The 6th season of DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION looks to be its biggest and boldest yet! THE MAG visited the set and spoke with the stars…
SARAH BARRABLE-TISHAUER (LIBERTY)
Take us through a typical day on set.
Today I had a pretty late call. But usually, my call is around 6:45 AM because it takes a long time to do my hair. I usually roll out of bed, make my way to set, grab some breakfast, they do my hair, then usually tutoring because I have to do 2 hours of tutoring a day…go down to set, you block and then we film. It’s about a 10 or 11 hour day.
This year, some of the characters are going off to college. Do you have plans for after the show?
Definitely. I’ve been looking at universities, so hopefully next year I’ll be going to university…I’m going to take a degree in communications or journalism because I really like writing. What’s interesting to me is the behind the scenes stuff, like producing.
Favourite DEGRASSI moments?
Pretty much any moment that Ryan Cooley (JT) and I have together. We were inseparable for all the seasons. And definitely the mall tours…meeting the fans, [which] sort of gives you feedback and you see that what you’re doing is helping people and it’s entertaining people.
MIRIAM MCDONALD (EMMA)
How was having Kevin Smith on set?
He was a really great guy. Like when he rented out an entire movie theatre just so the cast and crew could go see a screening of a movie. He takes his celebrity and takes his ability to pull strings and makes it work for everybody.
What sets DEGRASSI apart?
I guess it’s the realness. We try as hard as we can to represent high school life like you would see it in the real world. We don’t make everything look glamorous. We don’t all have perfect hair and perfect clothes. We’re real characters with real issues and real problems and kids can relate to that.
CASSIE STEELE (MANNY)
|What has been your favourite experience so far?
Well, I think the people. Some of my best friends are from the show, like Miriam. What you get off of set, the familiarity, with the crew is just a great experience all together.
Because you grew up on DEGRASSI, did you ever go to a “regular” high school?
Never. I went to two high schools in two years, and even then I was barely in school. I go to school online now and I caught up with everything…it’s hard to catch up with friends, like, everything was just crazy.
Do you have a favourite DEGRASSI moment or episode?
Definitely my favourite moment would be, when Manny turned bad in “You’ve Got the Look”. That was just a whole ordeal for me, totally different from anything I knew from growing up.
STEFAN BROGREN (SNAKE/MR. SIMPSON)
How do you like playing a father now instead of a student?
He’s the stepfather and very protective…we’re actually dealing with that in the episode we’re shooting right now. They have an ongoing battle in their relationship for respect. There are trust issues…that come up throughout the season.
Was there pressure for THE NEXT GENERATION to live up to the old DEGRASSI?
Yeah, I think that everyone was nervous at first, that this would be a bad copy of the original show. Luckily for us, it’s turned out to be it’s own individual success.
Thanks, Stefan, Cassie, Miriam and Sarah!