows to stage productions. How does your approach to acting change depending on the medium?
JD: To me, it’s all the same. It’s all about connecting to the truth. The medium may change in its different technical demands. Acting is the same. True is true is true.
DA: You often have to tap into deep emotions and expose vulnerabilities in your performance. How do you take care of your mental and emotional health while performing?
JD: By taking breaks and not staying in it. You absolutely have to reset. Otherwise, you would end up in a straitjacket and possibly carted off somewhere.
DA: As someone who has worked on both sides of the camera, how do the roles inform each other? And what are the benefits of having experience in both areas?
JD: There are major benefits. You instinctively know what a director is looking for in a moment. Or how a camera moves and how you can better help as an actor. And being an actor who directs, you can have a shorthand with an actor because you know what they need.
“When you’re directing, you realize every single job on a film set is important, necessary and crucial”
DA: How do you stay creative and motivated when you’re not working on a project?
JD: Fear. It is fear that keeps me motivated! [Laughs]
DA: And lastly, what are your professional and personal plans for the rest of the year?
JD: Well, spending time with my family as much as possible. And professionally, now everything’s at a standstill. There’s great change happening in this business at the moment. And I’m excited and hopeful about where it will be when we come out the other side. Until then, I’ll watch season four, part two of “Manifest” on Netflix! I got to see how this thing ends!
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