If you haven’t taken the time to watch this week’s episode of Five Points you’re missing out. The Facebook Watch series produced by Kerry Washington is one of the most intelligent and accurate depictions of teens today and the powerful series is not to be missed.
Following the trials and tribulations of five teens in a South Side Chicago high school, Five Pointshighlights the many aspects of teen life from love to loss, and everything in between. An intense examination of the challenging world teens live in today, Five Points thoughtfully captures how the daily pressures they face can lead to difficult choices which sometimes have life altering outcomes.
TheGrio caught up with two of the show’s stars, Spence Moore II and Madison Pettis, to find out how they cultivated their complex characters and what they learned from Kerry Washington.
Moore is phenomenal in his portrayal of high school football star, Eric Harper and Pettis is flawless as his user-popular girlfriend/ mean girl, Natasha “Tosh” Bennett. Both actors deliver powerful performances that show the world how much we underestimate the plight of teens today.
One of the things made clear by the poignant and stirring series is the fact that everyone is a victim and everyone is a tormenter at one time or another and the actors did an incredible job of showing the multiple and often conflicting sides of their character’s personalities.
“That was very intentional. That was one of my favorite messages that came out of the show. You see people every day and you think you know who they are. The popular athlete who gets all the girls must not have any problems,” says Pettit. “What’s really special abut Five Points is that it shows that even when you think you know all there is about a person, there’s so much going on under the surface. The drama geek and the most popular girl in school may have a lot more in common that we think.”
This week’s episode features a particularly powerful scene where we see Eric struggling with several inner demons inside of a parked car and it ends in a gun shot that made my blood run cold.When the gun shot rang out, a range of emotions from panic to desperation flooded my entire body and Moore’s performance was truly inspiring.
“I didn’t know what my future held as Eric. I didn’t know he was going to be depressed for a majority of the show and how I prepared for that mentally was a challenge,” Moore explained. “I’m a pretty happy kid and I had to live in this depression. I found myself trying to embody Eric’s depression and understand where he was coming from and I wanted to be as honest as possible interring his story as possible. Living in my lows and acknowledging my own flaws was a very vulnerable place to live but it really helped me do the character justice.”
Both actors admit that being led by Kerry Washington was an incredible experience and revealed that her mere presence helped them deliver their very best work.
“Kerry [Washington] was shooting the last episodes of Scandal when we started filming Five Points. She told us to enjoy the ride together because it’s really special to be able to create something so powerful with people you have really bonded with and to be proud of the work that we did,” said Pettit.
Moore shared similar sentiments. “The thing Kerry brought was her experience and to see what she expected from us was amazing for me personally,” he said. “She gave off such a light for all of us.”
Five Points debuts new episodes soon Mondays at 9pm ET/6pm PT on Facebook Watch.