Why He’s Interesting: Even if you don’t know Magaro by name, you almost certainly recognize his face. Since getting his start at Cleveland Play House and Akron’s Weathervane Playhouse, the prolific performer has appeared in Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and Umbrella Academy and most recently starred in First Cow, an 1820s period drama garnering significant Oscar buzz.
Scaling Up: As an energetic kid growing up in Munroe Falls, Magaro could often be found performing Dire Straits’ song “Walk of Life” while standing atop the metal electrical box outside his home. A neighbor suggested his mother enroll him in dance lessons, which quickly led to acting classes, and then to his first role as Michael in Peter Pan at Akron’s Goodyear Theater. “Community theater became my after-school activity, and then I just kept doing it.”
Immersion Tactics: Magaro endured a weeklong boot camp to learn military skills for the 2018 film Overlord. To prepare for nomadic baker Otis “Cookie” Figowitz in the 2020 film First Cow, he delved into the history of frontier cooking by studying a Lewis and Clark cookbook and a mushroom-foraging catalog. “If I’m playing a modern-day guy in his 30s, there’s not much to do, but for other roles, it’s different and ever-changing and really interesting.”
That Guy: Magaro has nearly 50 TV and film credits to his name, including 2015’s Oscar Best Picture nominee The Big Short, but he’s still largely known as just another familiar face that pops up in The Good Wife and Jack Ryan. He’s yet to become a household name and has largely eschewed social media. “Humility is a big characteristic in Northeast Ohio, that humble, work-hard-to-earn-your-place mentality. Maybe it’s something that’s just in my nature.”
Proud Papa: Magaro and his wife, Janice Hong, welcomed their first child, a daughter, in March and Magaro was the first husband allowed into the hospital when pandemic restrictions were lifted. “Becoming a father changes you. The love we have for her is unmatched.”
Interesting Fact: Magaro is superstitious about flying, so he carries his most treasured items, two Zippo lighters from his grandpa, for good luck.