Season 3 of Manifest has barely gotten off the ground but it's not holding back mythology-wise. Ben (Josh Dallas) and Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) are peeling back the layers of what the meth heads mean to the callings and fellow passenger Angelina (Holly Taylor). Meanwhile, Olive Stone (Luna Blaise) is really stepping up to the plate in deciphering the visual clues in Angelina's intense callings/visions.
In this week's episode, "Wingman," Olive and Angelina get Ben's permission to go into his research office to look at some Egyptian artifacts that might play into unraveling more clues. The lab reminds Olive of her former boyfriend, TJ (Garrett Wareing), who is off in Egypt doing more hands-on research. But a new ally is already in place: research assistant Levi, played by Will Peltz (Euphoria, Unfriended).
With Levi serving as a new recurring character for Season 3, SYFY WIRE spoke with Peltz to get some intel on how this brainy guy is going to work alongside the Stones going forward...
Will, you've been a series regular on shows but also a guest actor on series like Medium and CSI: Cyber where it's important to make your mark with a character quickly. Levi is certainly a guy who makes an impression on Olive and the audience immediately. Was he just as distinctive for you on the page?
From the first episode on in, I was pretty straightforward about who Levi was so it was nice. When I did book it and came to work, I knew — obviously, not his storyline or where it was going — but just who he was, [it] was pretty straightforward right off the road. The writing is so good on the show so I saw his dialogue and the way he spoke. Like I'm reading this huge passage about Al-Zuras and these Egyptian artifacts. It's funny because my brother loves all that stuff but I'm not so familiar. [Laughs.] But I'm like, "This guy is smart and he's got to be able to spit all this information out like nothing." It's so casual! And that's not who I am. [Laughs.]
I think audiences will be a bit charmed by his haughty yet intrigued reaction to Olive and Angelina's smarts. Was there a lot of dialing that tone in right so he didn't come off as a deterrent to their investigation?
I'm actually really glad you said that I came across warm a little bit, because most of the roles I do, I'm kind of a dick. [Laughs.] I'm used to playing "kind of a dick," so it was really refreshing and nice to be able to do something a little different with someone who's very brainy. It was a nice mix of a non-stereotypical character, which was really nice for me. And he's kind of cool. But he's also this super nerd, which is awesome. [On other shows] he would be more stereotypical, or just one-dimensional. I feel like he's got a couple more layers to him.
I'll just float that there's a bit of a vibe between Levi and Olive. Was that something shared with you by the producers?
No. To be honest, I just had the instinct. Obviously, [Levi] was specific with all this historical stuff. And I knew that's part of her storyline, and it felt very much like I was helping her storyline along. So I did feel onset that I'm gonna be involved with Olive here. I did have that instinct. I didn't know if other characters were gonna come in, or where we were gonna go, or what was gonna happen, but it definitely felt like we were gonna have "something," I guess.
You're in the same auditioning circles with actors like Luna and Holly. Had you met or worked with either of them before Manifest?
No, but you're right. It's true. When I met [Luna], we hit it off. We're both from L.A. but she's in New York and I'm in New York. I know she does a little bit of fashion as well. And I do a lot of fashion stuff. Through that, we have a lot of mutuals and we were able to talk it up right away. But we had never met before. And Holly is amazing, too. We all hit it off. It was a dream, literally. It was just so nice to work on the show.
Can we assume we'll get to see Levi interact with his "boss," Ben Stone soon?
I can't say!
OK, can you at least confirm we'll see Levi again as the season progresses? Will we get to know him a little bit more?
Oh, absolutely. Yes, absolutely.