Blog | interviews
- Posted on 07/18/2011 by Mary
How has it been working with Justin Kelly (who will play Jake) again?
Outstanding. He's a very very good friend of mine -- we worked together on a previous show -- and it's great. He's a talented actor, and to work with him again is a pleasure. Coming to work here every day is already the peak, acting-wise, for fun and enjoyment. But the fact that he's on makes it that much better, because it's family.
This must be a very different season for you, because last season most of your days were spent with Aislinn and now they're kind of... not.
Yeah, it's different. But I still... I still see her a lot. You'll see that in the season, we're still around each other, for better or worse.
What's your take on the new character Imogen? We're all so curious about her.
She's awesome. Really deep. I feel like there's so much to her that we don't know yet, she's a really complex character, played beautifully by Christine Prosperi. It's a very awkward character but at the same time very confident. It's really right in the middle. And Christine is so unlike Imogen. She's doing a fantastic job.
How do you feel about where Eli's going this season?
Eli... since the finale when he crashed his car, obviously something "upstairs" is not tightened properly. It's a very difficult time for him right now. I feel like Clare's trying to get over it, he's trying to get over it, they're both denying some stuff, and you're gonna see him go into kind of a dark place. But at the same time, good comes out of it. You're going to see a side of Eli that has been brewing inside of him, that a lot of people aren't ready for. What we saw in the finale was a glimpse.
Do you miss Morty?
I really do! I remember there was a scene where I'm driving in my dad's car, which is a very beautiful car, but I was like "I miss driving that hungry monster of a car!" So good. I miss him. I want him back.
Where is Morty now?
I think he's back in Newfoundland. He's a '63 Cadillac I think? But yeah, he's from Newfoundland; I met the guy who owns him, and he's a pretty sick dude. He's like 28, 29, he's not like this elderly guy who just drives around this old hearse. Apparently he drove it to prom and stuff! I wish Eli had gotten to do that.
- Posted on 07/14/2011 by Mary
Monday night is almost here... and with it, the hour-long premiere of Degrassi: Now or Never! So so soon, we get our first taste of a summer-long gushing fountain of delicious Degrassiness!
True Jackson's Keke Palmer is Degrassi's special guest to help kick off the season, so I got her on the phone to talk about the show she, I, and all of us love so much.
So I heard that you were a big Degrassi fan; how did you end up on the show?
Very much so, a huge Degrassi fan. I've watched Degrassi since... 2006 or something like that? I was always really into the show, and I kept telling Nick that I would really love to do an episode and it would mean a lot to me. And finally schedules were switched around and I was able to do one!
What were your favorite episodes?
Ooh, my favorite episode would have to be... I'm a bit dramatic so I would have to say it would be the episode when Paige got Terri drunk and took her to the dance, because she liked Spinner and Spinner like Terri and Terri was insecure. I really liked that episode, and it taught a really good lesson. And then the saddest, most heart-wrenching episode that I cried on but I loved it, was the one when Jimmy got shot.
Aww! So you're really an old-school fan.
Yes, definitely. I have to say I'm more familiar with the old cast than with this cast, but I do watch the episodes still.
Do you have a stance on Eli and Clare? Do you think they should have broken up?
I definitely think they should have broken up! I'm not understanding why Eli got so crazy like this! He's getting too obsessive over Clare. Maybe it's just because he's a teenager and he's emotional -- as a teenager, your emotions, everything is so heightened. But he's just TOO obsessed over her and it's not healthy and I'm really glad they're not together anymore.
What else are you up to this summer?
Chilling out... I'm just finishing up Ice Age 4 which I produced with Nick Cannon and starred in; I just finished that a month ago. I also did a movie with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton that's coming out in January. And then my album! I have two singles on iTunes that'll premiere on Degrassi Monday night, called "The Greatest" and "Walls Come Down".
So exciting! And are you going to watch the premiere Monday night?
Definitely gonna watch it! I'm really excited about this season, even just the promos... somebody put a GUN point blank to Drew's face! I'm like, "Oh my gosh, somebody's trying to kill him!" And Eli and Clare! Clare's like "Did you forget I existed? Did you ever love me at all!?" That line is so chilling! A lot of stuff going on that I'm waiting to see.
- Posted on 05/29/2011 by Mary
Soon, Ashley Argota (aka Lulu from True Jackson) will be heading to NYU to study nursing -- her mom's a nurse, too. In the meantime, she talked to us about dress emergencies, books, and best friends. (There's a True Jackson marathon on right now! If you didn't know!)
I was just looking at your Kids' Choice Awards look... it was gorgeous. How do you pick a dress for an event like that?
Thank you! I'm not even gonna lie, I picked that dress the night before the Kids' Choice Awards! I had another dress picked out a few weeks before -- it was kind of a peachy orange, but I was not really wanting to wear orange because the carpet is orange. So the people who dressed me for my birthday party -- I had a big 18th birthday bash this year -- sent me dresses from NY literally the day before the show. My brother had to drive them from my house to the set; I tried them on on the set. And it was a little bit too big so I had to get it altered, and I didn't try it on again until the morning of the Kids' Choice Awards, like two seconds before we left. And I took my shoes and I ran out of the house.
Oh my God. That sounds like an anxiety dream I used to have about prom.
It felt like... it was a nightmare, I was so nervous. Because I wasn't there when the lady altered my dress! We had to pin it ourselves, and I'm not like a master wardrobe person. I was so scared that it was going to be botched but it turned out perfectly.
I saw somewhere that you love to read and you always have a book on set. Is that true? Very true. Right now I'm reading a poetry book by Billy Collins, called Horoscopes for the Dead.
What are your favorite books of all time?
The Great Gatsby -- I read it for school. And usually when you read a book for school you think it's going to be a little bit boring, but I talked to Greg Proops who plays Mr. Madigan -- he's a total bookworm. And when I mentioned that I had to read The Great Gatsby, he was like "No no no, you don't understand; that's a great book." And he was so right.
When you're picking out a book that school isn't making you read, what do you usually gravitate towards? I really like books by Sarah Dessen. I think she's a really good writer. And of course I'm a big Twilight and Harry Potter fan.
So, what do you like about Lulu on True Jackson? I love that she tries to find the positive in everything. Pretty much nothing can faze her, she can be having the worst day and still try to find something positive in it, which I love.
And I guess she and you have in common that you're both pretty good at school and enjoy it?
Yeah, I think that's where we're the most similar -- she's very booksmart. But she also gets so easily distracted, and that's where we totally part ways because I'm very, very focused in real life and she's very much... not.
Do you have a real-life best friend?
I do! She's been my best friend since we were 8 years old; my mom and her mom were best friends for years, and they lost contact. And I was singing in my hometown and they somehow got reconnected, and then I became best friends with my mom's best friend's daughter!
That's so cool! Did you just have stuff in common immediately?
Well, it took awhile because she was really shy. So I kinda had to pull it out of her. But now, I mean... she won't stop talking. It's all good now.
What do you consider the rules for best friendship? What keeps it together?
I think honesty and loyalty. One of the cool things about her is that, if something is going on, she won't even hesitate to tell me. And she also gives really, really good advice, which I appreciate. Because she's not in the business... and in the business there are so many people that you don't know if you can trust them. And I know that I can trust her and that she's really loyal.
- Posted on 05/28/2011 by Mary
True Jackson will be airing on TeenNick starting with a marathon Memorial Day weekend -- then on weekdays @ 5p et. To celebrate, we got on the phone with Matt Shively (aka Ryan Laserbeam) to talk TJVP -- and of course, his Degrassi fandom.
Matt Shively with co-star Ashley Argota from True Jackson, VP
So, would you say True Jackson is pretty much a girl-dominated set?
Yeah. It is very woman-dominated. I will say I'm probably the biggest diva on set.
What have you learned about girls just by being around that set?
I have learned that... because we became so close, like brother and sisters, I learned a lot from them about how women communicate. And I learned that sometimes you have to take those tricky little side notes that they say and read into them a lot more than you usually would.
Do you have close just-a-friend girl friends like that in real life?
Yeah, one of my best friends out here is Sarah Highland, she's on Modern Family.
Do you think there are benefits to having co-ed friendships that you don't get out of being friends with just guys?
Oh, 100%. Because whenever I have a girl problem, I know exactly who I can go to. She'll give me the girl perspective of the problem. It's always nice to have at least one or two girl or guy friends because they'll always all have different advice and it's nice to get it from different angles.
How about style... have you learned anything about style from working on True Jackson?
I have! I've learned MATCHING. I never knew the word until I joined that show, but I guess matching is like when colors go together and it looks good? I learned how to do that.
How would you describe your personal style in real life?
Well, as much as I do try to match I'm kind of all over the place. I've always been kind of a skinny jeans guy. A lot of people don't understand why I always wear tight jeans, but I just really like things to fit perfectly. Especially since, on the show, everything gets fitted [by wardrobe pros]. And you start to realize what things really feel like around your legs and around your arms when they're perfectly done.
You know, skinny jeans on guys can be kind of controversial... what do you think are "too-skinny jeans" on a guy?
Too-skinny jeans are when there are no wrinkles in the pants at all. Flat from hip to ankle, that's too skinny. When it's like painted on. That's too much. Cause then... there's no room. It's hard to walk. And I've tried that, like when I was in 7th grade I wore my cousin's jeans because that was the thing to do, to wear THAT skinny of jeans. No. It's not OK.
So my friend and co-worker Lisa was at the Kids' Choice Awards, and when she was talking to Aislinn Paul and Munro Chambers from Degrassi, she said you came running up to talk to them and that you're a big Degrassi fan. Can you confirm?
I am a huge Degrassi fan. When I went to the KCAs last year and I saw people from Degrassi... I'll admit, I was a little starstruck, because I've been watching Degrassi since I was in like 7th grade. So this year, I was kind of like: you know what? I'm taking this opportunity. We work for the same network, I'm gonna go say hi. And little did I know that a TeenNick person was standing right there, able to tell the world.
Was that embarrassing for you at all?
No, I'm really happy about it because now a bunch of people want me to be on it! So I'm glad I got it out there. You have no idea how honored I would be to do an episode of Degrassi.
What kind of character would you want to be? The Eli, Jay, Johnny DiMarco guys...
I want to play like, Eli's older brother who has kind of a drug problem and tries to get him to go down the same road.
Oooh, juicy. That sounds very Degrassi-ish. What are your favorite characters and episodes? Ok, one of my favorite episodes... was actually the episode where JT got killed. That episode was like, just absolutely insane. Because at that point, he had been on the show for like five years. And he was my favorite character, because he was like the quirky, funny guy. To watch him for four years and then for them to take him off was just insane. I'll be honest, I cried a little bit. And then, watching the behind the scenes where he had his last shot of the entire episode, and them saying bye to him, it was so sad!
- Posted on 04/20/2011 by Mary
(If you can't see the video above these words, click here to watch.
Here, write this on your hand before your next first date... priceless dating advice from Munro Chambers:
Don't be creep.
Have you anything to add to the list?
- Posted on 04/20/2011 by Mary
Would Degrassi's Charlotte Arnold (aka Holly J) ever consider dating a fan? And what's the "Sunshine Lounge"? Find out in part 2 of her photo shoot interview:
(If you can't see the video above these words, click here to watch.)
What about you... would you date a Degrassi fan? ;)
- Posted on 04/13/2011 by Mary
Between shooting Degrassi and going to school, does Aislinn have any time to... you know... date? TeenNick asked her behind the scenes at her photo shoot:
I know Aislinn has a packed Degrassi shooting schedule, plus school, plus dance classes, plus active twitter maintenance, plus somehow found time to hand-paint stripes on her bedroom walls... but she seems like she's holding it all together. It probably helps that she loves all of those things.
Anyone out there feel like you're too overscheduled to have a social life? Unload in the comments...
- Posted on 04/06/2011 by Mary
The guy you know as Drew from Degrassi tells us what not to do with our chopsticks on a first date, and how Drew-like he is in real life:
Tell me, friends. If this face were sitting across from you on a first date and he let some chopsticks go airborne... what would be your reaction?
Luke Bilyk, aka Drew from Degrassi
- Posted on 03/30/2011 by Mary
After a day on set at Degrassi going through Riley's intense and emotionally draining storylines... does Argy take his work home with him? Find out in part two of his photo shoot interview:
I love when he talks about how part of his training in acting is just to stand back and observe. Do you ever just do some people watching at your own school? Care to share any observations you've made?
Argiris Karras as Riley Stavros on Degrassi
- Posted on 03/23/2011 by Mary
What's it like to get fan mail? And what is Jamil (aka Dave) like in real life? Melinda expounded for us, approximately 31,000 twitter followers ago:
Melinda Shankar of Degrassi works them red ankle booties.