Manifest star Melissa Roxburgh wasn’t sure the hit show would be a success

“The show was a gamble”
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When filming the pilot episode of Manifest, actress Melissa Roxburgh didn’t want to get her hopes up, as she had been there before.

The Canadian actress had auditioned for various shows over the years, but only now, thanks to her starring turn in the supernatural drama, is the world taking notice.

“I’m not dissing the show, but I’ve been acting for about seven years,” Melissa, 25, tells TV WEEK.

“You go through pilot season and it’s such a gamble to even get a show, let alone for people to like it when it goes to air. The amount of attention the show has been getting has been an awesome surprise.”

Melissa’s role in Manifest has been a career-changer.

In Manifest, Melissa’s character Michaela Stone – a rookie police officer grappling with the tragic actions of her past – boards a flight from Jamaica to New York with her family.

After encountering bad turbulence, the flight lands in New York safely – except that five years have passed and everyone aboard the flight had been presumed dead.

The mysterious premise hooked Melissa when she auditioned.

“I think the rest of the cast will agree that reading the first episode of the show – the one we all auditioned for – we all fell in love with it,” she says.

Michaela, her brother Ben (Josh Dallas) and nephew Cal (Jack Messina) were all passengers aboard Montego Air Flight 828.

“It’s a really cool concept, the characters are interesting, and the places the show can go are endless.”

Manifest‘s central storyline echoes the real-life mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. In March 2014, the Boeing 777 vanished on a scheduled flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 passengers and crew aboard and has not been located.

“I want to know what happened,” she says of the missing Malaysian plane.

“I think that’s what drew me into this script: that somebody can come up with an idea of what happens when these planes, or boats, disappear and nobody knows why.”

Manifest airs Wednesday, 10pm, on Nine Network.

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