Imagine a picture-perfect town where people who have been good their whole lives go after their death. Created by Michael Shur (Brooklyn 99, Parks and Recreation, The Office), Manny Jacinto and D’Arcy Carden star in NBC’s “The Good Place” alongside actress Kristen Bell.
The Knockturnal had the chance to chat with them during an NBC press brunch recently and we couldn’t help to feel anything but good. Check out what they had to say below!
The Knockturnal: So the show…how excited are you guys to be apart of it?
D’Arcy Carden: So excited!
Manny Jacinto: We can’t wait, especially for the next episode that’s coming out. It’s unreal.
D’Arcy Carden: It kind of feels like we have this little secret and the rest of this season is like this little present that you guys get to open.
The Knockturnal: Is there anything you can tease for us? Something that we should expect?
D’Arcy Carden: Almost nothing we can tease but I mean, the only thing I’ll say is that we spent the whole season on earth and now everyone’s dying on earth. For sure the rest of the season is different.
The Knockturnal: What were your initial reactions when you first found out you might be on the show and you guys read the script?
D’Arcy Carden: That question for Ted and Kirsten would be different for them than it would be for us. Because for us and for Will and for Jameela we were just like happy to be here.
Manny Jacinto: Yeah exactly.
D’Arcy Carden: Working with Michael Shur? Yes please, like where do I sign? Even if we did have more of a choice and we were in a place in our career where we could have been like this, or this, or this, there’s no question that we would have chosen this.
Manny Jacinto: Yeah.
The Knockturnal: To be a part of it the cast what does it mean to you guys?
Manny Jacinto: I mean it’s incredible…
The Knockturnal: Did you guys have any clue that when you first started that it would be as big as it is now?
Manny Jacinto: I mean we enjoyed it. Like we knew that this was a great story. With TV nowadays there’s just so much so many outlets and everybody has a show or a podcast or something. And so we didn’t know what would come of it, but at the end of the day, people enjoyed it and it kind of hit.
D’Arcy Carden: Yeah. I do remember a feeling that we sort of had the first season because we shot the whole first season before anything aired. So, by the time we were fully wrapped, nobody had seen anything. We were basically like..
The Knockturnal: Playing the waiting game?
D’Arcy Carden: Yes! I remember we sort of had this talk where we were like I don’t know if people will like this, but I do know that we feel so good about it that it almost didn’t matter.
The Knockturnal: That’s with a lot of things in life, right? Whatever you do, who cares about what the rest of people think of it. Like, if you like it, then that’s kind of all that matters.
D’Arcy Carden: Yeah, exactly. Like we knew we were proud of it. If it was only that one season–I know we would have still been like we did something cool and different with a group of people that we love and if that’s it, that’s it. But we’ve lucked out. I think it’s exciting and we feel very lucky.
The Knockturnal: Now Manny, I know you got cast in the Top Gun film. Congratulations!
Manny Jacinto: Thank you.
The Knockturnal: This is some major news! What was your reaction when you got the call that you were going to be in a movie with Tom Cruise?
Manny Jacinto: I’m ecstatic. Almost the same reaction when I got this show, I guess, to be honest … Yeah. When you hear something like that you just go nuts. We already did shoot for about a month or so. It’s been an incredible experience getting to learn from these top guys at -sorry no pun intended..
D’Arcy Carden: Top Gun Guys
Manny Jacinto: …That have been around for a long time, like Tom and Jerry Bruckheimer, and all these guys that have just been in the industry. I get to just learn. I get to learn from a tv legend and now I get to learn from these film actors.
The Knockturnal: You know there is a video circulating on twitter and it was a compilation of Tom Cruise and all his stunts that he has done throughout his career in different movies. He does his own stunts!
Manny Jacinto: He does! Yup, he does all his stunts.
The Knockturnal: I was shooketh! As people you know say “shook.”
D’Arcy Carden: I was also shooketh because isn’t he in his mid-fifties? The dude looks so damn good! Like I don’t know what water he’s drinking, I don’t know, like, whatever it is.
The Knockturnal: Give it to us! Give us the recipe.
D’Arcy Carden: Yeah, like bottle it up, I will drink it.
The Knockturnal: Crazy Rich Asians was amazing and moving and that’s a good example that things are slowly but surely getting to a place where a lot more people can feel represented. I know you’re from the Philippines and in a time like today where the representation matters movement is going on what does it mean to you to be getting to do projects like these?
Manny Jacinto: Totally yeah, I think you nailed it on the head. It’s still a process and it’s still going to be slowly moving forward but the fact that you get to have diverse representation on a big Hollywood film like this–it’s a step and it’s a step in a direction that will hopefully get bigger and bigger. So it’s incredible to be apart of that. I think this show in and of itself, represents a big part of that, whether it be Brooklyn 99 or this show Mike (Michael Shur) has always been open to diverse stories and representations.
D’Arcy Carden: Yeah like he doesn’t overthink it. It doesn’t feel like he’s like, oh let’s make a perfect little diverse cast, he’s just like I want the best people for the job and that equals everybody. Which is like insane because that’s rare and like naturally that’s just kind of how everything came about. Which is great.
The Good Place airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.