Pop-Culturalist Chats with Nathaniel J. Potvin
Some of today’s biggest stars got their start on Disney. And Nathaniel Potvin is the latest leading man to join the likes of Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, and Ryan Gosling. He’s the star of the hit new series, Mech-X4, a show that centers around a young man who learns he has the ability to control technology with his mind. He can also be seen starring opposite Rowan Blanchard in the highly-anticipated film, A World Away. Pop-Culturalist was lucky enough to chat with Nathaniel about both projects and what it’s like to be a role model.
P-C: Tell us about Mech-X4 and your character.
Nathaniel: The show is about a kid named Ryan Walker (who I play). He has the ability to control technology with his mind. Ryan is a normal kid with an extraordinary gift. Because of his power, he awakens a 150 ft. robot called Mech-X4. He controls him with his two best friends and brother to protect the city from giant monsters. He is the leader of the group because he’s the only person who can control Mech-X4.
P-C: The second half of season one is now re-airing, where can fans watch it and what can they expect?
Nathaniel: Everyone can watch Mech-X4 on Disney XD, the Disney XD app, or online. It’s also on itunes and On Demand. What fans can expect is more action and some big surprises. It gets pretty intense toward the season finale.
P-C: What is it like being part of the Disney Channel family? Have you met any of the other stars and have they given you any advice?
Nathaniel: It’s great being a part of the Disney family. They are so accepting and make everything a lot of fun. I have met a bunch of other Disney stars, and they are also really great and nice, but I haven’t gotten any advice yet.
P-C: Is it challenging working with a green screen?
Nathaniel: It isn’t as hard as a lot of people would think. When I’m working with a green screen they say that something is there, so I imagine that something is there and it could look completely different from what I actually imagine but that is half of the fun. I really enjoy it.
P-C: Disney Channel targets young adults and children, do you ever feel the pressure of being a role model?
Nathaniel: No, I hadn’t really thought about it before, but now I realize how my show impacts the kids who watch and how my character can influence kids. It is cool that the show is making an impression, and I barely feel the pressure because I know that my show and character convey good principles and habits.
P-C: What are your hopes for your character in season two?
Nathaniel: Since we already started and finished season two, my hopes have already been fulfilled. My hopes were to have a larger story arc in the show and to have a lot of plot twists that the audience wouldn’t expect.
A World Away Questions
P-C: What can you tell us about A World Away?
Nathaniel: A World Away is about six kids who win a trip to the Grand Canyon and go, but they don’t end up in their destination. Instead, they find themselves in a different world and must figure out a way home. It’s a really good story and Rowan, Carman, Landrey, Daniel & Frankie are great. The sci-fi elements that the movie presents are pretty amazing.
P-C: What attracted you to the project?
Nathaniel: The script and characters! When I read the story, I was initially interested, and I kept reading more and more. This isn’t a character I normally get to play, so I wanted to explore a role that showed my acting range.
P-C: Who is your character and what is his involvement in the overall story?
Nathaniel: My character is named Henry. Henry is the smart, know-it-all kid whose brain comes in handy later in the story. He isn’t very popular and has to find a way to work with the other kids to get home. He is constantly questioning what he knows to be real and how things on the new planet work.
Pop-Culturalist Speed Round
P-C: Guilty pleasure TV show?
Nathaniel: The Office
P-C: Guilty pleasure movie?
P-C: Favorite book?
Nathaniel: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
P-C: Favorite play or musical?
Nathaniel: Hamilton (Of course)
P-C: Favorite social media platform?
P-C: Hidden talent?
Nathaniel: I can do a one-handed clap on both hands. You have to see it to believe it.
P-C: Go-to karaoke song?
Nathaniel: “Senorita” by Justin Timberlake
Photo Credit: Isa Battaglin