Lexy Kolker Dishes on Starring in Brand New Samuel Goldwyn Film “Manifest West” (Exclusive)

You may recognize Lexy Kolker from action-packed projects like FreaksShooter and Agents of Shield, but the thirteen-year-old is back on our screens starring as the strong lead of the upcoming Samuel Goldwyn Film drama Manifest West.

For those who don’t know, Manifest West tells the story of a family that struggles with mental illness and wants to escape the pressures of modern society. Because of this, Riley Hayes (Kolker) and her family move to the untamed North American wilderness, only to have her family spiral out of control.

The story is told through the eyes of Riley, and it beautifully captures both genuine family camaraderie, as well as the realities behind mental illness. It is truly a must-see!


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In addition to this, Sydney to the Max and Girl Meets World actress Ava Kolker stars in Manifest West alongside her real-life sister, Lexy. Ava plays Lana Danik, a rebellious girl who forms a strong connection with Riley. This adds an interesting angle to the film and makes the close-knit bond between the two characters even more realistic and natural.

Manifest West is now playing in theaters and available digitally on Apple TV+ today (November 11th), and we chatted with the lead actress to learn more about the film. Read our full Q&A with the rising star below and don’t forget to let us know if you like Manifest West by either leaving a reaction at the bottom of the post or by sending us a tweet at @celebsecrets.

You can connect with Lexy by giving her a follow on Instagram at @lexykolker.


Celeb Secrets: Your new film Manifest West is out today! Can you tell us a little bit about the film?

Lexy Kolker: “Yes! I am so excited. It’s about a family who spirals out of control when they leave the city to go to the mountains to help one of their family members with mental illness. It is all told through the eyes of 10-year-old Riley Hayes, who I play.”

CS: You filmed Manifest West back in 2020. How does it feel that a project that has been in the works for so long will finally be seen by the public?

LK: “It’s pretty amazing. Manifest West was actually the first film to get the clearance from SAG to film after COVID, so we filmed in Forest Falls in June of 2020 with a very small crew and kept it super safe, mostly outdoors and in the house. Everything seemed to take longer after COVID, so I am glad it is finally going to be out for the world to see.”

CS: Can you tell us more about your character Riley, as well as what it was like playing this role?

LK: “My character Riley is very thoughtful, strong, and observant. She watches her family and is the first to realize that they are going in the wrong direction, and she is forced to step into the parental role when her parents are just unable to make positive decisions for the family.”

Lexy Kolker in Freaks | Courtesy of IMDB

CS: You have played quite a few strong characters in a variety of action-packed projects. How do you get in character for these roles?

LK: “I put myself in their shoes and imagine what they must be going through. Once I can plug myself into a situation, it’s easier to react how I would react if I were faced with these challenges. I would do anything to protect and save my family, so I relate to the characters and their reactions.”

CS: How was being a part of Manifest West different from other movies/TV shows you have been involved in? 

LK: Manifest West was very different because most of it was filmed in a small cabin and in the wilderness  Everything else I have filmed has been on location in cities or on sets, so this was more of an adventure even in real life.”

CS: I know you will be starring in Manifest West alongside your sister. What was it like filming with her?

LK: “Yes, that was one of the best parts of filming for me. I have looked up to Ava as an actor my whole life, so to have her as my scene partner was so awesome. We had so much fun and sometimes even forgot we were filming, because we were just reacting to each other and it was super real.”

CS: Manifest West has a central theme of family. Can you talk to me a little bit about how we see this throughout the film?

LK: “In Manifest West, every character does everything they can to help one of the family members, and all of their major decisions are based on that, so much so that in doing so they may not realize that they are actually hurting the family as a whole. It just shows you how far this family is willing to go for one of their own and to be together.”

CS: What is your favorite memory from filming Manifest West, overall?

LK: “I would say there was a scene I filmed with my sister, where we ran around a lot and got ourselves in all kinds of trouble in a junkyard, being destructive. It was so much fun because it’s something we would never do in real life, so we were just cracking up all day until we got to watch the sunset over the mountains together. It was super special.”

CS: Do you have any behind-the-scenes secrets from the set that you can share from filming Manifest West

LK: “Hmm, that’s a hard one. Yes, we brought my little pup Peanut on set one day and she was super good all the time, until one afternoon, out of the blue, she snapped at Milo [Gibson]. I felt so bad and we never brought her back.”

CS: Do you have any secrets about your castmates from Manifest West that fans might not expect?

LK: “Let’s see. Well, the little girl who plays my sister in the film is Madison Friedman, and she is like my little sister in real life. We’ve grown up together and their family is like our family. I love her very much and it was also wonderful filming with her. She’s such a wonderful natural little actress.”

CS: Do you have any goals for yourself in 2023 career-wise?

LK: “Yes, I would love to get on a series. I love working on a series because you get so close to the cast and crew over a few years, and you get to keep going to set for longer periods of time, so that’s what I am hoping for. Fingers crossed!”


  • Melanie Rooten

    Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to work for Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country as an intern in May of 2022, she has also contributed to Holler, Music Mayhem, Country Now, Country Chord, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not working, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to work for Celeb Secrets…

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