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Exclusive Interview | Nathaniel Potvin for Disney XD’s MECH-X4

Nov 07, 2016

By: Lynn Barker

When high school student Ryan Walker discovers that he is a “technopath”, his new superpower awakens an amazing 150 foot robot (think Transformers meets Pacific Rim). Ryan learns that he can go inside the giant ‘bot, strap into a harness and the robot MECH-X4 will mirror his every action!  When amazing, scary monsters invade the city, Ryan recruits his brother Mark (bot mechanic), and friends Harris (shields and defenses) and Spyder (weapons) to work as a team to help him defend the town and maybe the world!

MECH cast: (L to R) Raymond Cham, Kamran Lucas, Pearce Joze and NateMECH cast: (L to R) Raymond Cham, Kamran Lucas, Pearce Joze and NateCourtesy of Disney Channel

Cute 17-year-old actor Nathaniel Potvin was tapped to play Ryan after many guest appearances on shows like “Jessie” and “Girl Meets World”. Kidzworld got the latest from Nate on what he hopes a date never does when he is out with them, fun on and off set, what he would do if he really could control technology with his mind and what might be in store in future for the new show, MECH-X4.

Kidzworld: Didn’t you just have a birthday Oct. 2nd? Did you have a party?

  • Nate: I didn’t have a party but on set they had cake for me and it was really great. For my birthday we went bowling with some of the cast and some of the people from the crew and our director. Then we went and got dinner.

Kidzworld: You were on an award winning Hip-Hop crew. How important is hip hop in your life now that you are concentrating on acting? Do you dance just for fun now?

  • Nate: I used to dance when I was younger but now that I’ve grown, I’m focusing more on acting. I still dance a little bit on the side. I enjoy it a lot. I dance for myself. Sometimes I’ll dance for a job but I focus more on acting and enjoy that.

Ryan harnessed up to operate the giant robotRyan harnessed up to operate the giant robotCourtesy of Disney Channel

Kidzworld: If you really could control technology with your mind what would be the first thing you would want to do with that power?

  • Nate: The first thing I want to do is probably control an ATM (not steal) or control a car so I could valet it to the curb instead of walk into the parking lot to get it (it would come to him).

Kidzworld: As a follow up, are you pretty techie yourself.. I mean into computer games or making videos? How tech savvy are you?

  • Nate: I consider myself pretty tech-savvy. I know how to work a computer and a phone, I wouldn’t say that I know how to make video games or computer games but I do enjoy going on my computer and learning new things about my computer and phone.

Ryan kneels to make the robot kneelRyan kneels to make the robot kneelCourtesy of Disney Channel

Kidzworld: Were you a fan of movies like Transformers and especially Pacific Rim in which giant robots had human pilots?

  • Nate: I have seen Pacific Rim and the Transformers movies and I enjoyed them thoroughly so when I got the part to play Ryan in this show, I was super excited. Basically there are comparisons. It’s really similar and I’m really excited. I just love the idea of controlling a giant robot.

Kidzworld: So far what has been the most fun scene for you to shoot?

  • Nate: I think the most fun thing on set is actually getting into the harness of the robot and controlling the robot because it’s really cool to see it all come together. So, when I’m controlling the robot on set, then see the episode and see the robot mimicking my actions, I enjoy that a lot! On set I have to imagine there is a giant monster in front of me and I have to fight it. I have to really believe that monster is there.

Ryan celebrates a successful move with his bro MarkRyan celebrates a successful move with his bro MarkCourtesy of Disney Channel

Kidzworld: Who of the other crewmen actors in the Mech is a big jokester or prankster on set and what have they done?  Is it actually you or Raymond, Kamran or Pearce?

  • Nate: That’s Kamran for sure. He’s such a devious little kid. He doesn’t do pranks but he does go out of his way to make people laugh. He is such a jokester. He always that one fun thing that makes us laugh on set. Sometimes, when we laugh, we can’t get back into the scene.

Kidzworld: Might there be a female Mech crew member added in future to the show?

  • Nate: We get that question a lot. There are girls in the show in the first season but, without giving spoilers away, there may or may not be a girl added to the show.

The guys inside the giant MECH-X4 robotThe guys inside the giant MECH-X4 robotCourtesy of Disney Channel

Kidzworld: What do you most hope the showrunners will write for Ryan to do in the future?

  • Nate: I don’t know what the writers are planning for me. I love to read the scripts every week but I think they’re going to try to do something crazy that Ryan has never done before and push his limits and boundaries to the point where he has to be the hero and show everyone his true strength. It would also be cool if Ryan could make the robot hip-hop.

Kidzworld: That would be so cute! You’ve guest starred on a lot of TV series like “Girl Meets World” and “Jessie”. In this series you are basically the lead character. Does that feel different for you, like more responsibility?

  • Nate: It definitely is a different experience for me being the main character of a show but I feel like I’m not the main character all the time because I have this great cast with me and we’re all really the stars of the show. It’s not any different from being a guest star because you have the actors there supporting you. When you are acting you are re-acting off of the other actors and I think they do a great job so it doesn’t feel that different being the guest star or the star of a show to me.

Ryan tells Harris what they are up againstRyan tells Harris what they are up againstCourtesy of Disney Channel

Kidzworld: I love the cool blue techy eye effect Ryan gets when his tech powers are working. Did they show you how it was going to look or did your director just say “Okay freeze and stare” and you had no idea what was going to happen on screen?

  • Nate: On set when we do the cool eye effect we don’t just stop. Ryan just eye-flashes the camera. What I do is just focus on something and later on they add the special effect to make my eyes blue. Nobody told me what it was going to look like but when I saw it, it was the coolest thing ever.

Kidzworld: If a girl wants a date with you what must she never do because it’s your pet dating peeve?

  • Nate: Good question. One annoying thing that I’m thinking of is trying too hard. If somebody is trying too hard they are not being their natural selves and that’s off-putting because you can kind of tell when somebody is not being themselves so it would be that.

Nate as Ryan strikes a poseNate as Ryan strikes a poseCourtesy of Disney Channel

Kidzworld: So just chill and act normally. Are you finishing high school via computer or what? Does missing prom or other events at school bother you?

  • Nate: I’m actually a senior in high school now and I’m finishing it up doing home school on set. It’s sad that I have to miss out on those high school experiences but, on the other hand I will be going back to my school for prom and some other activities. I used to go to Granada Hills high.

Kidzworld: Which music artist are you most into right now?

  • Nate: I’d have to say Bruno Mars. He’s got those new songs. I do love Chance the Rapper if that is appropriate. I’ll listen to any music. If it’s got good music and great lyrics, I’ll probably listen to it. I like some of the Beatles’ songs. I love “Hey Jude” and “Yellow Submarine”.

Kidzworld: Why will teens and tweens really get into watching “MECH-X4”?

  • Nate: “MECH-X4” is about this kid who has super powers. I think kids love super powers. I love all the Marvel movies. MECH-X4 is a giant robot, the kid controls the robot and fights monsters. There is so much action and adventure. There are constant themes of teamwork and good vs. evil. It’s a very entertaining show with movie-like qualities that people are gonna love.

Poster for MECH-X4Poster for MECH-X4Courtesy of Disney Channel

See “MECH-X4” starting on the below dates:

  • November 11th-One-hour TV premiere of the series with two back-to-back episodes on Disney channel.
  • November 12th -A new “MECH-X4” episode on Disney Channel and VOD and the Disney Channel App
  • November 13 –Another new episode on Disney Channel and VOD and Disney Channel App.
  • December 5th – the series will be presented on Disney XD and the Disney XD App

“MECH-X4” Trailer

 

Have Your Say

If you could control Technology with your mind, what would you do? How cool would it be to be inside a giant robot piloting it? Leave comments. 

 

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