‘Manifest’: Holly Taylor on Angelina Being ‘Desperate to Escape,’ and Her Callings
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 3 premiere of Manifest, “Tailfin.”]
In Costa Rica, newlyweds Michaela Stone (Melissa Roxburgh) and Zeke Landon’s (Matt Long) honeymoon — and celebration that he survived his death date and didn’t die after being back the exact amount of time he’d been gone — is interrupted by a Calling, one that leads them to save the life of another 828er, Angelina (Holly Taylor).
Like Michaela, Holly was on the plane that mysteriously returned after being missing for five years, but unlike her and the rest of the Stone family, she has been alone in dealing with that. Her parents, thinking her Callings — the mysterious auditory and visual hallucinations that lead those who have returned after they should have died to help others — essentially meant she’s now evil, have locked her up. Fortunately, Michaela saves her before it’s too late, and Angelina returns to New York to stay with the Stone family.
Taylor takes us inside Angelina’s head in the premiere, teases how being with the Stones will change how she views the Callings, and more.
Talk a bit about Angelina’s state of mind when Michaela finds her.
Holly Taylor: She is about to take her own life at the beginning of Episode 1, which shows how horrible the place she’s in. She’s in probably a mentally abusive situation with her parents. They’ve been telling her she’s going to bring about the end of days and the devil is inside of her with these Callings — they don’t understand it [and] what she’s been through. And so she starts to believe all of that herself and she’s kept in just a physically, emotionally, mentally horrible place. She’s desperate to escape, to get out of that, but thankfully Michaela and Zeke arrive before she can do something to really harm herself.
She insists on not reporting her parents to the police.
For Angelina — and I’m sure a lot of people who’ve been through trauma can probably attest to that, once you get out of it — she’d been rescued. She was in such a dangerous place, and she just wanted to get away from it and not have any more lingering consequences. Going home with the Stone family, back to New York, is a decent ways away from Costa Rica. I don’t think her parents would know where she was. I think she just was really desperate for an escape.
Is there anything other than the fact that Michaela and Zeke rescued her and the 828 connection that makes her trust them and the rest of the Stone family?
The initial thing that makes Angelina trust Michaela is when Michaela tells her she was a passenger. Up until then, Angelina feels so isolated and deserted. She doesn’t have anyone she can relate to, so she really clings to that connection. Then once they bring her home, Cal [Jack Messina] and Olive [Luna Blaise] and Michaela, too, start helping her following her Callings and understand they’re not the devil inside of her. It’s something they all do all the time and showing her the way with that really helps build a really strong sense of trust and friendship between her and the Stone family.
How does her relationship with the Callings differ from the other characters’?
The Stone family have these Callings and understand that they need to follow these and they can’t let anyone go. They’re all interpreted with good intention and all of these Callings are ultimately to do good. But Angelina has been taught by her parents they are everything but good, so she’s terrified of them. She doesn’t want anything to do with them. The Stone family helping her open up to [them] and any good that can come from [them] is very empowering to her.
It’s similar to other guest star characters who have come onto the show. Everyone has a different perception of what a Calling is. A Calling can be interpreted in any way — it’s like a book or a movie, you take what it shows you and you warp that lesson into what you want it to be or what you know and can piece together. Up until Angelina meets the Stone family, she doesn’t know anything but bad things, so that’s all she can interpret, and they really help enlighten the way for her.
Manifest, Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC