EXCLUSIVE | 'Manifest' star Leah Gibson teases Jared and Billy's 'grey shades' and connection with X'ers

Leah Gibson, who comes into the picture as Tamara, a bartender, who works at a tavern frequented by the X'ers, speaks at length about her role in 'Manifest'

                            EXCLUSIVE | 'Manifest' star Leah Gibson teases Jared and Billy's 'grey shades' and connection with X'ers

'Manifest' opens doors to a world of supernatural disaster and delves deep into fantasy and fiction with an essence of reality. The story centers around the Stone family and other passengers on the Montego Air Flight 828 that landed safely after a turbulent flight and found out that the world had aged five years.

The second season brings actress Leah Gibson into the picture as Tamara, a bartender, who works at a tavern frequented by the X'ers. The actress spoke at length about her role in an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) and spilled the beans on her growing closeness to Jared Vasquez (JR Ramirez) and the negative shades portrayed by her brother Billy (Carl Lundstedt).

In 'Manifest', you play Tamara, a bartender, who works at a place X'ers commonly attend. What can we expect for your character for the rest of the season?

Tamara comes from a bit of rough upbringing but she lives an honest life for herself. She is quite close to her brother, even though she knows he has found a rougher way with the world than she would have hoped he would. She is the head bartender in this particular setting — that hosts a sort of social activity she is not engaged with, firsthand, but witnesses it closely and, unfortunately, sees her brother struggle with it a bit. And then, of course, she becomes involved with this very handsome, charming cop who comes in — Jared. 

Leah Gibson as Tamara, Melissa Roxburgh as Michaela Stone (NBC)

Carl Lundstedt plays your brother Billy. How serious will his involvement be in your relationship, the callings, and the 828 passengers?

It is interesting how the show brings different elements together. And with season two, we get to really experience the social repercussions and the reverberations of 828 passengers in the social community. We get to see that with Adrian's (Jared Grimes) group, the group that the young girl is involved in and her curiosity to find the meaning of all of it and the complications it leads to. With Billy, we are trying to find a different element. People are trying to find a purpose in the world and when it comes to flight 828, the group that Billy is involved with is also seeking a purpose in a way and we get to see the consequences of those choices. Again, it's an interesting exploration of characters and a person's perspective and their intent, and how sometimes a positive intent can be led astray with off-the-mark actions. 

Leah Gibson as Tamara, Carl Lundstedt as Billy, JR Ramirez as Jared Vasquez (NBC)

Will Jared be seen in a negative light and get involved with the X'ers?

It's one of the compelling points of this season. We get to explore his motive in relation to his past and how he reconciled after his heartbreak with the love of his life — who has been Michaela. How does the man move forward, remains strong and clear, filled with integrity and offers forgiveness without exploring different options to corroborate his own sense of strength as a masculine figure? What does it look like? Does he even know where he is going to go? These are all the questions viewers are wondering. Where's his clarity? Is he aware of what he is doing? If he is, in which direction is he choosing to take his life right now? That's a compelling thread to follow and watch his character explore in the next few episodes.

Will he take the right step or maybe make some impulsive decisions? That's what fans can't wait to find out.

Right. But is it all black and white? Is it all good and bad or is it just the area in between that can be grey? That's the real question here.

Melissa Roxburgh as Michaela, Jared Grimes as Adrian, Josh Dallas as Ben (NBC)

'Manifest' has been compared to 'Lost' many times. What do you think about the comparison and how do you think it has affected the show's fan following?

'Lost' is one of the most iconic long-time running drama series ever and I certainly I mean, of course, there are certain elements between the two theories that are obviously in common, especially a mysterious plane crash. However, I do see and experience other differences in 'Manifest'. There were there was a show called 'The Returned' that came out about five years ago, which was about the disappearance of people who returned and they had aged. There are certain elements of that too that I experienced in the writing. I think when it comes to any material in film and TV that really moves that as a fan, it is because we have a personal experience with the material. And that is often because the writers are tapping into writing about the larger themes and mystical ideas that a lot of us wonder about on a deeper level. And we have a deeper calling — not the reference to the "calling" on the show — but yes, we do have a deeper calling to these stories. It reflects, larger questions about life and shows the mysteries of what happens in between being here and being gone. And I think that that's what we're experiencing on the show. The concept of the show is beautiful.

Catch the second part of the interview soon. 'Manifest' airs every Monday on NBC at 10 pm ET. 

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