When Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet) arrives for her freshman year at Essex College in The Sex Lives of College Girls, she’s immediately smitten by Nico, a frat bro she spots running shirtless across campus. Later, she learns he’s the brother of her suitemate Leighton (Renée Rapp), one of the four leads the new HBO Max series follows at the school. Kimberly soon recruits Nico to tutor her in French, trying to hide her feelings but very obviously crushing on him throughout the season.
Nico is played by Gavin Leatherwood, who will look familiar to fans of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: he starred as Nick Scratch for two seasons on the supernatural Netflix series. “The experience has been life-changing. It felt kind of like this surreal dream,” Leatherwood told Vulkan Magazine of playing Nick, which marked his first main role after bit parts in shows like NCIS and grown-ish. “[Acting] is like [being] in a relationship,” he added of what he learned from working on the show. “When the honeymoon phase sort of ends and you get to work, you still love the thing and you give it your everything and you’re committed to it but it’s also hard work and I didn’t realize that until doing it.”
Though Chilling Adventures of Sabrina ended in 2020, Leatherwood is still close with a number of actors from the show — particularly his love interest, Kiernan Shipka (Sabrina), who he frequently posts Instagram pictures with.
According to MTV, Leatherwood grew up in Southern California but moved to Oregon with his family after graduating from high school. In the years since, he’s spent time between both places, even living in New York City briefly. Before transitioning to TV, he worked in theater and performed in the Broadway Tour of Peter Pan as well as a production of All My Sons.
Outside of acting, the 27-year-old is also a musician. He has been playing guitar, ukulele, and piano since childhood, and released his debut single, “Just For Tonight,” in February 2021 under the moniker Leatherwood. He’s set to release his debut self-titled album in late 2021, and put out a new single, “Driftwood Mermaid,” in late October.
“For a long time, I thought that music was supposed to solve all the problems of the universe in four minutes or so,” Leatherwood told Hollywood Life in an interview following the release of “Just For Tonight.” “With this song, I just sort of realized that songs can also just really be fun. There are other songs in which I try to capture some of that on the album. But this was, it’s just my baby. Just like, ‘Go out and have fun in the world.’”