Richmond Review, September 24, 2014

Page 19

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Richmond Review · Page 19

arts + culture edition

‘It came down to what made me happy’ “If I’m not acting, I’m dancing. I always have the need to do one or the other.” — Manny Jacinto

with... 20 Questions With - Manny Jacinto: Richmond actor talks about Saved by the Bell, Little Ongpin Restaurant and playing bad guys by Matthew Hoekstra Staff Reporter

M

anny Jacinto is an up-and-coming actor who found his way to TV by, well, dancing around civil engineering.

The 27-year-old Richmond resident holds a civil engineering degree from the University of B.C. But instead of building roads, he’s building bridges to the big screen. Jacinto was born in the Philippines, and graduated from Vancouver College. At age 19, TV dance shows inspired him to take hip hop classes. He found a mentor in a teacher Stewart Iguidez and joined Fresh Groove Productions in Richmond. It was experiencing the thrill of live performance that prompted him to seek training as an actor. He joined Actor’s Foundry in Vancouver, where teacher Jeb Beach inspired Jacinto to step up his training—this while he was completing his UBC degree. His first break came when he was offered a role on an episode of Once Upon a Time, which aired last year. The brief part had him act alongside Eion Bailey, who plays August W. Booth. He’s also earned TV credits with shows such as Supernatural, The 100, Rogue, and Untold Stories of the E.R. He’s also been offered a part on the FOX series Wayward Pines. His most recent work premiered on Lifetime this month: the TV movie The Unauthorized

Richmond actor Manny Jacinto can be seen in the new TV movie The Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story.

Saved By the Bell Story. He plays a supporting character in the film, which looks at the inside story of the original Saturday morning TV series, which ran from 1989 to 1993. The movie delves into the lives of the young actors under the Hollywood spotlight. 1. Why civil engineering? “Well when I was really young I wanted to either be a baseball player, super hero or civil engineer. I stopped playing baseball before high school, but I’m

still working on the super hero thing.” 2. How did acting win over engineering? “It came down to what made me happy and what I was passionate about, performing fulfills both.” 3. What was it about your experience with Fresh Groove that propelled you into acting? “My first live show with the studio initiated my love for performing.” 4. How often do you get a chance to dance these days?

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“If I’m not acting, I’m dancing. I always have the need to do one or the other.” 5. What was it like appearing in a Once episode? “Intimidating, surreal, and a huge learning experience.” 6. How familiar were you with Saved By the Bell before landing your role on the TV movie? “I grew up watching Saved By the Bell with my sister and my cousins.” 7. How true of a story is the film? “From what I hear, and

since Dustin Diamond is an executive producer, there is some truth to the film. How much and which events are questions only the (original) cast and crew can answer.” 8. Who is your character Eric? “He’s an extra on the lot that becomes close friends with Dustin, aka Screech. He’s the bad influence that introduces him to some unwholesome substances.” 9. A TV series you’d love to appear on? “The Newsroom.” 10. Best reality TV show? “The Amazing Race.” 11. Your exercise routine? “Dance, lifting weights and yoga pretty much comprises my weekly exercise routine.” 12. A favourite local restaurant? “The Filipino restaurant Little Ongpin is a family favourite.” 13. Favourite movie genre? “Comedy.” 14. What TV shows were you a fan of growing up? “Power Rangers, Recess, Saved by the Bell, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Simpsons.” 15. Who do you enjoy playing most? “The bad guy is always fun to play but I swear I’m a good guy in real life. I think.” 16. An A-list actor you’d pay to act alongside? “Mr. Robert De Niro.” 17. Generally, how do you prepare for a role? “A lot of homework. This can include script analysis, creating back story, voice work, focus exercises, knowing my lines to the point where I start saying them in my sleep and then throwing it all out the window.” 18. Meal you’d cook to impress a date? “Pasta. It’s pretty hard to screw up making pasta.” 19. A memorable holiday? “One word: KUMSHEEN (a white water rafting resort in Lytton, B.C.).” 20. Acting is a tough business. What drives you? “Passion, curiosity, and I’m a little crazy.”

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