How Mike Manning Hits the Ground Running After the SAG-AFTRA Strike Ends with Two Films – The Engagement Dress and The Dirty South

Shortly after the 118-day SAG-AFTRA strike was called to an end, actor Mike Manning announces two films. The first is the romantic comedy feature The Engagement Dress, which has its worldwide premiere as a Tubi Original on the Tubi platform. The second is the crime thriller The Dirty South.

Audiences will know Manning for his recurring role as “The Manny” on NBC’s award-winning hit This is Us, as “Charlie Dale” on the long-running soap Days of Our Lives, as “Nick Swift” in the Disney Channel Original Movie Cloud 9, and as “Caleb McKinnon” in the Emmy-winning crime drama The Bay. Manning also appeared in the thriller The Bell Keeper, which hit select theaters in October and is currently on VOD.

The Engagement Dress also stars Angel Prater (The Puppetman), Cathy Marks (Scream Queens), Sterling Sulieman (In Time), Abbey May (Magnum P.I.), Vidushi Shrivastava (Stealing Jokes), Nicholas David King (Soul to Keep), as well as Lisa Thornhill, known for her roles in classics like The Family Man with Nicholas Cage and After the Sunset with Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek. The Engagement Dress was directed by Rachel Annette Helson, an actress and director known for her television roles on shows like Full Circle on Max and The Knick and was written by Alexa Droubay (State of Affairs).

In the film, a young woman, Claudia (Prater), searches for love as all her friends are married one-by-one. Claudia attempts to wear a lucky dress that, when used, has led to all her best friends being proposed to and accepting. After being asked to plan the wedding of her best friend Barbie (Marks), Claudia must work with Barbie’s brother Preston (Manning) to make sure Barbie’s special day goes off without a hitch. Being childhood friends, Claudia never knew Preston had romantic feelings for her, always seeing him as off-limits. After a few unexpected twists, Claudia realizes she has been searching for love in all the wrong places, and finally sees Preston in a different light. 

On social media, Manning describes the film as “a cute little gem,” and says, “If you like rom coms, it’ll have all those over-the-top romantic moments your eager heart desires.”

The trailer for The Engagement Dress can be found here:

Set deep in the heart of Louisiana, The Dirty South is a gritty crime thriller led by Dermot Mulroney (Scream VI, Young Guns, Secret Invasion), Willa Holland (Arrow, Gossip Girl) and Shane West (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Salem). The film also stars Wayne Péré (Venom), Laura Cayouette (Django Unchained) and Manning, in addition to Manning being an Executive Producer on the film. The Dirty South was written and directed by Matthew Yerby (The Stand). 

In the film, Sue Parker (Holland) finds herself in a desperate battle to save her family’s struggling business, which is on the brink of collapse due to her father’s neglect. When a handsome drifter (West) comes into town she sees him as the only chance to prevent their bar from falling into the hands of a ruthless local tycoon (Mulroney). What starts as a simple plan to save her family, quickly spirals into larceny, lawlessness, and deadly consequences. The Dirty South is now available in select theaters and on VOD.

The trailer for The Dirty South can be found here:

The Engagement Dress was independently produced by Anthony Del Negro (Edge of Everything). It was Executive Produced by Shane O’Brien, Zach O’Brien, Sebastian Battro, Tom Berry, Louisa Cadywould, and Kelly Lansing. It is being distributed by Reel One Entertainment.

The Dirty South was produced by Andrew Vogel, Suzann Toni Petrongolo, Yerby, and Todd Slater. Executive Producers include Jeremy Walton, David Lyons, Jay Burnley, and Tom George. It is being distributed by Cineverse.

Manning is represented by Kurt Patino at Patino Management and Kris Heller at IAG (formerly APA). More updates on all projects can be found on Manning’s IMDB