Mann attended a British all-boys high school, where he was active in community theatre as both an actor and a writer. After graduating, Byron moved to California to study and received a degree in philosophy at UCLA, even though acting remained important to him. After college, Byron attended USC Law School, but took a sabbatical after the first year. Back in Hong Kong, he received an acting role in the NBC Movie TV movie Last Flight Out. He returned to Los Angeles, California, graduated from USC Law, passed the California bar, and pursued acting full time.
Jason: When did you realize that you wanted to become a professional actor?
Byron Mann: I fell into acting. I was actually studying to be a lawyer, during the first semester I felt like it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was clerking in a law firm, and at the end of the clerkship, the senior partner sat me down and said, “I don’t think you should be a lawyer,” in a very caring way. I asked him, “How do you know?” and he said, “Because you have trouble coming to work in the morning and at 5p.m. you’re looking at your watch.” At that point I had no idea what I wanted to do. He said, “Do something you enjoy.” the only thing I remembered that I enjoyed doing was acting, in high school. I had been attending school in L.A., but I came back home and one thing led to another. Fairly soon after that I did my first movie, Street Fighter, That was like baptism by fire.