VMEN: Leader of the Pack Jake Manley

VMEN: Leader of the Pack Jake Manley

Get used to seeing the star of Netflix's The Order in a leading-man light.

Get used to seeing the star of Netflix's The Order in a leading-man light.

Photography: Chris Sutton

Styling: Ashley Pruitt

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

A young actor straddling the leading-manhood threshold may be Hollywood's closest real-life analog to that scene in Teen Wolf (the original, 1980s version) when Michael J. Fox, agog, discovers his hands are covered in werewolf fur; yesterday a boy, tomorrow a juggernaut of testosterone, tasked with harnessing his latent carnal powers. So it's no wonder that, in the long line of actors who've since played lycanthropic beasts onscreen, many endure as evergreen heartthrobs, just as Jake Manley, star of Netflix's The Order, is poised to do. On the heels of the supernatural mystery's first season, which centers on Manley as an undergrad whose shadowy fraternity awakens his inner wolf, and the May release of A Dog's Journey, Manley is busting out of the canine-crowd-pleaser genre, tackling wartime epics (November's Midway), rom-coms (next year's Holidate), and, naturally, IRL puppy fatherhood.

In this exclusive shoot, we catch up with Manley mid-transformation.

VMAN Season 1 of The Order opens on “hell week” at your character’s college campus. Could you see yourself joining a fraternity?

Jake Manley I didn’t get much chance to take a stab at the fraternity thing. I did a semester of film school and then dropped out to start studying acting. I did however visit many different universities my friends went to. I got to experience the best part - or should I say parties (will keep the stories in safe keeping). My girlfriend's brother, Ben, is part of a fraternity and he loves it. But I don’t think I would be able to keep up!

VMAN The Order is, by many accounts, your breakout leading role. Do you consider it a “breakout” and/or how has your life changed this year?

JM I absolutely consider it a breakout of sorts. To lead a show created by brilliant people—Dennis Heston, Shelley Erikson—and for it to be on a network like Netflix is a great feat in my books. I feel like it has definitely helped open some doors and started to put me on the map. I am very grateful for The Order.

VMAN Have you ever had any kind of “five year plan” and if so, how did the ensuing five years compare in reality?

JM Looking back, I’m not sure there was a very structured plan, but I did have goals to knock off. Mainly trying to work consistently, improve my craft and make my way to have representation and live in LA. I’m happy with how things progressed in the last five years. I feel like things have come at the right time and if some had come sooner, maybe I would not have been ready for them.

VMAN Had you been a fan of the werewolf sub-genre (Teen Wolf, Twilight, etc.) prior to The Order?

JM To be honest, no; that genre was never really my cup of tea. When I got The Order I had only read the first episode, in which there was no mention of werewolves. I was drawn to the comedy and grittiness of the material. I love the show because of how different it is from everything else.

VMAN Midway, coming in November, looks like it was a huge production! Can you say anything about the character you play? And was it intimidating to be on a set with the likes of Woody Harrelson, Dennis Quaid, Nick Jonas, etc.?

JM I play a young fighter pilot called up for action fresh out of flight school. It was a bit intimidating for sure—Roland Emmerich, that cast... These are people I am big fans of. I was more excited than intimidated, though, which helped me buckle down and show up ready. I really can’t wait to see the completed film!

VMAN Do you consider your announced role in Holidate to be a departure, considering some of the darker themes in your recent projects?

JM Yes! Holidate is a romantic comedy, which hasn’t been in the realm of movies I’ve jumped on before. I’ve been dying to do a comedy and this is the perfect scenario. The script is one of the funniest I’ve ever read, and I absolutely love the cast! It’s been very fun and refreshing to come in and laugh everyday. I definitely want to do more comedies in the future!

VMAN You recently became a dad to a (very adorable) dog! Was this at all inspired by the role in A Dog’s Journey? How does co-parenting with [girlfriend] Jocelyn [Hudon] work?

JM It wasn't exactly inspired by A Dog’s Journey, but working on that film affirmed my love for dogs. Jocelyn and I had been talking about getting a puppy for awhile and the timing was just right. I’m lucky to have such an amazing dog mom! He for sure bites me more..

VMAN How far along are you in The Order Season 2? How is it similar or different in tone or content from S1?

JM The writers have been together writing for a couple months now but I haven’t seen anything. I am currently finishing up Holidate and then starting a film with Bella Thorne called Southland. We go back for Season 2 of The Order in August and I can’t wait! I know it’s going to be even more crazy...

Jake wears Shirt All Saints Jeans and Shoes Saint Laurent
Credits: Fashion assistant: Taylor Ghrist

UP NEXT

Dior Men's Summer 2020: Watch the Livestream Here