Bomber jacket by Uneek Collection / Belt by Atomic Mission Gear
American actor Jonathan Daviss has just started his acting career and we’re here to witness those early steps of what looks to be an exciting journey. Though his acting credits isn’t very long yet, but his breakthrough role in the new Netflix series “Outer Banks” has been well received. Daviss’ character Pope—and what he represents—has become a fan favorite.
As the whole world is now on hold, DA MAN had the opportunity to talk with Daviss about the “Outer Banks” and his plans for now.
DAMAN: Hi Jonathan, thank you for having us. How are you holding up these days?
Jonathan Daviss: I’m holding up well. I’ve been quarantined with my family and my dog Titan, so I haven’t been lonely at all. Then, when I get tired of my sisters, a game of “Smash Bros.” or “NBA 2K” does the trick!
DAMAN: Congratulations on the success of “Outer Banks.” Can you tell us a bit about your character, Pope?
Jonathan Daviss: Pope is the brains of the group. He’s from the cut, but unlike John B. (Chase Stokes) and JJ (Rudy Pankow) he can see a way out through his scholarship. Pope, however, is constantly torn between the pressure to succeed in school as his scholarship will pay for the education his parents can’t afford and wanting to be with his friends, enjoying his summer and saving them from the personal obstacles they are facing.
DAMAN: Pope has become a definite fan-favorite. Personally, how do you feel about the character?
Jonathan Daviss: I think he’s a very important character not only in the context of the plot, but also because of who his character represents. I know the pressure of having to work harder than some of the people around me because of financial limitations, geographic location and social status. I also understand the pressure of wanting to please your parents and be a role model for those in your situation.
DAMAN: What are the main traits from Pope that you agree and disagree with?
Jonathan Daviss: He’s smart, caring and at the end of the day he puts others before himself. Sometimes he can be too much of a hard edge realist, but his heart is always in the right place.
DAMAN: What was your life like before “Outer Banks”?
Jonathan Daviss: Before “Outer Banks” I was working at Saks Off 5th in the shoe department, as well as charging Bird Scooters to make some extra money on the side to pay for acting classes. I also helped my mom with my sisters. She works from home, so it helped that I was able to drop them off and pick them up from school so she could focus without her day being interrupted.
DAMAN: How did you land the role of Pope?
Jonathan Daviss: I had my first audition for Pope in February of 2019. It was an in-person audition in the casting office, then again for a callback. The last phase of the audition was a chemistry read, with Rudy Pankow (who plays JJ) and a couple of others auditioning for John B. and Kiara (Madison Bailey). From there it was a waiting game to see if I got the role.
DAMAN: Is there anything you can share with us about “Outer Banks” season two?
Jonathan Daviss: At this point we don’t know anything about a potential season two … but who knows?
DAMAN: How do you see your character, Pope, evolving in the next season?
Jonathan Daviss: The consequences of season one should carry over into season two. Pope is dealing with the supposed loss of one of his closest friends. Not to mention, the kiss and potential relationship with Kiara that needs to be explored or hashed out. Will he remain on edge like he was at the end of the season? How will his relationship with his dad be affected with the loss of his scholarship and the mini tussle they had between each other? There are a ton of questions that need to be answered.
DAMAN: You’re often seen playing with your guitar. What’s your favorite song?
Jonathan Daviss: “Cupid” by 112. This was the first song I ever learned to play, so it will always hold a special place because of that.
DAMAN: Do you write your own music too?
Jonathan Daviss: I’m starting to, but I still have a lot to learn before I’m ready to start making tracks. I have a few ideas for arrangements and lyrics and maybe even a collaboration. but nothing complete yet. We’ll see what the future holds.
DAMAN: Would you consider being a musician in the future?
Jonathan Daviss: It’s definitely something that I would want to explore in the near future. I love music of all types, but I’m a perfectionist so I’m probably my own worst critic.
DAMAN: The pandemic has upended everybody’s lives, basically. But do you still have any exciting projects coming up?
Jonathan Daviss: Right now, most of Hollywood has shut down. So, instead of looking for roles I’ve kind of shifted to writing some passion projects I’ve been sitting on.
DAMAN: How do you keep yourself positive during these hard times?
Jonathan Daviss: People. My family and friends have kept me sane. Keeping communication with others is incredibly crucial during a time such as this. There are a lot of people who feel helpless and alone without the added pressure of a shelter in place, so I make it a point to stay connected not just with my family, but with others who may not be fortunate enough to be with the ones they love during this difficult time.
DAMAN: Do you have any wise words or favorite quote to live by every day?
Jonathan Daviss: One of my favorite quotes is “Discipline and Consistency.” I strongly believe that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to if you live by this quote. You must be disciplined enough to put in the work on a consistent basis and set new goals as you accomplish them along the way…
DAMAN: Do you have any hidden talents?
Jonathan Daviss: I sketch. It’s something I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember. There was even a time where I really wanted to get into animation.
PHOTOGRAPHY Ian Phillips
STYLING Kimberly Goodnight
GROOMING Dusty Starks at TheOnly.Agency
U.S.-BASED CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mitchell Nguyen McCormack