Ryan Potter ("Big Hero 6") is a creative soul in Los Angeles who screams for art whenever he has the opportunity. Beyond acting in films and television, he has a passion for helping others and for fashion. We talk to the 19-year-old Portland transplant about where his creativity stems from and about his aspirations.
You have such a creative life; beyond television and film, you publicly share your interests and talents in photography, styling, fashion, and creative directing. It’s really neat to see how involved you with all aspects of the fashion and entertainment industry. Where did these interests stem from?
When I was younger, my mother gave me a disposable camera to take photos. I just grew up shooting photos and I think that helped with my transition into photography today. My creativity also spawned from art classes and simply my interest in art. I always loved creating. It definitely makes me happy.
You grew up in a single-parent household. You’re close with your mother, so how does being brought up her affect your perspective of life in general?
I think that being raised by a strong, independent person in general (above gender) has really affected my perspective of life. She worked multiple jobs to feed me and to keep a roof over our heads. I’m inspired by her work ethic. She’s the most amazing human being I know. Just being able to emulate her life in any way I can is an accomplishment.
You’re heavily involved with philanthropy. Talk to us about the issues that you’re interested in, and fighting for, or against.
Last night, I was at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Gala - they do phenomenal work. I’m glad to be their spokesperson; I get to work together with them on appearances and events. I’m also incredibly passionate about reducing the rate of homelessness in Los Angeles, especially homelessness in youth. My main mission in life is to help people in any way I can. I want to help kids who need mentoring, and on top of that, I just want to raise awareness for the Asian American community especially those in the entertainment industry… I want to get our own version of Brad Pitt or our own Denzel Washington. It’s definitely time for someone like Daniel Dae Kim to get a leading role.
With starring roles in film, comes the opportunity to have larger voice in public. How are you using it to your advantage?
I’ve always been a vocal person. Having social media is an extended platform to get my voice heard and out there. I speak very frankly and honestly about what I think. A lot of times, people respond to me either with gratitude or negatively. People do have the freedom to voice their opinions. I just want to help people and make them laugh on Twitter.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5, 10 years?
I’d love to travel to Thailand and/or Japan.. Perhaps take a vacation here and there. I also really see myself creating a strong community on social media with people who have similar interests. I’m starting a Youtube channel about men’s fashion - I think that’ll be a driving force for driving people together, too.
I want to find more work to do, not necessarily to be in, but to help create, produce, write, etc. Whatever allows me to be creative!