Published: Thursday, 09 July 2020 01:07 | Written by SciFi Vision
Netflix’s The Order follows Jack Morton, played by Jake Manley, who in season one joins the secret society of magic practitioners called the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose. During the course of the season, he also becomes a werewolf and therefor part of the group called the Knights of St. Christopher, who protect the world from dark magic. This puts him at odds with the Order. At the end of the season, Alyssa (Sarah Grey), the girl Jack loves, is tasked with erasing the Knights’ memories.
In season two, the Knights eventually regain their memories and swear vengeance on the Order, but things only go from bad to worse when they not only almost start a war, but become involved in events that could lead to the apocalypse.
Star Manley recently talked to SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview about his work on The Order, the makeup and prosthetics he had to endure, what could happen in season three, and more.
SCIFI VISION: At the beginning of the season, after he lost his memories, Gabrielle (Louriza Tronco) was forcing Jack to do different things, and whether he still didn’t know or was pretending to be unaware, it seems like a lot of that would have just been really fun to play.
JAKE MANLEY: It was hilarious, the whole cheer squad thing and dyeing his hair. I love that Jack kind of has this contradiction of what she's telling him and what he's naturally remembering, kind of overpowering the memory powder.
So, when I first read that, I was laughing out loud, and I love that they did that and that Gabrielle was doing it out of spite for Alyssa, because they're not on good terms. So, it was like an idea that was floated around at the end of season one that I think Shelley Ericksen came up with. I was glad to see it came to fruition, because I thought it was like super funny.
You mentioned your hair, and that reminded me. I had read that you didn’t dye it for The Order but rather for a film, and they kind of fit it in?
Yeah, I did that for this film I had done just prior called Infamous. I wasn't able to go to Comic-Con, but I kind of videoed it in when I was on set, and I guess they all saw it, and they're like, “This could be really interesting to write in.” So, they decided to work it in, and it just kind of had that extra layer of something different, which I thought was a good use of it.
Yeah, it was.
Can you talk about Jack’s relationship with Alyssa and how it changes and evolves throughout the season? Because the one thing I want to kind of comment on, is he always seems to be quick to kind of explain away what she does. Because he’s in love with her, he’s always making excuses and trying to fix things. But as the season goes on, do you think maybe he's a little bit naive in certain things? You know, at the end of the season, some of it does kind of bite him in the butt. Can you talk about that?
I think it's one of those classic relationship things where you always try and rationalize the other person's actions, and you always try to have their perspective. And I think with Jack and Alyssa, they're trying so hard to be on the same side, but their morals are just opposite, and they kind of both flip flop this season and in what they believe in. You know, Jack wasn't on board with the Order last season, and now he is in season two, and of course Alyssa isn't anymore.
It’s such a struggle, and it's always so close. They almost get there; they almost are on the same side, and then something gets in the way, which I think just creates like a really nice tension within the story. Like it would be great for them to be together, but then it kind of becomes old news and doesn't have the stakes that it once had, because it's all about like what are you are willing to do for someone who you love. And Jack is constantly defending her actions to Vera (Katharine Isabelle). He also just wants them to be together, and at times they do have to work together for the greater good. So, I think Jack’s just trying to keep that moral backbone. He's very good at not completely writing someone off.
Can you talk a bit about how the Knights evolve this season and also the addition of Gabrielle?
Well, the Knights, too, are kind of in opposition, because, Randall (Adam DiMarco), especially, does not want to have anything to do with the Order. He just wants to get Lilith (Devery Jacobs) back. So, they all kind of have different motivations. Hamish (Thomas Elms) becomes involved with Vera. Gabrielle [becomes a part of it], which I think is an amazing addition, because you kind of need that that new blood, and it becomes interesting. Her arc this season is incredible, and I think she did an amazing job of doing that.
But the Knights kind of go on this journey. And again, I think by the end of the season, they may have a hole in the middle of them. They're all on different paths, and I don't know how they're going to reconcile that. That’s what'll be interesting about season three, is how at the end of both seasons, they're left gutted. At the end of season one, their memories are wiped, and all their stuff is taken. They do all this work during season two, and then I just think they're going to be at ends with each other. It's going to be really interesting to see how that develops.
Switching gears a second, can you talk about some of the makeup effects? I know a lot of it is CGI, but you obviously have some, you know, mid-transformations into a wolf before it turns into CGI. Then also, this season they turn you into that tree.
The tree! There's no CGI there. That was completely real. It was our special effects team. I think I had about a four or five hour molding for that and a couple fittings. I can't believe how fast they put that thing together. It wasn't the most comfortable thing to wear - it's a little like wearing a straitjacket [laughs], which is hard when you’re kind of claustrophobic. And I think there's contacts too; we had a lot of contacts in the show. But the tree thing was just the most extreme thing, which I thought was funny. It was almost like the writers were pushing the limits on, like, “What can we do to our main actor?” It was incredible.
I love how much they do practical, because it just adds a level of realism for the actors and for the audience. The audience knows. Your brain kind of knows when it's CGI and when it's real. So, I love that they do as much as possible with the practical.
And we have an amazing makeup team; they were so good; they were on the ball, and they didn’t have a ton of time in a lot of cases. So, we were very lucky to have that team.
All I know is the tree thing made me claustrophobic watching it. [laughs]
I was like, “We have to shoot this as fast as possible.” Because I couldn't see either with the contacts. I was literally being wheeled around in this cart. And yeah, it took about four hours to put on; there was no going to the bathroom for like a good seven hours. I hope I never have to do it again. [laughs]
It really looked good though when they did that.
So, expanding on the tree episodes, obviously, Midnight has had Jack do some things that weren't so great. He killed the guy from Sons of Prometheus, and Jack does try to make amends, and he turns himself in, but it was for the most part for Alyssa. I'm just kind of curious, and I don't know, maybe I'm taking it wrong, but sometimes it seemed like it was only for her, and he wasn't maybe quite as remorseful for actually killing the guy. So, I'm just curious, do you think he's taken responsibility for what he's done? Has he learned from his mistakes so maybe things don't go so wrong in the future?
Yeah, I think Midnight inherently has that mentality of like, kill them all, and so that gets into Jack, like leaks into him somewhat when he has the competition between the two hides. But I do think Jack has kind of taken a turn this season as far as he's the one who didn't want to hurt anyone or kill anyone, and I think maybe as he spends more time as a Knight and is in that world, maybe he realizes that when it comes down to it, if this is something he has to do, and it's someone that is guilty, like if it's his life or one of his friend's life over someone else, then he's going to do what he needs to do. But I think you're right, that it seemed almost glossed over. But I think there's just so many moving parts in the story and within the pacing, that maybe it wasn't something that was focused on it as much as it should have been, but I think it's something that will probably be there and come up again.
Just to clarify, you mean hypothetically; the series not been officially renewed right?
No, no, it hasn't.
OK, I just wanted to make sure I have it correct.
It's a crazy, crazy world, because it's hard to renew something when you don't know when you can film it.
That's a good point.
So, talking more about Midnight, now Jack knows, as we just talked about, that he's hard to control. And obviously, Midnight takes over Gabrielle, and regardless of the outcome of it, it looks like she kills Alyssa; Midnight makes her. So, my question is, understanding maybe how he forced her to, is different than forgiving. And I'm just kind of curious, if, hopefully, there's a next season, what you think the ramifications will be from that, and will he be able to forgive Gabrielle?
I don't think Jack will. I don't think he was ever really a fan of her. I think he grew to be indifferent about her, but I think that's what creates such a hole in the Knights. Like, if she is a part of it, or how does he get retribution even to Midnight? But I think Jack's focus in season three is going to be bringing Alyssa back any way he can. And I think it's going to require some sacrifice in working with people that he might not want to work with in order to bring her back, but I think he's going to be tunnel-visioned about that. And that's where I think it's going to create a lot of problems, because, as we know, with magic, there's a great cost. So, what is the cost going to be to bring her back - if it's possible?
So, is there someone that maybe you didn't have as many scenes with that you'd like to work with more next season?
Good question. I mean, I love working with everyone. I do enjoy the kind of two-hander scenes where it's just me and another person, whether it be like the ones I had with Sam (Trammell), [or someone else]. Adam and I always have a great time doing our scenes together, like that one in the car and the one with the puppy. But I love working with everyone on that show, so I'm happy to have more. I really enjoyed working with Matty Finochio, who is the new professor. I would hope that maybe he makes a return, because he's an incredibly fun actor to work with and such a great guy. So, I'm hoping that maybe somehow he gets back in there.
Do you have a favorite scene from the season?
Oh, there are so many! I really like the scene where the Knights brew a potion to get their memory back. They all kind of explode into memories, and Jack realizes Gabrielle made him get a tattoo on his butt. [laughs] That was really funny. I really liked when Louriza, Gabrielle, had to play Randall when they took the potion. I thought she did an incredible job with that; that was so funny. I loved watching it.
But I really enjoy watching the scenes that like I wasn't around for, that I had nothing to do with, because it's just such a complete mystery, and those are really fun, to watch my buddies do that.
So, aside from the resolution of the cliffhanger next season, is there anything else that you'd like to see for your character, specifically, if it was up to you?
I would like to see him delve back into his past a bit more, figure things out with his mom, with his dad - if there are ways of including Pete, his grandfather (Matt Frewer). I would just like to see the history of it.
And I think I have a hunch. I don't know. I have a hunch that there is some sort of connection with Vera that maybe hasn’t been revealed. Like, why is she so accepting and lenient towards Jack? What is that motivation? That's something I'd like to kind of see fleshed out.
That’s a good question. I’ve wondered about that too.
Lastly, can you describe Jack in three words?
I would say he's moral. I would say he's empathetic, and I'd say he's learning.