Degrassi Interview: Munro Chambers
When Munro Chambers (Eli on Degrassi) was in L.A. for the Degrassi Party, I got to hang out with him in a hotel room for a while and talk about Degrassi -- and we talked about tonight's episode, Watch "Need You Now, pt. 2." If you haven't seen it yet, watch it before you read any further. *spoilers below*
Let's talk about "Need You Now," the two-parter where Eli finally gets together with Imogen, but then thinks she's cheating on him. As I watched the episode, I was kinda like, "Oh, man, he's flipping out, he's flipping out... where is this going?" I really like Eli as a character, and I was worried it was going to a really bad place. So it was such a relief when his psychologist says he doesn't have anything to worry about, and that it's just teenage hormones. (Note: I didn't tell Munro this, but that part made me cry.)
Munro: Well that's the whole thing with him being bipolar... it's a chemical thing. It's not just a phase he's going through. It's intense, because he doesn't know if he's being bipolar or just jealous. The man has been through a lot! He needs to just relax.
Can you relate to that in your own life at all? I feel like it's so easy for any normal person who has a really strong crush on someone to be walking the line of what is actually OK behavior.
Munro: I feel like it all comes down to just overthinking stuff. I think everybody goes through that. When you start to feel for somebody, you get in that mindset where you just want to be with them. And when things start to go sour, you're like "Why is it going sour? Did I do something wrong? Did I not wear the right shoes? Is my top weird? Does it not show my shoulders the right way? There are just so many elements to it."
It shows your shoulders just right. Haha.
Munro: Thank you. (laughs) But yeah, I think it's very easy to feel that. You see it in your daily life and with your friends. Playing a character who gets jealous... everyone gets jealous! Even as an actor, you get jealous, like when you want a role so bad, and you don't get it.
With Eli, he's like "What could I have done better?" and he starts hating on himself and hurting himself, and he just needs to relax. He's a stubborn person and he's very hard-headed, but he just wants to be liked like everybody else. He just wants to be accepted, in his own little group. And it's hard to feel accepted when you're dealing with a disorder that segregates you.
Imogen is such a complex character, too. Every episode, she's different. She's got her own stuff going on -- it's like, one minute she's stalking him and she's crazy in love with him, and the next minute, when she has him, she doesn't want him anymore. Maybe it's just like... you want what you can't have...
I feel like that's realistic, too. She really put him on a pedestal.
Munro: Yeah, 100%. It's like when you're a kid and you want this toy, and then you get it and you're like "Why did I want this?"
So, Eli's a senior now. Where would you like to see him go?
Munro: I want him to keep his path of trying to be healthy. He's biking, he's working out... he's trying to get rid of the darkness. But he's starting to realize that getting rid of the dark clothes isn't getting rid of the "darkness" of being bipolar.
I want to see him go back to being that conniving, pranking, defending his friends kind of person, because I feel like he's very much the dark knight of Degrassi. Eli is a weird, quirky guy, but he's compassionate. I want to see him get better, I want him to find love, with whoever it may be...
I love what you said about him being a dark knight of Degrassi, and I love-love-love his friendship with Adam.
Munro: I kinda want to see the Misfits again! He has Fiona, which is such a great friendship, but I do also love his friendship with Adam.
Me too! Maybe it's just because I'm a writer, but I'd also like to see Eli do more writing.
Munro: Oh, I think he will. He's very much an artist in that sense. I love his writing. He did Love Roulette, but I'd like to see him tackle something else, when he's not in such a state. Above all though, I just want to see him be accepted a little bit more. I like that he's an outsider, because it's a lot of fun to play.
Thanks so much for talking to me!