We are so excited to share with you an interview with Curtiss Cook all about his part on the new show Manifest. Manifest premiered to great numbers and we can’t wait to learn more about his character!
Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with us, we’re so excited for Manifest to start and can’t wait to learn more about your character Radd and your career.
It’s my pleasure, and I’m also excited for everyone to see the work we’ve been creating on this mysterious great show.
We know that Radd is one of the passengers who disappears for 5 years, and comes back to find his son a full-blown teenager. What drew you to this character in the first place?
Yes, Radd is one of the passengers and there were a few things that brought me over to this character and project, one of the biggest was the creative team attached. You really can’t get more impressive than Jeff Rake, Robert Zemikas and David Frankel. As for the character, when I found out that he was from Jamaica and a concert violinist, that let me know that I would get to delve into a world that isn’t readily available to me and that I would get to stretch my acting muscle as well as my knowledge of something new.
It’s so exciting that you get to work with your real-life son, Curtiss Cook Jr. on the show. Does that relationship change how you approach your scenes?
Yes, I was very excited as well. Curtiss is my oldest child of five and when I found out that he had earned the role, I was over the moon and I still am. This is a first for us and I know that the audience is going to love what we bring to this show. Yes, in some ways it changed the way that I normally approach my work but what I really wanted to do was to make sure he was as comfortable as possible as a peer, not just as my son, and that’s something I’ve never had to think about before.
Can you give us any hints as to what we can expect between that father/son relationship?
I don’t want to spoil anything for you but, what I will say is that the love and focus that was exchanged on that set left many people with the need to grab a tissue. Let’s see what happens on Monday, October 1st at 10 PM on NBC, which is when our episode airs!
If you look back on your own life 5 years ago – what would surprise that past you the most about your current life?
You know, although five years ago is a long time ago, it doesn’t seem like it when you become a “man of a certain age” like I am. In any case, I’ve been in show business for a very long time and I’m just blessed that I keep getting great opportunities to work on such great projects. I’m glad I’m here and I get to show a different color of my talent today and hopefully tomorrow.
You’ve worked hard to push forward with an impressive career, all while being a single parent for some time. How did you manage the time between work and family?
It definitely wasn’t easy. Before I met my beautiful wife Angelica (who I’m currently married to), I was a single dad of 3 children, and not only that, but a black man with children. I would walk the streets of NYC auditioning, a lot of times with a stroller and the three of them right next to me because I could not afford a babysitter. At the time, I just didn’t think about it. I came to this city to be an actor, and I met a woman. We fell in love, had children, fell out of love and she left. I still had my dreams of acting even though I was a father, and they came along for the ride and helped keep me sane. There was no between work and family, work was family and family was work. I JUST DID IT, but with help, but my family and I did it and I truly believe that I’m a better man for it.
You’re fresh off of several Netflix projects, House of Cards, Narcos and Luke Cage. How is filming for network TV different than the streaming services?
There is not much of a difference, everyone wants to do good work so the passion is about the same. The easy answer is that you get to curse a little easier on the streamers than a network, but that’s not really that big of a deal. Also, I find that streaming services are able to dive into a subject’s matter edgier side if you like that sort of story.
What has been the most difficult experience filming you’ve had?
What I didn’t know about were all the rules you have to follow while shooting in Times Square. The atmosphere was amazing, but it is Times Square in the middle of morning rush hour and there are a lot of rules to follow, including what signs you can or can’t shoot. It isn’t the most difficult but it definitely was a new experience for me.
What film or show impacted you at a young age and inspired you to be in the entertainment industry?
There are a few. But specifically, I remember watching “Lady Sings the Blues” when I was young. Watching Diana Ross in the bathroom scene doing drugs, and grabbing the razor from Billy Dee Williams ready to kill him, it was intense to see someone truly go as deep as they could in a character. Not only did it make me never want to do drugs, it also was a really great scene. I also remember my mother told me that she was a singer, not an actress and I thought if she was either, it was an actress. It made me want to learn how to act and how to make people feel like that, it was a moment I’ll remember forever.
We’ve been told you have 2 new primetime roles announcing soon! Congratulations!! Are there any hints you can give us as to what you’ll be involved in?
It is definitely a very exciting time for me, I will be a major recurring character on the Showtime series “The Chi” as well as one more role that you’ll just have to follow me to see!
Is there anything else you’d like your fans to know?
Well, first and foremost, please follow me on all my social media outlets to keep up with all the great things that are happening @curtisscook on Twitter and Instagram. And thanks for riding with me thus far and it only gets better from here #QQ
Manifest airs on NBC at 10/9c