The characters on Manifest all carry the weight of being "the returned" passengers of Flight 828.
But no character has been more crucial to the storyline and the overarching mystery than Cal Stone played by the brilliant Jack Messina.
Despite being the 'holy grail,' the 11-year-old has infused Cal with depth, wit, and innocence resulting in one of the brightest young characters on television. On Manifest Season 2 Episode 13, he befriended and evaded his kidnappers, he's helped his father, Ben Stone, decode many Callings, and he's the reason Zeke is even in their lives.
Cal may just be the answer to all of our burning questions.
Thankfully, off-screen, Messina's life is less focused on plane conspiracy theories and more rooted in enjoying his time on set, honing in on his craft, and schoolwork.
TV Fanatic had a chance to catch up with Messina about his character, his time filming season 2, and what life in quarantine is like!
The season finale of Manifest was wild and you did a great job as Cal! What insight have you gotten about where his storyline might go in season 3?
I have zero insight on where Cal’s storyline might go. Every episode surprises me, and the cast is never told ahead of time what is going to happen. I can’t wait to see though.
Where are we at on a season 3 renewal? Manifesters are hoping you have some good news for us!
I haven’t heard anything yet about season 3, but the Upfronts are coming in May. We should know by then.
Cal initially brought Zeke to the Stone family through a Calling, and Zeke returned the favor by saving Cal from the kidnappers. Does their connection play deeper into the story?
I think it will. Cal and Zeke have a special bond. I’m sure it will continue.
Is the flash of light that saved Zeke the same one that affected Flight 828? Why did he survive?
I don’t know for sure, but I think it’s a good guess that the lightening is connected somehow. I think Zeke survived by saving Cal.
There are so many theories about what happened to Flight 828 from alternate dimensions, time travel, and clones. Do you have a fun theory?
I don’t really have a specific theory, but it would be funny if it all ends up not being real.
Is Cal still the “Holy Grail”?
I hope so. I love having such an important part of the storyline, especially as a kid. Being unaware of what the callings mean adds to the drama and mystery. But now, with the Major gone, I’m not sure there is a Holy Grail anymore.
Which episode was your favorite to film this season and why?
I have to say Manifest Season 2 Episode 9 with the pirate ship was the most fun day on set. We filmed it soaking wet. At one point in the day, I was told I could change into dry clothes. When I returned to set, they dumped a bucket of water over my head to soak me again. The entire crew dressed up as pirates that day. It was fun.
You’ve shared the screen with most of the cast members, but we want to know… who has been your favorite scene partner and why?
It’s so hard to pick one cast member as a favorite -- I work with the most amazing people. I had a lot of great scenes this season with Matt Long, who plays Zeke. We filmed his bachelor party in Cal’s room, which was fun, but we also shared the underwater scenes in the finale, and we trained for that together with scuba gear.
We saw you were baking cookies… how else have you been keeping yourself entertained during the quarantine?
Most of my days are spent doing schoolwork, but I get outside to ride my bike, jump on the trampoline, and play with my dog. I play video games and my family, and I have been watching old home movies.
You show your fans a lot of love on social media. Is there anything you’d like to say to them now?
I would like to thank the fans for watching Manifest and following us on social media. We have an incredible group of people working so hard on the show, and knowing the fans love it makes it worth every minute. I hope everyone is staying at home and staying safe.