Manny Jacinto of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ on the Gym Shoes that Helped Him Get Ripped | GQ
Manny Jacinto is not quite finished with The Good Place. Sure, he wrapped shooting on the beloved show’s fourth and final season over a month ago, and inhabiting the lovable, ridiculous Jason Mendoza is now squarely behind him. But the work that remains has nothing to do with acting.
“I still have a lot of rolls to develop,” he says.
Jacinto has been interested in film photography since working on last year’s Bad Times at the El Royale with Jeff Bridges—an actor so into film cameras that he’s compiled two published photobooks. “On set, in between takes, he would take photos with his film camera … I just thought it was the coolest thing,” Jacinto remembers. A few months after the production, Jacinto received a book of these photos, a wrap gift Bridges compiles and sends to each member of a project’s cast and crew.
Instant inspiration. Jacinto decided to do the same for The Good Place. He bought a Cannon Canonet QL17 GIII camera and set off to South Africa with his girlfriend Dianne Doan. While she filmed Warrior, Jacinto practiced using his new gear on the new landscape.
Very few of these pictures are any good. “I was taking all these shots and thinking, I’m super artistic. And I kid you not, out of 3 rolls and 100 shots, maybe 5 of them turned out okay.” But he persisted. He watched YouTube videos. He read film photography blogs. He acquired another camera and amassed a bunch of accessories. “It’s been hurting my wallet a bit, but it’s been totally worth it.”
By his own admission, this kind of obsession is the default mode of thinking for Jacinto. “Whenever I find something I’m really into, it shows. It happened with dancing. It happened with acting, getting into this whole game… I get into really deep holes.” Over the last year, as he’s filmed the final scenes of The Good Place and trained to appear alongside Tom Cruise in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick, he’s applied this discernment to his wardrobe, workouts, and skincare routine. He told us about some of his favorite new discoveries and the reliable staples that have accompanied his recent rise.
Film Photography Gear
Canon Canonet QL17 giii film camera
Manny Jacinto started shooting film with the Canon Canonet, a common starter fixed lens film camera that’s often compared to the much more expensive and more versatile Leica M-series of rangefinders. His friend Jason Tobin, who is on Warrior with Doan, helped Jacinto adjust to the restrictions of shooting with film. “He was the one who taught me about proper lighting and the aperture. You can’t change the ISO in film, like you can nowadays [with digital] … you’re pretty confined.” After Jacinto started to adjust to the Canonet, he picked up a Panon Widelux camera, Bridges’ camera of choice, and a Fuji Discovery 1000 Zoom Panorama, the camera owned by his parents when they immigrated to Canada from the Philippines. For each of these, he combs through Etsy for the perfect leather straps.
Panon Widelux Panoramic 35mm film camera
“I think my style stems from being broke back in the day. I would always get things that would last me awhile, like classic items. Eventually they’ve evolved to more pricier things, but not necessarily because it’s in or a trendy thing but because it will last. The APC Bomber is something I can have for years. With a few touch ups, I can pass it down to someone else.”
Common Projects Achilles leather sneakers
“The Common Projects were a pricey thing, but I try to take care of them as much as possible. I’ll put in the cedar shoe trees, which both airs things out and makes sure the creases won’t show as much.”
Reigning Champ heavyweight fleece hoodie
“I love how Reigning Champ’s sweaters and hoodies are all pre-shrunk. That’s the biggest thing I hate about buying clothes—when you buy them and put them in the wash, they shrink two sizes. And just the feel of their heavy sweaters, they just feel thick and durable. I feel like it’s something that’ll last a long time as well … I kind of go deep with the whole RC clothing line, I have everything from the Stadium Jacket to their House Slippers.”
Blundstone Super 550 boots
“I actually didn’t like Blundstones at first, I thought they were pretty weird. But then when I put them on and walked around in them, I realized I could wear them all day. And especially when it’s raining in Vancouver, they make life super easy. You’d don’t have to worry about your socks getting wet and whatnot … I liked them so much I had to get my dad a pair.”
Uniqlo short sleeve crew neck T-shirt
“I’ve played around with buying $30 T-shirts and $100 T-shirts. But I just always go back to these Uniqlo shirts … I think I might wear these Uniqlo T-shirts everyday. They’re just so versatile and I can go through them like crazy. They come in all different colors, but I’m definitely a black, black, white, grey, guy. I’m pretty sure I have six or seven white and gray uniqlo T-shirts.”
Retrosuperfuture “Cooper” Black Gold sunglasses
“These Retrosuperfuture sunglasses are unique, but not so unique that they felt too much out there. I can still kind of make my way through a crowd without being noticed. But when you look closely at these, you go Oh, those are super cool, what are they?”
Fitness and skincare
Since finding out he would appear in Top Gun: Maverick alongside shirtless, gleaming volleyball gods Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, Jacinto has taken his workouts to a whole new level. “I don’t think I’ve ever been more motivated to go to the gym … I was definitely going us much as possible, at least once a day, sometimes two-a-days.”
Hydroflask water bottle
“Have you heard of the 75-day challenge? It’s this challenge that requires you to complete two workouts, drink a gallon of water, and read 10 pages a day. I didn’t want to do the whole challenge, but the one thing that did resonate with me was this whole gallon of water. I found that drinking this much water helped with my acne, just clearing things out of my system. It gave my skin a glow. This last season of The Good Place was the first season that I brought it this Hydroflask, which helps keep me accountable, to set. D’arcy Carden, who plays Janet on the show, calls it my bucket of water. She’s always like, Where’s your bucket? It’s weird, but it’s been super helpful.”
Vivobarefoot Primus Lite sneakers
“These Vivobarefoot shoes are really good for leg days. They make me feel more close to the ground and stable, which helps me strengthen my lower back.”
Barehand minimalist gloves
“The Barehands gloves are great because they’ll give you an extra two or three reps when your grip would otherwise give out.”
Rhone Reign short sleeve shirt
“I like how the Rhone shirts fit, how they wick sweat, and how they conform to my specific body type.”
iS Clinical Active serum
“Kristen Bell’s makeup artist was the one who told me to try this. It minimizes pores, which is good because I have large-ass pores. It’s definitely made a difference in how my skin looks on the day-to-day and also on the camera. It’s a go-to that I’ve been using a lot this season.”
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel lip balm
“I got introduced to this maybe in the second season of our show. My lips are pretty sensitive, and I don’t like things that make them too shiny. The Kiehl’s Facial Fuel lip balm moisturizes, but doesn’t have a shine or clump. It’s the perfect product that’s become a go-to for me.”
This interview has been edited and condensed.
This content was originally published here.