Starring in the remake of Nickelodeon’s “All That,” comedian Lex Lumpkin is transitioning to drama as he stars in the new Freeform dramatic series “The Watchful Eye.” He portrays Elliott Schwartz, a precocious teenager who befriends Elena Santos, played by Mariel Molino.
Outside of acting, Lumpkin is very passionate about addressing mental health issues among young people. The multi-talented actor wrote, and directed an upcoming documentary titled “The Hidden Truth,” which focuses on untreated depression and other mental health issues among teens and how it affects them.
Lumpkin spoke with rolling out about the Freeform series, his upcoming documentary, and mental health.
Tell us about “The Watchful Eye.”
It follows a young woman named Elena Santos, who has a very complicated background. We watch as she maneuvers her way into working as a live-in nanny for an affluent family in Manhattan but what she doesn’t know is that everybody in the building has deadly secrets and ulterior motives. What they don’t know is she has some shocking secrets of her own.
What interested you in this series?
It was the drama aspect of the show. I came from “All That,” which is a sketch comedy show. Every week, we had to prepare new characters, and we had to bring the energy every time and feed off the crowd because we had a live audience. It was so much fun. But for “The Watchful Eye,” I have to focus on giving a more grounded and natural performance. The opportunity to show that I can flex in both comedy and drama is what drew me to this project.
What is your upcoming documentary about?
It’s about a young boy who watched his best friend die in a car crash and throughout the film, he’s dealing with survivor’s remorse, depression, drug abuse, and suicide. The reason I wanted to make a film about this is that it’s something that a lot of my peers are dealing with. For teens aged 15 to 24, the second leading cause of death is suicide, and it was a topic that I felt needed to be talked about more.
What advice would you give to young people struggling with their mental health?
Reach out to someone that you can trust because it does help to know that you’re not alone and then set some goals. They don’t have to be huge goals. There are things that you work towards because I know when I was in a little stump myself, this film was part of what got me out of it. When you’re setting goals and you feel like you’re working towards something that helps with your mental health.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.