How Jonathan Daviss Landed His Role in Outer Banks

How Jonathan Daviss Landed His Role in Outer Banks

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How Jonathan Daviss Landed His Role in Outer Banks

The 21-year-old breakout actor chats with V about his early career and shares tidbits about OB's latest season.

The 21-year-old breakout actor chats with V about his early career and shares tidbits about OB's latest season.

Photography: Domen & Van De Velde

Styling: Nicola Formichetti

Text: Kala Herh

This story appears in V131 now available for purchase

Hollywood’s next generation of cinema stars celebrate Moncler, as the Italian luxury house gears up for their latest landing in Los Angeles at 340 N. Rodeo Drive.

Jonathan Daviss is infectiously charming, unsurprisingly witty, and a little nerdy just like the character he plays in Outer Banks. The 21-year-old stars as the studious, yet compassionate Pope Heyward in Netflix’s hit drama-mystery-thriller. The first season followed Pope and his friends, aka the Pogues, as they went on a hunt for treasure; it returns later this year.

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The new season starts full-tilt from the last episode of the first season and only ramps up from there,” says Daviss, zooming in from his home in Los Angeles. “I don't think anybody's going to expect anything that's happening.” The Houston, Texas native first fell in love with acting at the age of 12 when he was cast in Deliverance Creek, a 2014 Jon Amiel-directed film about a woman trying to defend her family’s land. “I remember telling my folks at the time that even if I wasn't getting paid, this is what I would want to do for the rest of my life,” he says. Despite the pandemic putting a pause on shooting for season two, Daviss used his time in isolation to take up new skills.

Along with teaching himself to play the guitar and working out, he also learned how to deal with newfound stardom as the show’s popularity took off on social media. As the entertainment industry is often synonymous with being closed off, Daviss’ breakout is a beacon of hope for young actors and actresses. And with his success, he reveals an industry secret: if you work hard enough, anything (and everything) is within reach.

Read below for an extended version of our conversation with Jonathan Daviss as he talks about his parents' support, Season 2 of OB and the new couple of years:

V MAGAZINE: First congrats on season 2 of Outer Banks. It’s such a great series, just to start off when did you first fall in love with acting? When did you perform and you were like this is it and this is all I want to do? 

JONATHAN DAVIS: I wanted to get into acting, you know, for from a very, very young age, like eight or nine, I kind of started, you know, pursuing it. And it wasn't until I turned about 12. And I worked on this project called Deliverance Creek, which was on lifetime. It was like a Lifetime movie type of thing. It wasn't a huge part, but I just loved being there. I even remember telling my folks at the time that even if I wasn’t getting paid, I think this is what I would want to do for the rest of my life. And I guess from that moment on, I was in love. 

V: And what role did your parents play in fostering this love of acting? 

JD: You know, I dare you to find parents more supportive than mine. You know, they really kind of molded me from a young age. They taught me how to take it seriously – if I wanted to pursue something or anything like that I had to work. So yeah, they played the biggest role in my success. They really nurtured that love. 

V: That's great – and do you ever practice lines or scenes with them? Or do you just keep it kind of church and state? 

JD: It's a mix of both. Sometimes I need them to come in and help me with the scene or like they'll help me with an audition when I have no one to read. But, you know, my dad says a lot. He's like, ‘Look, I'm not an actor.’ But he’ll still give his advice. But it really just depends on the project. 

V: To pivot back to Outer Banks. Your character Pope is such a cool character and he has this unconditional love for his friends that is carried throughout the show - What is it that you like about Pope? Are there any ways that you relate to your character? 

JD: Yep, Pope is a very, very loyal dude. He's a very smart, very smart nerd character. You know, he’s like at the end of the day, it's my friends and this guy, this is where I grew up. And, you know, my family, my dad raised his spot. So yeah, in a lot of ways I do relate to him. He feels like he has a lot of pressure on him, especially in the first season. There's a lot of pressure to succeed. You know, there's a lot of pressure like you're a smart kid, you're already down on your luck. If you have a way out through the scholarship, and you don't take it, it's a mark on you. So, I did relate to that. You got to choose, you got to make sure to balance it, you know, it's a balancing act. And in that, and in that way, like, yeah, I immediately – when I read this character – I was like, ‘Yeah, I understand that.’

V: Do you ever watch yourself? 

JD: [laughs] It's never not weird. I'll tell you that. As an artist, you're constantly critiquing yourself. So I did, like the first season I definitely went back and I watched and I was always in my head about it. And I had to learn to teach myself sometimes that you don’t always have to critique yourself when you watch. And like, you know, I think the season was good and that’s all that I can do. And you know, I feel like I’m proud of the second season.  

V: What else are you looking forward to? 

JD: I just want to diversify myself as an actor. I feel like as an actor, you want to be able to play a wide range of parts and do and do a lot of different types of things. And that's kind of what I want to do. I want to establish myself as somebody who can fit into a lot of different molds and be in a lot of different types of projects. And that's the goal. So you know, these next coming years is just making sure that my skill level and my technique is there. I want to make sure that I am constantly trying to elevate and be better.

This story appears in V131, now available for purchase

Moncler's latest Los Angeles flagship at 340 N. Rodeo Drive opens on July 24th.

Credits:

MAKEUP: CEDRIC JOLIVET (THE WALL GROUP)

HAIR: PETER GREY (HOME AGENCY)

PRODUCTION: JOERI ROUFFA (DOMEN & VAN DE VELDE)

ON-SET PRODUCER: PAUL TURNER

STYLIST ASSISTANTS: MARTA DEL RIO, HUNTER CLEM

MAKEUP ASSISTANT: JESSICA AHN

LOCATION: DUST STUDIOS

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