From Leukemia-Stricken Cal to Rising Star: 

The Story of Jack Messina

Jack Messina, a young American actor, captured hearts with his portrayal of Cal Stone in the science fiction drama “Manifest.” Despite the show’s recent cancellation, Messina’s captivating screen presence and burgeoning career have audiences eager to see what’s next. This article delves into his journey, from his early acting debut to his breakout role and future prospects.

A Budding Actor Takes the Stage

Born in 2007 or 2008 (information varies slightly across sources), Jack Messina’s exact birthdate remains somewhat shrouded in mystery. What is clear, however, is his passion for acting, which blossomed at a young age. After attending classes at The Actor’s Garage in New York, he began his career by landing commercials for brands like MVP Health and Eliquis. This early exposure to the world of professional acting honed his skills and prepared him for bigger opportunities.

Landing His First Major Role: The Mystery of Flight 828

In 2018, at the tender age of 10 (or 11), Jack landed his breakout role as Cal Stone in the NBC series “Manifest.” The show, centered around a mysterious airplane that reappears after being presumed lost for five years, featured Cal as a young boy with a unique connection to the event. Complicating matters further, Cal suffers from a terminal illness, leukemia.

Messina’s portrayal of Cal was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. He convincingly embodied the character’s vulnerability as he grapples with his illness while experiencing strange abilities linked to the plane’s return. His on-screen chemistry with co-stars Josh Dallas and Athena Karkanis, who played Cal’s parents, further resonated with viewers.

Manifest: A Launchpad for Success

“Manifest” ran for three seasons, from 2018 to 2021. During its run, Jack continued to impress audiences with his nuanced performance. He showcased his ability to navigate emotional complexities, portraying Cal’s hope for a cure for his illness alongside the confusion and fear brought on by his newfound abilities. The show’s cancellation in 2021, however, did little to dampen the enthusiasm for Messina’s talent.

Beyond Manifest: Expanding Horizons

While “Manifest” remains Jack Messina’s most prominent role to date, he has ventured beyond the confines of the series. In 2018, he appeared in an episode of the critically acclaimed comedy series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Here, he showcased his comedic timing with a role that required him to speak and even sing in Italian.

He further broadened his acting experience with a supporting role in the 2021 feature film “Over/Under.” This coming-of-age story allowed him to explore a different genre and character dynamic. In 2022, he took on the lead role in the short film “Squall,” showcasing his ability to carry a narrative on his own.

A Look Ahead: What’s Next for Jack Messina?

With his talent and dedication, Jack Messina is poised for a bright future in the entertainment industry. While there are no official announcements about his upcoming projects, here are some possibilities:


The success of “Manifest” has undoubtedly opened doors for Messina in the world of television. He could land a lead role in a new series, perhaps a coming-of-age story or a character-driven drama that capitalizes on his ability to portray complex emotions.


Having dipped his toes into feature films with “Over/Under,” Messina could explore more prominent roles in movies. Thrillers, action-adventures, or even independent films could be potential avenues for him to showcase his versatility.

Voice Acting: 

Messina’s experience with voice acting in “The Smurfs” (though the extent of his role is unclear) suggests he could explore this avenue further. Animated films or television shows could be a great way for him to lend his voice to captivating characters.

The Future is Bright for Young Talent

Jack Messina’s journey from a young actor attending classes to a captivating screen presence is an inspiring one. His dedication to his craft, coupled with his natural talent, has positioned him for continued success. With a range that extends from vulnerability to humor, and a willingness to take on diverse roles, audiences can expect to see him continue to grow and shine in the years to come.

How old is Jack Messina?

Jack Messina’s exact birthdate is not entirely confirmed, but based on available information, he was born in either 2007 or 2008.

What is Jack Messina best known for


Who is Jack Messina?

Jack Messina is an American actor who rose to prominence for his portrayal of Cal Stone in the science fiction drama “Manifest.” He’s known for his captivating screen presence and ability to portray complex emotions.

How old is Jack Messina?

There’s a slight discrepancy regarding Jack Messina’s exact birthdate. Based on available information, he was born in either 2007 or 2008.

What was Jack Messina in before Manifest?

Before “Manifest,” Jack started his career with commercials for brands like MVP Health and Eliquis. He also appeared in an episode of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” showcasing his comedic talents.

What is Jack Messina best known for?

Undoubtedly, Jack Messina’s most prominent role to date is Cal Stone in “Manifest.” His portrayal of the leukemia-stricken boy with unique abilities resonated with audiences.

What else has Jack Messina been in?

Film: “Over/Under” (2021)

Short Film: “Squall” (2022)

Television: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (2018) (unspecified episode)

Is Jack Messina still acting?

There are currently no official announcements about Jack Messina’s upcoming projects. However, considering his talent and the positive response to his work, it’s safe to say he’ll likely continue acting.

Where can I see more of Jack Messina’s work?

Streaming availability can change, so it’s best to check platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Peacock (for “Manifest”) for the latest options. You can also rent or purchase his work digitally on platforms like iTunes or YouTube (depending on availability).

What’s next for Jack Messina?

Here are some possibilities for Jack Messina’s future:

Television: He could land a lead role in a new series, exploring genres like coming-of-age stories or character-driven dramas.

Film: Feature films could be a great avenue for him to showcase his versatility in thrillers, action-adventures, or even independent films.

Voice Acting: His work in “The Smurfs” (extent of role unclear) suggests he could explore voice acting further in animation.

Fun Facts about Jack Messina

He started acting at a young age, attending classes at The Actor’s Garage in New York.

In “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” he had to speak and sing in Italian!

He enjoys hobbies like downhill skiing, playing drums, and volleyball according to some sources.

This FAQ provides a glimpse into Jack Messina’s promising career. With his talent and dedication, audiences are sure to see him light up the screen in exciting new projects in the future.

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