WATERVILLE — A couple of years ago, a friend told Bill Potter that he would be perfect to play a character in the upcoming independent film “Back to the Beyond.”

The friend said the Maine-based DiBacco Films’ project included a ghost-hunter character named Brock Peters, who is a jerk, and told Potter he should audition.

Potter took the bait.

After a typical 12-plus-hour work day as a radio personality and resource manager, Potter attended a crowded casting call at Wyndham Hotel. He recalled that it was a hot, humid summer night and the hotel’s air conditioning was on the fritz.

Potter got the part.

“They knew what they wanted and they cast it well,” said Potter with a smile.

Potter, 45, is known by many in southern Maine as Bill Murphy, his on-air name at WHXR 106.3 in Portland. Murphy is also his name on the screen credits.

Potter, named one of Portland’s Most Influential People in 2009 by the Portland Phoenix, finished a six-year gig at the station in March 2010.

Many more people worldwide will soon be watching the 1984 graduate of Waterville Senior High School on the big screen.

Potter portrays Peters in the thriller, which is slated for release Sept. 6 in more than 120 countries, according to the DiBacco Films website.

“The bulk of my role is other-worldly; it’s very, very intense,” he said. “It was amazing to do. It’s so beyond who I am.”

The movie is a modern adaptation of “The Captain’s Guest,” which was an episode in the television series “One Step Beyond.”

In that ABC series, which ran from 1959 to 1961, host John Newland was a “guide into the world of the unknown” and presented paranormal situations in 30-minute docudramas.

In “Back to the Beyond” a paranormal research team investigates a haunted house and encounters a sinister supernatural spirit “with horrifying results.”

Later, another paranormal research team arrives on the island and finds the first team’s equipment. The apparition then battles the second team.

Potter said he thinks the film, which strives to keep viewers on the edge and make them want to “sleep with the lights on,” was amazing.

The film was shot in April and September last year on Casco Bay’s Long Island, as well as Peaks Island, Old Orchard Beach and Portland.

Potter said Maine’s scenery, people and personality make it an ideal shooting location.

Potter also had a walk-on appearance in the 1992 film “Man Without a Face,” which was also shot in Maine.

Potter was 13 when he came to Maine from Boston’s South Shore.

Since age 8, Potter said he had wanted to be a radio rock jock.

“It was the ’70s and there was no MTV,” he said. “When I was sent to bed, I waited until my old man was out of earshot and I would tune into the AM rock stations and go to sleep. The guys in the box sounded so cool; they were gods to me.”

Potter got his foot in the business door at WTVL 98.5 in Waterville and he later worked for WTOS 105.1 in Skowhegan for 10 “glorious years.”

Someday, Potter said, he might write a memoir about his experiences at the station and meeting rock stars.

Now, married with seven children and one grandchild, Potter works in Lewiston at ACS, which manages clients’ finance, accounting and human resources. He also does public relations work for DiBacco Films and is reading through a couple of other movie scripts.

Pursuing acting, he said, is his passion.

He has plenty of life experience from which to draw.

In addition to being a radio personality, Potter has been employed as a bouncer and a truckstop dishwasher. He’s also worked for Brinks Security and at JCPenney.

“I like living inside somebody else for a while,” he said. “I want to do stuff I am proud of and attack any role I can attack.”

Beth Staples — 861-9252

[email protected]

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