Italian actor Manuel Soro’s roles are just as diverse as the experiences that have defined his life, which began in his native Italy but has seen him live in London, Ibiza, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. In each new locale he has explored, Manuel has been able to discover something unknown about himself and further unlock his acting potential. Now, many years later and an acclaimed actor in the top tier of the entertainment industry, he harnesses the many lessons he learned through his globe-trotting to interpret compelling, celebrated characters.
One of Manuel’s most unique and engaging roles was as the lynchpin character Agent Santino in Adult Swim’s cult hit television series Black Jesus. The series centers on a hilarious reimagining of Jesus (Gerald ‘Slink’ Johnson) who seeks to right the wrongs of the world, starting with Compton, California. As Agent Santino, Manuel portrayed a secret agent dispatched by the Vatican to capture Black Jesus and return him to the holy city. In the process Santino’s eyes are opened to the harsh realities of life in Compton — realities driven home succinctly when is he killed shortly after capturing Jesus, only to be resurrected and released by the messiah.
Manuel’s role was not only instrumental to Black Jesus’ narrative but was a highlight of the series’ ongoing 2018 season. As an agent from the Vatican with a limited worldview, Santino has his eyes opened to the wider world on his mission — not unlike Manuel as he traveled between Europe and Asia. This connection allowed Manuel to imbue Santino with the same awe and determination that he himself often felt during his travels, greatly enhancing the role. The result was Santino becoming one of the most fan-favorited, realistic characters of the entire series. Manuel’s naïve, endearing quasi-antagonist added a refreshing new element to the series and contributed strongly to the overall theme of redemption the show promotes.
One of the most rewarding aspects of working on Black Jesus for Manuel was befriending renowned actor John Witherspoon of Friday and The Boondocks fame. In between takes on set, Manuel and Witherspoon developed a wonderful rapport, the pair often engaging in off-screen antics together. Manuel and Witherspoon also helped each other’s performances immensely, with the modern-day star and veteran actor exchanging advice that made for greatly improved roles. While the third and newest season of Black Jesus has been released too recently to aggregate its overall success, the already rave reviews of Manuel’s performance ensure it will see a high degree of success.
Another role that was enhanced by Manuel’s extensive travels was in the film Funny Man, a raucous adventure that sees a down-on-his-luck standup comedian go to extreme lengths to recover his childhood bicycle. Manuel portrays Roger, a critical character who runs protagonist ‘Chuckles’ Alfonse II’s (Cameron Blunt) stand-up routine, drunkenly heckling Chuckles and in the process altering the course of his life forever, sparking a chain of events that makes for the film’s overarching narrative.
As a result of his world travels, Manuel has personal experience with people and events that set him back but gave him the opportunity to grow. Manuel was able to channel these negative but motivating experiences into Roger, making him a dislikable character for all the right reasons. Thanks to Manuel’s deft acting skills, audiences naturally loathed Roger but in the end recognized him as the one the who inadvertently pushed Chuckles to greatness. To top it all off, he found that playing the character people love to hate allowed him to flex acting muscles he did not usually have the opportunity to use. Manuel skillfully depicted Roger, and with his help the film would go on to be picked up by Amazon Prime, where it continues to see high sales.
Manuel has just recently wrapped up another excellent performance as Mark Lynch in the upcoming film The Veiled Avenger, which brings to the screen a dazzling yet little known female superhero of the World War II era. Mark Lynch, who Manuel describes as a sleazy cross between Anthony Hopkins à la Silence of the Lambs and Antonio Banderas, has been another challenging, formative role in which he has excelled. Performing opposite the magnificent Celeste Thorson, Manuel is sure to leave an expertly unpleasant impression on audiences the world over when The Veiled Avenger is released later this year.
Manuel is an established actor whose humility and worldly perspective leave him open to learning something new from each and every role. With a long list of upcoming projects, Manuel’s journey is far from over, and each new step adds further wisdom, acclaim, and success to his already star-studded career.