Actor, Nathaniel Potvin, discusses how high school leads to high stakes in the new Kerry Washington-produced drama, Five Points. The web series, which can be viewed on Facebook Watch, addresses everything from teenage depression, drug use and a love of 80s rock band, Led Zeppelin.
Wallace Marks, Nathaniel’s character on the show, starts as the archetypal lone wolf, socializing mainly with the books in the library and the bullies in the hallway. It turns out, this so-called nerd is the resident drug pusher for Five Points High. Potvin explains why his character uses selling drugs to satisfy his need for comradery.
“It’s that weird line because you have that sympathy for my character. He’s so sweet and he’s bullied and nobody really understands who he is. He doesn’t have any friends and people that do talk to him usually want something from him. He doesn’t have genuine people around him. My character is not innocent but he’s very misunderstood.”
Impressed by the way many of the online fans connect to the darker themes in the show, Potvin explains “just because people are young adults, doesn’t mean that they have young adult problems. Kerry Washington said this. You’re categorized as a kid so you have little problems. Everyone has problems. Facebook Watch is such a great platform because you can comment and talk to other people right there that are having the same problems as you.”
These growing pains are amplified nowadays through things like drug abuse and gun violence. Potvin said he felt “horrified” by the various school shootings making headlines. He began working with Everytown, a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun safety and regulation.
“They’re trying to regulate gun control and regulate people who are obtaining guns. They were trying to stop downloadable guns which are guns you can print via 3D printer. Through Everytown, it can hopefully make kids feel safe at school again. The kids who have gone through these shootings, my deepest sympathy goes out to them and I never want anyone to experience that ever again.”
Potvin, also an aspiring filmmaker, took a step behind the camera to begin creating a short film with fellow Five Points costar, Ray Cham Jr.
“It’s been a surreal moment being a producer, and a director and I’m acting in it. It gives me that chance to have creative reign over the project. Since I am one of the creative directors over it, I don’t have to answer to anyone, which is pretty insane.”
Given his calm nature and strong ambition, Nathaniel Potvin is aiming for the Hollywood stars.
“I was on my phone this morning, looking at the upcoming projects. I was looking at Ryan Coogler and he’s the director of Black Panther. He’s making another movie called Wrong Answer. I see myself trying to act in movies. I just see myself being in these films of filmmakers I look up to.”