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 IN 2013, MANNY JACINTO TOOK AN ACTING CLASS TO improve his stage presence. A lifelong dancer, Jacinto had aspired to perform onstage with musicians like Justin Timberlake or The-
Dream. At the time, Jacinto had mastered the art of movement and was hoping to tap into his emotional reserve to take his dance performance to the next level. That class changed his life — and set him on a completely new path. “It was just a little feeling, a little voice in my head,” says Jacinto, over Zoom from his apartment in Los Angeles, about his decision to pursue acting. “If I’m very passionate and really excited about something, I can’t help but dive in and that’s the only thing I can think about. I was like, ‘Oh, let’s see what this can lead to.’”
His passion has so far earned him a spot as one of Hollywood’s most interesting emerging talents. Jacinto broke out as the dop- ey-sweet hunk Jason Mendoza in Mike Schur’s Emmy-winning comedy The Good Place, which wrapped in 2020 after four seasons. After film roles in 2018’s Bad Times at the El Royale and the highly anticipated Top Gun sequel, Jacinto has returned to television with

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