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Manny Jacinto is nothing like goofy Jason on ‘The Good Place’

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Manny Jacinto is in a really good place.

The Filipino-Canadian actor, 33, rose to fame on NBC’s “The Good Place,” starring as Jason Mendoza from 2016 until the show ended in 2020. Jacinto, who currently lives in LA, charmed audiences as a lovably dim-witted DJ from Florida, who was obsessed with his dance crew, Molotov cocktails and former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.

Now, he’s headed to Hulu’s “Nine Perfect Strangers,” a star-studded new miniseries about a mysterious wellness retreat, premiering Aug. 18.

Prior to “The Good Place,” Jacinto had done minor TV appearances on shows such as “Once Upon a Time” and “Supernatural,” but playing Jason “opened a lot of doors,” he said. After the finale, he wanted to take his time considering his next steps. “Instead of just thinking about putting food on the table and trying to have some money in the bank, it allowed me to take a moment to be like, ‘What is the stamp that I want to leave? What is the résumé that I want to have?’”

Manny Jacinto poses for a portrait.
Manny Jacinto
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

That led him to “Nine Perfect Strangers,” from the team behind “Big Little Lies.” Just like that series, it’s a David E. Kelly adaptation of a Liane Moriarty novel. It follows a group of stressed city-dwellers who have all checked in at a secluded, highly exclusive 10-day resort in northern California called the Tranquillum House, led by the enigmatic wellness guru Masha (Nicole Kidman) and her counselors, Yao (Jacinto) and Delilah (Tiffany Boone). 

Jacinto said he was eager to work with the “inspiring” cast, such Michael Shannon, who plays Napoleon Marconi, a teacher who is a guest at the resort.

“Just watching the man work, he set the bar of what I want to achieve,” he said.

He was also impressed with Kidman’s approach to the role. “Before we even shot our first scene, Nicole would come up to me and start talking, but it wasn’t Nicole, it was [her in character] Masha,” said Jacinto. “It was super cool, getting to do a little acting exercise with Nicole Kidman.”

In the show, Masha, Yao and Delilah give guidance to the grieving Napoleon Marconi, churlish Tony (Bobby Cannavale), cynical Lars (Luke Evans) and frustrated author Francis (Melissa McCarthy), among others. Unlike goofy Jason, Yao is serene, more like Jason’s monk-like persona from early “The Good Place” episodes.

Manny Jacinto as Yao and Melissa McCarthy as Francis, right, jog together in "Nine Perfect Strangers."
Manny Jacinto as Yao and Melissa McCarthy as Francis, right, in “Nine Perfect Strangers.”
HULU

Jacinto said that he’s less like Jason than fans might think. He has a self-deprecating sense of humor, is not a hard partier (“I barely even drink any alcohol, I try to keep it clean”) and approaches his work with thoughtfulness. “I love finding different layers to a character,” he said. “Whether it be stillness or chaos or humor or genuine love. Give me all the things! I’ll play it all — just give me some room.”

He’s also got a passion for photography, which he brought to the set.

“What I like to do on set is take photos and just capture little moments, whether it be Nicole having a conversation with Michael or somebody laughing,” he said. “It helps me to just be in the moment and try not to worry so much about the scenes and let go a little bit. It’s a grounding practice.”

As the show unfolds, it becomes clear that not everything is as it seems in this tranquil setting. The strangers get to know each other and undergo “wellness” exercises that range from innocuous (relaxing in hot springs) to potentially worrisome (drinking smoothies without knowing their ingredients) to downright disturbing (digging their own graves). All the while, the audience is left wondering if Masha is a scammer with more sinister intentions.

Author Liane Moriarty's books: "Nine Perfect Strangers" and "Big Little Lies."
“Nine Perfect Strangers” is based on a book by Liane Moriarty, the author of “Big Little Lies.”

For his part, Jacinto said he doesn’t imbibe special wellness drinks or visit resorts, but he does strive for self-improvement. 

“I am a big sucker for self-help books and all that stuff,” he said. “Whether it be through a podcast or through a book, I’m always trying to figure out how to be a Buddha or something … I’m a big Alan Watts fan. ‘The Wisdom of Insecurity’ was a book that I was carrying with me when I was shooting.”

Up next, Jacinto is also joining the “Top Gun” franchise in “Top Gun: Maverick.” Meanwhile, his pop culture legacy lives on with “The Good Place,” streaming on Netflix.

He said that fans sometimes spout Jason’s signature catchphrase (“Bortles!”) to him, but he doesn’t mind: “Whenever it happens, it definitely puts a smile on my face.”

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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