November 16, 2014
ASIAN-AMERICAN TEEN ACTOR LENDS VOICE TO MAIN CHARACTER IN “BIG HERO 6”
Robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada has the mind of a genius—and the heart of a 14-year-old, in Walt Disney Animation Studios' new comedy-adventure “Big Hero 6.” His state-of-the-art battlebots dominate the underground bot fights held in the dark corners of San Fransokyo. “He’s a troublemaker,” says Ryan Potter, who lends his voice to Hiro, “but he’s a really good kid at heart.”
In the film, big brother Tadashi redirects Hiro’s brilliance, inspiring him to put his brain to the test in a quest to gain admission to the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology.
“We really wanted them to be brothers first,” says producer Roy Conli of Hiro and Tadashi. “Tadashi is a smart mentor. He very subtly introduces Hiro to his friends and what they do at San Fransokyo Tech. Once Hiro sees Wasabi, Honey, GoGo and even Fred in action, he realizes that there’s a much bigger world out there that really interests him.”
When a tragic event changes everything, Hiro turns to a robot named Baymax, and they form an unbreakable bond—and two-sixths of a band of high-tech heroes on a very important mission.
“Hiro is transitioning from boy to man,” says director Don Hall. “It’s a tough time for a kid and some teenagers develop that inevitable snarkiness and jaded attitude. Luckily Ryan [Potter] is a very likeable kid. So no matter what he did, he was able to take edge off the character in a way that made him authentic, but appealing.”
“I grew up watching Disney films, and I grew up reading Marvel comics,” says Potter. “So when I heard that a Disney movie that was inspired by a Marvel comic actually featured an Asian American kid, I absolutely had to be a part of this film.”
Actor, director, martial artist, photographer and philanthropist Ryan Potter was raised in Tokyo, Japan, until the age of 7. His first language was Japanese and he’s a lifelong fan of Manga and Anime.
Potter appeared in the 2014 feature film “Senior Project” and will appear in “Underdog Kids" early next year. He also starred in Nickelodeon’s “Supah Ninjas” as a typical high school student who discovers he descended from a long line of ninjas.
In addition to acting, Potter is skilled in several martial art disciplines. He began training in White Tiger Kung Fu at age 8 and has also studied Wu Shu style Kung Fu, Karate and Capoeira. In addition to White Tiger, Potter trains in martial arts tricking and parkour free running.
Potter is also devoted to painting and photography, often in unison, creating mixed media art, directing and filming his own martial arts videos and is moved by music of all genres. He is planning to attend college next year to study film and art.
Potter is dedicated to raising awareness for several charities including Covenant House and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. He is grateful for his Big Brother of 10 years and has been a National Spokesperson since 2012. In addition, Toy Box of Hope, a charity that Potter started himself in 2011, raises awareness and donations for homeless children in Los Angeles.
Still showing across the Philippines, “Big Hero 6” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.
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