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Adam, Degrassi's female-to-male transgender student, is played by Jordan Todosey, who's a girl in real life -- that's her in her lady gear in the pic! I caught up with her on-set and we talked about the challenges of her role, and life in general.
So, how do you get into guy mode? How do you psych up to be Adam?
Well, I obviously get changed, and they style my hair and take off any existing make-up on my face -- it's kind of like a whole rundown that happens. And then, I just get on the guy swag you know? Just get into his mindset.
Did you spend a lot of time studying how guys move? Yeah, looking at some of my guy friends and the fact that they look a girl up and down every time she walks by, and just all the silly little things that they do.
Do you have to stay in your Adam mindset the whole time you're on set or can you go in and out of it pretty easily? When the cast chills for lunch or goes off set, I do tend to turn into a bit of a girl, complimenting on girls' outfits like "Oh that skirt's so cute!" or whatever. But really, just being in the clothes keeps me in the guy thing.
So do you have to wear a full-on binder on your chest the whole time you're in wardrobe? Yeah, I'm wearing it right now... It's not the comfiest thing, I will admit. But it's there just to, well, flatten the boobs! I'm getting used to it, but I definitely wouldn't choose it over something else.
Do you consider yourself a girly girl in real life?
You know, I've always grown up hanging with the guys and stuff. So because I have a history of being such a tomboy, I can kind of incorporate some of that into Adam. But off set now... I'm kinda girly. I'll admit I love pink things.
And since you had to cut off all your hair, I'm sure it makes you want to wear more make-up.
Yeah, exactly that! With my hair shorter, I feel like I have to accent the make-up and the heels and stuff more so.
So, like a lot of the audience, I'm sure you didn't know much about what it means to be transgender before you saw these scripts, right? No. I was vaguely aware, but I didn't know too much about it. But I did some research. And the writers did most of the research, so it's good to be able to trust them.
What are the top one or two things you've learned about transgender people since playing Adam? You know, they're like anybody else. They're regular people who just feel in the head like they're a guy or a girl and they were just born in the wrong body. And they're awesome people to hang with from what I hear! I like Adam... I mean, he's great, right?
Totally! I'd be friends with him!
So would I!
Were you scared at all to take on this role?
Of course, joining a pre-established cast was a bit intimidating, and having such an important role to portray was also really intimidating. But I just go out there and do what I can, and hopefully I portray Adam with authenticity.
What are your favorite movies and music and books?
Right now I'm reading Annabelle, and music-wise I'm really enjoying Ex Ex and Keys N Krates lately.
I love the relationship between Adam and Drew and the way Drew is such a supportive brother. What's your family like? I actually have a younger brother who's 10 years old now, and although he can be a pain in the butt sometimes, I love him to death and he's really sweet. He makes people laugh all the time, he's definitely a jokester. My family's really tight -- yes, we get in each other's way a bit but at the end of the day we all love each other.
Four big ol' pics of the boy you (and Clare) love to love. Happy fall finale night -- Degrassi's at 9p et, and there's a full hour of Gigantic starting at 9:30p et!
Some tweeterers were asking for us to put this commercial online -- the one where Aislinn's holding an umbrella and it's a mish-mosh-morph of pictures of our beautiful wonderful TeenNick stars. Found it!
Regardless of how mixed your feelings about Drew are... we suspect your feelings about these Luke Bilyk pics will be much less complicated.
So, I know you just saw that photo shoot interview last week, but as it happens, I caught up with Annie on her almost-last day on set for Season 10 and we got to have a nice leisurely chat:
So at the end of a season, does it feel sort of like summer vacation now?
Yeah! Despite the fact that it's freezing here. But yeah, it's definitely weird, everyone's saying bye. And it's like cleaning out our lockers -- we're getting our various things from wardrobe. And the things we've left in our dressing rooms this whole season, we finally have to take home -- I keep leaving this travel mug of tea here and not wanting to deal with it and now I finally have to bring it home. But we'll be back in a few months.
I read on the twitters that you just graduated high school! Congratulations!
Yes, I just went to my commencement ceremony; it was Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. And it was nice that Epitome gave me the whole day off, too, so I could go see my old high school friends and everything.
Why is your high school commencement in October?
The universities here do their commencements in the fall, so I think my school is just trying to be more collegiate? It's always been a tradition. Which is nice, because it's kind of like our five-month reunion -- we get to see what everyone's been up to since they went off to university.
So it was a normal graduation -- you got to wear a cap and gown and everything.
I did, and I threw it up in the air... it was such a classic, TV graduation.! And then I get to graduate on Degrassi too so I can have a real TV graduation!
Since Fiona has one of the best wardrobes on Degrassi, was moving over to the uniforms difficult for you?
You know what, it was, but Fiona jazzes up the uniforms. With headbands, and -- everyone always complains because Fiona's skirt is the only one that's soo much shorter than the other girls'. And she's bending the rules a bit -- everyone has these black flats and Fiona's have these little heels attached. She's trying to add her own flair to it. But for me as an actor, I actually love the uniforms because, as I'm sure people notice, Fiona has so many "things"! She has so many accessories; it gets exhausting to take on and off sometimes. So with the uniform I only have to change like, my pants or my skirt.
I also saw on the twitters that you actually sit down and watch Degrassi on Friday nights, right?
Yeah, out of the cast I'm the one who's the biggest Degrassi fan. I've seen every one multiple times, of all the seasons. I love to see how they turn out -- because we only read through them once in the readthroughs and I don't read them again after that. And even though it's hard watching myself, I love it.
Do you have certain people you want to watch with, or like rules about whether you can talk during the show?
I definitely don't want interruptions, and everyone has to sing along with the theme song with me. My parents are obsessed with it, too; they'll watch it even when I'm not there. Even if I'm not in the episode, they DVR it and watch it together. But as for who I watch with, I'm not picky, the more the merrier.
So, it's been so long since we talked, and so much has happened. I mean... going back to Fiona and Bobby... what was it like to film the violent scenes? Did you do any stunts?
We had a stunt double for the stairs scene, because I mean... pretty brutal. But I did have to get into the position she landed in, and then flip out of it, but also be crying like I had just been thrown down the stairs. Those episodes were actually my favorite to shoot; those four were the most amazing experience. And Ben Lewis, who played Bobby is the nicest guy I've ever met. I can't believe what a great actor he is because when I watch those episodes I'm like, "You're terrible!" Such a great guy. But I was excited about being in those episodes because, me being a Degrassi fan, it was great to get to tackle one of the main teen issues.
Behold! The first scene of the last episode this fall... and Jenna's pregnancy has given her magical powers of mind-reading! Orrr it's made her a little cray-cray.
Click here to watch! (Sorry, something went weird with the embedded player. I know clicking is a lot of work, but I believe in you!)
- Posted on 11/17/2010 by Mary
On top of playing Nicest Dude On Degrassi right now... maybe he deserves the Nicest Eyes title, too? Best Skinny Jeans Wearer? Here's yr pics, load up.
- Posted on 11/17/2010 by Mary
It's been a long time! Actually, that's a lie, I've probably talked to you and Ray more recently than anyone else...
It feels like forever though, it's been a long season.
So. What's your take on what happened between Holly J and Declan.
I thought it was a very interesting turn for their story to take. Him coming back I thought would either be really good or really bad... What I like about it is that both characters are sort of in the right and in the wrong. They're both making a mistake and they both have good intentions. So I thought it was really interesting. It wasn't black or white, it's very much a gray issue.
The scene where you're leaving the condo, and you've got that horrible tight smile on your face; it was heartbreaking. When you're doing a scene like that, is it about getting into the emotion of what's going on and then whatever happens on your face just happens, or do you decide how your face is going to look because that's how you're conveying it to the audience?
That's a really interesting question... you know, the actorly thing to say is that I was swept up in the moment and whatever happens happens. But sometimes it is conscious; you kind of decide the way you want it to look. And you know your face, so there could be an expression that you think would convey it the best.
That was really a tough scene, because I was getting notes to play it happy -- like she was going out of her way to make things seem normal. And then, we have TVs all around the production office so whatever we're shooting on set, the writers and producers see. And I think some feedback came back that I was maybe looking too convincing? So we made it more forced. It was a very nuanced sort of scene.
You went to high school with Munro right? Can you tell the world what he was like in high school?
Uh... (she's cracking up) ...short? That's what sticks out in my mind but he would hate me for saying that! Annie [Clark]'s laughing. He's a year younger than me so I was in grade 10 and he was in grade 9, and it was one of those things where people would always try and bring the two of us together. I'd get swept over into a corner and they'd be like, "You have to meet my friend!" And they'd bring over Munro and be like, "You guys are both on TV! Talk amongst yourselves!" And we'd be like, "Uhhh..."
But he's actually the nephew of one of my mom's best friends. So I've known about Munro and his twin Thomas for a long time. They were just these energetic and like I said, fairly short, crazy twins who were on TV. That's how I knew them. But I've definitely gotten closer to Munro since then. I phoned him up when I found out he was joining the show and was like "Welcome to Degrassi!"
Are you still in school?
I actually took the semester off, which is probably the smartest thing I've done in... Time. The other years I was doing both for the fall months. So this year I've just been focusing on work, at Degrassi, and I should be going back to school in January. I have a year left and change.
Actually, here's some news: Annie and I are going to visit Judi Jiao, who played Leia! She's at Harvard, so we're going to visit and I'm just gonna pretend to go there for a little while.
Oh my God, what are you gonna wear to Harvard!
Right? We keep buying tweed and scholastic looking clothes so we can look totally Bostony.
Hey, do you keep in touch with Paula Brancati? I've been curious about how she's doing.
Yeah, she's everywhere in Toronto, she's always doing plays, her theatre career is taking off since Degrassi and we keep in touch with her. She's so talented and awesome and kind and... she's perfect, pretty much.
Are you almost wrapped for the season?
We just wrapped our last scene, and Annie and I come back next week to do some cheerleading scenes for some minisodes. So we've got that, and then wrap party, and then a bunch of us are going to Cuba! Munro included! For fun -- this is the first non-school-building trip I've done in years. We're just relaxing on the beach this time.
- Posted on 11/16/2010 by Mary
So, in case it doesn't come through properly in the text, Munro has a total sense of humor and was joking (often self-deprecatingly) during much of this interview. Also, fyi, I'm not psychic -- we were talking via Skype, which is why I could tell what was in his bedroom. And without further ado...
So, the last time I saw you was in Toronto when you guys were shooting the carnival video, Boiling Point hadn't aired, no one in America really understood what was coming yet... has life become any different for you since becoming America's Sweetheart?
First of all, I am not America's Sweetheart! It's very sweet for people to say that. But it's just so much fun. Just for myself, as an actor, I feel like I've grown. Because for every job you take, you should grow; you should move forward as an actor. But for me personally, I still... I don't like, go to celeb parties and drink martinis, I don't know.
Do you wake up every morning and look in the mirror and say, "You know, I have 28,000 twitter followers."
You know I do sometimes? (laughs) No, it's nice; it's so humbling to have people support what you do so intensely. It was an achievement for the 28,000... it's 29 now, just, by the way, let's set the record straight. But trending was an amazing moment.
It was amazing, especially the day after the Emmys to be, like on the world scale -- not that I'm counting -- for the entire 8 hours Munro Chambers was 5th and The Emmys were 7th, so it was kind of surreal.
Oh... My God.
Yeah, it was kinda strange. It was one of those things where it's like, "OK, pat on the back, that's cool." But like anything else, it's really exciting and then the next day it's like "OK, back to work."
Yeah, back to 6am wake up calls.
So, have you been to the US since the Boiling Point aired?
No, I've been meaning to go to NY because my cousin goes to school there, but I haven't been able to get down. All I've heard from Charlotte and Aislinn and everyone is just that they maul you. Where, in Toronto, it's more like you get the off look... like they glance at you and kind of realize.
You have an identical twin brother right? Does he ever get any Eli stuff now in public?
Yeah, he gets it... We have this place in Toronto called Wonderland, it's like Six Flags, and he did the trampoline diving show there -- he's a nationally ranked trampolinist, 10th in the world, actually. He just came back from Japan. So we're really so proud of him. But anyway, he has a totally different look than I do, but he gets recognized. And he's very much not the, like "yay!" embrace it kind of deal. He's like "Yup, that's my brother."
So what's your favorite thing about playing Eli?
Definitely just how complex the character is. There are so many different layers to him. On one level he's very suave and intelligent, but he's also very dark and has lots of secrets... Very complex, very mysterious, and very different from any character I've ever played before.
What do and don't you have in common with him?
We're very different people in a lot of senses I think. But the one thing we have in common is our sense of protection for the people we love.
So how was it on set the day Aislinn got into her Bizarro-Clare wardrobe?
I was scared! I didn't know who it was! I was like, "That is NOT AISLINN!" It was an eerie time for all of us.
You have a lot of New York paraphernalia in your bedroom...
Yeah, I love New York. Part of me kind of loves it because of Oliver and Company. Love that movie. I gotta say it.
And New York is just like that in real life!
It got cats! Stealing sausages. I base my life around Disney movies. My two favorite movies of all time are Lion King -- 'cause you know, it's dope -- and Raging Bull. They're two different movies, but you can relate them. You know? Why not? The best of the best, I say.
- Posted on 11/16/2010 by Mary
Argy is our sunshine -- he is seriously the most positive, smiley guy on Earth. And also sometimes he is upside down, as you can see.