Blog | Dance Academy
- Posted on 11/17/2010 by Mary
Has your experience been anything like Maggie's? Do you relate to her struggle to make it in Hollywood?
Definitely. I've been doing the acting thing since I was 10; I'm 19 now. It's definitely tough. And Maggie has this need to do it. Which made it easy to play her, because I have this love for the acting business and could never imagine myself doing anything else. And when you love something so much, it pulls you through. Even though it's hard sometimes because there's so much rejection that goes along with it. There's more rejection than success.
Yeah, and when you're at such a tender age and you're so sensitive -- did your parents try to protect you from the pain of that rejection and have to give you pep talks?
Yeah, there would be times when I would come home crying because a casting director was just flat out like, "I don't like you." And I'd let it get to me for a while. It's disheartening... there are the few that want to help and the few that just don't care and don't take into account what you're feeling. And we'd be driving home and my mom would say, "That's just some people. You can't let that determine how the rest of your acting career is going to go." My parents have definitely been those people who are constantly pepping me up. Same with my brother.
I read in your bio that your whole family moved out to LA with you so you could act.
Yes! I lived in Atlanta, GA -- well, a small town outside of it, no one ever knows what Cumming, GA is. And I made a deal with my family that said, if I book the lead in a movie by the time I'm 11, then we have to move out to California. It was a joke that I had with my parents, "I'm gonna book something before my birthday!" And I booked The Adventures of Ociee Nash two weeks after my birthday and I remember going, "Well, it still counts!"
It took us a little while, but it was my 13th birthday when we crossed the border into California. Me and my twin brother and my sister and my mom and dad. We looked like the Beverly Hillbillies with our dog and our lizards and everything we owned in our van. It was an amazing spontaneous thing that my family did with me.
How did your brother and sister feel about this deal?
I mean, it was just a joke! And then when I did book something I was like, "Well, actually... this could work." My sister was all for it, my brother not so much at first. But now he's a surfer and a musician and he loves California.
So, do you think it would bother you if paparazzi showed up and accosted you somewhere or would you find it kind of exciting?
I think I would find it kind of exciting -- at first. I'm sure it gets old. But I think it would be interesting -- you never get lonely! You always have company, which would be nice if you ever need an extra quarter in the meter.
Yeah, "Does anyone have a band-aid?"
- 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.
Our gift to you, because we care, and because the holidays are almost sort of close-ish if you squint: three giant photographs of the boy they call Sam, since picking only one was too hard.
This week, to celebrate the fall finales of Degrassi and Gigantic coming up on Friday, I think we should drop an avalanche of interviews and photos on you via this here blog. Are we in agreement? First up: the sweet, lovely, and always very patient with my technical difficulties Aislinn Paul.
So, it sounds on the Twitters like you've been really busy... are you in the middle of exams or anything?
No, it's just that... I'm away at Degrassi, and then I come back to school and I'm in my dance classes and I'm doing projects for classes and it's just been crazy!
Do you sleep OK? That would keep me up at night, having that much to do.
I actually don't sleep very well. (laughs) I get by on my coffee...
And on top of all of that, you respond to what appears to be every tweet that you get, but it can't possibly be, because how could you possibly find the time?
It's not even close to all of the ones I get. I try my best, and I like developing relationships with some people -- like there are some I'll always respond to because they're always saying stuff that's really awesome -- and I try to keep up with new people too... I wish I could respond to them all, I really do. I hope they know that I doread them all.
Which in itself is a feat... do you block out a time every night where you're like "I'm going to do this for half hour and then I CAN'T DO ANYMORE."
I do actually! Sometimes if I have something interesting to say -- I don't often have something interesting to say, my life isn't that interesting, but -- sometimes I'll block out half an hour and say, "I'll be on the computer until 11." Of course it always ends up being 11:30... but it works pretty well.
So let's talk about Clare's family upheaval; it's something so many people, a good chunk of the population can relate to. Do you have any friends who have gone through divorce?
Yeah. That's actually one of the reasons I'm so excited about doing this storyline; it's true, so many kids can relate to this. I had a bunch of friends growing up whose parents were getting divorced, and buying new houses so they had to move every weekend. I'm really fortunate that my parents haven't split up. But just from having been around it a lot... being a person going through that on TV was an honor, as an actor.
One thing I think people love about Clare is that she's super relatable -- people can feel like "that's me up on that screen" -- and she got to date two of the hottest guys on Degrassi. How do you feel about Munro's overnight heartthrob status?
We all knew. We all knew when he came on the show, because he looks the way he does, and he plays the mysterious character you want to cuddle and make feel better; the classic damaged boy that all the girls want to fix. And he's also an amazing actor, so that really helps. We've had so much fun working together.
Do you miss working with Sam Earle? You guys must not have any more scenes together!
That's actually something we've both been reminiscing about! We've been having little moments of nostalgia thinking back to Klare with a K. Funny enough, back when we were a couple on the show, we were just work friends. But the further apart our characters have gotten on the show, the better friends we've become in real life -- we actually live really close to each other in the city and we're hanging out all the time. And now that we're great friends, we never see each other at work!
So like when Clare and KC broke up... what are the emotions of an actor going through a character break up?
It's kind of scary! 'Cause you just sort of look over to this person and you say, "Well, bye! We won't be working together again I guess!" Because with friendships and stuff, like with Melinda and I, there are episodes where we don't have scenes together, but we know that's an always-existing relationship. We're best friends on the show and we know we'll always come back to each other unless we have a big fight. But with a breakup... in real life, it takes some healing time where you can't see that person. And if you're lucky, you can be friends with that person again, but sometimes you can't really be around them. So all of the sudden, someone you don't have a problem with in real life you have to have a problem with on TV. It's kind of a scary emotional thing! But like I said I think we're dealing well, we've stayed friends.
And now, a moment of perfect, lovely calm to end your crappy, crappy Monday:
Click here for more pics from the fall finale of Degrassi (this Friday @ 9p et).
- Posted on 11/13/2010 by Mary
I don't know that I like Vanessa as a person -- can't say I'd tell her any of my secrets or ask for her opinion about my carefully-practiced tampon commercial jumps, BUT... I sure do enjoy watching her be a mean ol' b-word on my televisioning machine!
- Posted on 11/12/2010 by Mary
Re-watch Wesley's epically awesome (and so very realistic!) dream about Anya, and the very Degrassi moment it led to. In class. Oy vey.
Classic Degrassi. God bless 'em.
- Posted on 11/12/2010 by Mary
Lordy lordy lordy. Classic Degrassi tonight. SPOILERS AHOY so don't read 'til you've watched -- here's the full Halo, pt. 1 episode for your convenience:
And now, let's break it down.
1) Wesley, Wesley, Wesley. Ohhh, Lord. Poor guy. You know what's weird? Basically every single person on the planet goes through puberty, and yet we're somehow still so embarrassed to talk about it -- and even go through it. I mean, not everyone has a wet dream at school but... I bet it's happened to someone, somewhere...
2) KC, so so not over Jenna. Do you guys think they should get back together? Does he deserve her, after the way he abandoned her?
3) Dude, Sav is basically the nicest guy in the world. I mean, he's not perfect but, for real, who else would offer to go to a girl-he-hardly-know's prenatal class with her just 'cause she was sad and lonely? You can't blame Jenna for falling for him... even if you can blame her for being an eensy weensy skeensy bit delusional.
4) Two girls enter; one girl leaves! Who would win in a fight: Holly J, armed with a razor wit, two rolls of crepe paper and a Zeno; or Jenna, armed with sheer ruthlessness, a bottle of prenatal vitamins, and the stick shift from her brother's truck?