EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Lead Joanne Jansen Previews Lifetime Movie Network’s The Manny!


The Manny will premiere on Lifetime Movie Network on May 9th. We at Survived The Shows had the pleasure of chatting with lead Joanne Jansen, who portrays Lani, about her experience on LMN’s The Manny and a lot more. 

Can you tell us a bit about your character in The Manny? 

Lani McCall is an ambitious woman who is on the brink of her big break with a new TV cooking show. She’s also a devoted single mother to her son Jaylen.  

What initially attracted you to your role in The Manny? 

I enjoyed the script when I first read it. The complexity of Lani’s character drew me in. She’s trying to balance her career aspirations along with being a loving mother. The dynamic between Lani and Morgan was interesting to me, and presented a unique challenge as their relationship evolved.

What do you think makes this movie so special and captivating?

This is a suspenseful journey that blends familiar thriller elements with a compelling narrative about family and trust. 

What do you hope audiences take away from watching The Manny?

I hope the audience gets to enjoy the suspense and thrill of The Manny while also reflecting on the importance of intuition and being vigilant in the face of seemingly perfect situations.

What was it like working with the rest of the cast on set?

Working with such a talented and dedicated cast was a pleasure. Each actor brought depth to their characters, adding layers to the story and enhancing the overall atmosphere on set. Off screen I really enjoyed getting to know the cast during lunchtime on set.

What can you tease about your character Lani?

Lani’s journey is one of resilience and determination. She’s trying to figure out her personal life and career until she’s confronted with unexpected threats that test her instincts and courage. Lani’s also trying to navigate her new complicated dating life.

What was your favorite scene or moment while filming The Manny?

I enjoyed filming the scene where my ex husband Darren discovers I’ve hired a “Manny”, and meets him for the first time. Those awkward moments and exchanges between Morgan and Darren are funny to me, and a lot of fun to film.

At Survived the Shows, we are big fans of Christmas comedies. What is your all-time favorite?

I’ve always loved “Home Alone”, with Macaulay Culkin. I watch it almost every year at christmas.

Change of subject, What have been some of the most memorable projects you have worked on throughout your career, and why?

One of the most memorable projects for me was “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker”.  It’s an incredible story that inspires and entertains. I was fortunate to be able to work alongside so many amazing actors whose work I’ve always admired. 

Can you tease something about your next projects?

I’m excited about my upcoming feature film “Morningside”, that I wrote, produced, and acted in. It’s a compelling drama that follows the lives of individuals as they navigate challenges of gentrification, community, and identity in their vibrant yet overlooked neighbourhood. 

The Mannywill premiere on May 9th on Lifetime Movie Network.

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