Stephen Manas' journey to fame was not easy in the slightest. Born in a small French village, he was attracted to film when he was cast as an extra in a movie being shot in his hometown.
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However, a life of focus on academics from family meant that he ended up in a more conventional profession.
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"I went to work for two weeks," he says exclusively to HELLO!, "with a suit and tie, offices, everything. And after two weeks, I just thought, 'okay, no, I cannot, I want to be an actor."
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He eventually headed off to India to work in Bollywood and slowly improve his English, at one point even being forced to spend a few hours sleeping on the street when he was between agencies before getting some good roles.
After a stint working in Tokyo and the Philippines, he returned to France to middling success. However, a chance encounter at Cannes gave him an opportunity to audition for Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso.
The cast of Ted Lasso during shooting
"I met a guy over there, now my current agent, and I told him I was struggling with French markets," Stephen explains. "And he told me that if I knew how to use the different platforms available, maybe they can sense what's interesting. I said, yes, and the first casting I had was Ted Lasso."
The actor, 28, plays Richard Montlaur, a French player on the team Jason Sudeikis coaches who has become a fan favorite and given him his first big hit.
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"I know it's that joke that everyone loves each other on set. But here, it's like a big family. Everyone is polite, from Jason to Bill Lawrence, everyone," he says. "And I really couldn't have a better project for my first one to learn."
Ted Lasso is Stephen's first international TV show (photo credit: Nicholas Dawkes)
The highly acclaimed series' second season premiered on July 23 and is the most nominated show at this year's upcoming Primetime Emmys. While shooting season two during the pandemic proved to be challenging, Stephen is grateful for the chance to do it again.
"I'm composing music for movies in Switzerland now. And other than that, I have season three of Ted Lasso," he says.
"I don't have much else, but it's okay because I like time for myself. We just came out of a six month shooting. And if I have nothing else to do, I can fill it with stuff like holidays and traveling, that makes me happy."
(lead photo credit: Nicholas Dawkes)
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