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Andrew-Lee Potts in 'New Years Day' - athene
Andrew-Lee Potts in 'New Years Day'
I know there are surprisingly few people on my Primeval f-list who share my squee over Andrew-Lee Potts, but I've just watched a film he was in - New Years Day - and felt the need to comment.

F***ing hell, that film was good. 

And thank you very much to Alyse for the recomendation on this one.

I didn't cry, but was damn close, and I still have a lump in my throat now and it's been at least quarter of an hour since the credits rolled. A little over an hour and half of A-LP acting his socks off completely. He plays one of the two main charatcers (he is, in fact, the lead actor in the film), and he is onscreen for almost every scene in the film. It was made in around 2000/2001, so A-LP was actually about 20 when they filmed it, although he looks so scarily young that quite frankly if I didn't know better I'd quite happily believe that he was the sixteen that his character is meant to be. 

Brief plot summary - two school friends, Jake (Andrew-Lee Potts) and Steven (Bobby Barry), are the only survivors of a freak accident that kills all of their friends on a school trip. In the aftermath, struggling to cope with what has happened and the loss of his girlfriend, Jake tries to commit suicide. Steven stops him by making a promise - that they will live the next year completely, doing anything and everything that they want, not caring about the consequences, and fulfilling a list of tasks (such as 'rob a bank', 'do drugs', 'crash a car'), before the following New Year when they will both commit suicide together. 

It sounds depressing, but it isn't nearly as bad as you might think. And the main selling point really is the fact that A-LP acts his heart out in every single scary, angry, angsty, hilarious, and heartbreaking moment of it. (And, like so many actors with an accent, his Yorkshire accent gets beautifully strong when he's angry.)

I won't give away the ending, but see above, re me almost having a girlie weepie (which to be fair isn't that unusual with good weepie films/tv programmes).

I think it was a fairly small independent production, and as such had a fairly small production run. I got my copy from the second hand market on Amazon, and it didn't seem to be available as new any more. 

I'll be completely honest here; unless you're a really huge A-LP fan then it's probably not worth spending money on it, but if you ever have the chance to see it on tv it is well worth watching. Really. 


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30 comments or Leave a comment
lukadreaming From: lukadreaming Date: May 28th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
It sounds worth watching out for! I think he's a terrific actor, even if Connor isn't my favourite character *g*.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 28th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
He is an amazing actor, and having now seen a couple of other things that he's been in, I'm starting to think that Primeval really isn't stretching his abilities anywhere near as much as it could do. Which is worrying, because with two or three series of being a main actor on Primeval to add to his already extensive cv, I have a horrible fear that unless they give him some good plot and stuff to work with he might start looking for new and fresh acting challenges elsewhere. And I'd really rather like him to stay playing Connor for the forseeable future thank you very much.
lukadreaming From: lukadreaming Date: May 28th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Danger is, as well, of him getting type-cast in that sort of role. Which is why I'm a bit nervous about what they'll do with the character in S3.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 28th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
*crosses fingers and hopes for good, dramatic Connor-plot in S3*

I see what you mean about the typecasting thing. Which is why I'm very afriad that Primeval might not keep either A-LP or Dougie Henshall for more than three of four years. Which would be a terrible shame for the programme, and for the fans.
mysteriousaliwz From: mysteriousaliwz Date: May 28th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think ALP is adorable, actually, so I share your squee :)

If I ever see it scheduled on tv I'll look out for it (and try to be brave when it comes to the weepie bits - I wouldn't want to see him top himself so I might need to hide behind the sofa if it comes to that!)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 28th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
You may not find it weepie, I really am a complete girlie softy with stuff like that so it may just be me.

And he is so cute in it, especially with the fun spiky haircut. But he just looks so *young*, it feels wrong to be thinking that about him even if he was 20, and therefore legal at the time.
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: May 28th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll share your squee too!

That sounds like the kind of movie that's funny and heartbreaking at the same time. And I admire your restraint in not crying - if that had been me I would have been in floods all over the place!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 28th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is - it's hilariously funny in places, and yet heartbreaking and angry in others. And A-LP (and the other actor, for that matter) plays every emotion brilliantly.

See what I said to MysteriousAli - I'm a complete girlie wuss when it comes to weepies, and will cry at anything!
alyse From: alyse Date: May 28th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do love that movie, dark as it can get, and you're right about Andrew-Lee's acting in it. It's not just that Primeval doesn't stretch his acting muscles - although Season 2 was better in that respect. A lot of the other things he does don't seem to.

You need to watch Rose and Maloney, if you haven't yet :) He's also really, really good in that - blows everyone else off the screen, except maybe the two leads.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 28th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the rec of this one. I'll be watching it more than once, i suspect. So far the only other stuff I've seen are Stranded, and that very short thing - The Dipper - which i found a link to from your lj. I *want* to see him in Rose and Malony after that review you did, but even i won't buy an entire series just for a couple of eps of A-LP.

I really hope series 3 of Primeval gives him more to do. He does the comedy stuff so well, but he can do so much other good stuff as well as comedy, it seems like a waste to only give him just a couple of dramatic scripts in an entire series.
alyse From: alyse Date: May 28th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately, Rose and Maloney isn't available on DVD. But there may be other ways you can get it.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2008 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Heehee. Will do.

I was just thinking this morning, I first came across him playing Connor, who is obviously a good and heroic character, but now having seen him in other stuff I'm really starting to appreciate his ability when playing morally ambiguous or morally conflicted characters. And more to the point, playing morally ambiguous characters and still managing to make them largely sympathetic.

So I started thinking; wouldn't it be good if there was an episode of Primeval that gave him the chance to do something really evil - like say some sort of mind altering chemicals come through an anomaly via plants or a creature, and Connor gets infected, and then he gets to spend most of an episode being really scary and nasty and evil. And of course have lots of angst afterwards when he realises what he has done.

Ooh, I like this visual place. In fact, I think I may have just plot bunnied myself. Oh, meep.
lukadreaming From: lukadreaming Date: May 29th, 2008 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
*Feeds plot bunny*

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
The bunny looks fat and satisfied and is grinning evilly at me.
lukadreaming From: lukadreaming Date: May 29th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh good *vbg*.
mysteriousaliwz From: mysteriousaliwz Date: May 29th, 2008 12:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
*hurries over with more lettuce and carrots*

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
OI! That bunny is quite fat enough already!
mysteriousaliwz From: mysteriousaliwz Date: May 29th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, give it some exercise then! *g*
alyse From: alyse Date: May 29th, 2008 09:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I read an interview with Andrew-Lee in which he said that playing Connor was a departure for him because he didn't normally do comedy. Up until then he'd largely been playing serial killers.

I didn't believe him until I started to check out his back catalogue and... dude. He does scarily psycho and yet still sympathetic so well.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2008 12:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
For someone who 'doesn't normally do comedy' he's got a hell of a good comic timing down, especially with Dougie Henshall in S2.

But he just looks too young and cute to be a serial killer. Which is probably part of why he is quite so scary when he does it.
mysteriousaliwz From: mysteriousaliwz Date: May 29th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
ALP as a serial killer? That would be unsettling.
alyse From: alyse Date: June 8th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you haven't had a chance to check out some of the things he's done then you need to see if you can... um... acquire some. He's appeared in quite a few British crime series as suspects - Taggert, Trial and Retribution, Dalziel and Pascoe to name just three. And, yeah... Scarily intense in them ::g:: And, seriously. Check out Rose and Maloney. He is scarily good in that one.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 9th, 2008 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
If Alyse hasn't already persuaded you - *really* you should watch the Rose and Maloney with A-LP in it. He was great. Spent the entire two episodes playing a very fine line between looking young and vulnerable, and looking really rather scary.
mysteriousaliwz From: mysteriousaliwz Date: June 9th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
As soon as I fork out for some hard drive space, I'll be getting hold of it!
sandyleepotts From: sandyleepotts Date: May 16th, 2012 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Did you get around to writing this one?
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 19th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry for the late reply, I've been out most nights this week and have only just got round to an lj catch-up.

I did sort of end up writing this. Have you read any of the Primeval VS3 on primeval_denial? I wrote a couple of episodes of that, and a plotline along these lines was featured in one of those episodes (ep 9, I think). The easiest way to find it is probably to go to Denial and look for the VS3 tag.
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: May 29th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds interesting. I actually got a lot keener on A L-P after reading your Ryan/Connor stuff and then I started taking more notice of him. He's way too young for me, but definitely quite attractive, when you get past the hair and the hat and the crappy clothes!!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Series one did absolutely nothing for him, looks wise. To be honest I didn't really start taking notice of him in an 'oh, he's kind of attractive' way until S2 and the wardrobe change and the shorter hair.

If you think he's too young as Connor, you'll think he's practically a baby in this film - I really could believe that he was about fifteen or sixteen in it, even if the actor was actually 20. He seems to be making a fairly good career out of playing characters that are at least five years younger than he actually is.
cordeliadelayne From: cordeliadelayne Date: May 29th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually have this but have yet to find time to watch. I'll have to bump it up nearer the top of my pile *g*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 30th, 2008 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Hope you enjoy it when you get round to watching.
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