Blog | shannon kook chun

  • New Interview! Argiris Karras and Shannon Kook-Chun!

    Posted on 07/25/2011 by Mary

    I caught up with Argiris and Shannon (who are not dating each other in real life, lest you get confused by their jokestery below) on the Degrassi set. The three of us sat down for a little chat in -- true story -- a booth inside Little Miss Steaks. The seats there are kind of uncomfortable, if you've ever wondered.

    Degrassi's Argiris Karras and Shannon Kook-Chun, aka Riley and Zane, 2011 I've heard that you guys knew each other before the show, and that maybe Argy, you suggested that Shannon should audition? Or what's the story there?

    Argiris: It was more of a surprise actually. He told me, "Hey, I've got an audition..." I don't know, do you remember how it went?
    Shannon: I think we were at Jake Epstein's birthday, who played Craig on the show. I came to meet Argy because he and I were together like, every day that summer. We'd bike in the rain back from a night out, we'd double on the bike.

    Oh my God! How did you know each other?

    Shannon: I saw him somewhere before, and I was like "Yo, didn't I see you at...?"
    Argiris: At an audition room actually, yeah.
    Shannon: Yeah, he was doing a self-tape for an audition, so I saw him and stopped him. And then, where did we actually hit it off?
    Argiris: Maybe... I can't remember.
    Shannon: You don't remember our first date! (laughs) There were a lot of nights and days out. So then at Jake's birthday, I just told him. And he was calling me Zane all night trying to get me in character.
    Argiris: Yeah, I do remember that.

    So you were specifically auditioning for Zane, it wasn't one of those things where like, Liberty auditioned for Manny...

    Shannon: No, and they didn't even know that I was friends with him until when I got the role and we came for rehearsal. Our director was like, 'So, you guys are friends? That's a bonus! We never knew that.' And I don't know if it would have affected their decision, in a good way or bad way -- it could be a bad thing. And then she asked, 'Do you think this makes it easier or more difficult for you?' And I wasn't really sure. It is easier in a way because we have a rapport and we're comfortable with each other.

    It's interesting that you weren't just friend but like fast friends, too.

    Argiris and Shannon: Yeah.
    Shannon: And it's not often... you meet a lot of people in the industry but to get to work with someone that you would actually go out and dance with -- Argy and I would be the only two guys really breaking it down on the dance floor.
    Argy: Yeah, a lot of guys wouldn't go out there, they're pretty pathetic, they're just staying against the wall. Though, you know, we were there at some point in our life.
    Shannon: They're scoping out chicks.
    Argy: They just scope and they kind of creep and they kind of try to pull girls' dresses. It's just like, 'No, you've gotta have fun!' You've gotta show the girl that you're having fun and then stuff flows.

    TO BE CONTINUED... too many spoilers in the rest of our conversation!

  • Pictures from the Degrassi Set!

    Posted on 07/16/2010 by Mary

    Just a few more short little days until Degrassi: Now or Never takes over your summer nights! Are you prepared for the all-consuming madness? I think I am. I think I can take it. I'm trying to up my cardio just in case.

    I went to the Degrassi set last week -- my first time! In nine years of writing about the show for this site! Here are some of the pics I managed to get my first day... I had a ton of other pics planned for the following day but spent it doubled over in pain in a hotel room instead (kidney stone, yay). Bummer = understatement of the century. Anyway, the first day was awesome enough for two:

    Justin Kelly, Jake from Degrassi, backstage Aislinn Paul and Munro Chambers backstage

    L: New boy! Justin Kelly, who plays Jake -- you'll meet him Tuesday night. He's a doll. Here, he pulls on a pre-tied tie because he couldn't quite get the knot done himself. R: @jbdegrassifan95 and @LongLiveEclare tweet-requested pics of Munro and Aislinn together... here you go :)

    Stefan Brogren's office nameplate at Epitome

    Stefan Brogren (aka Mr. Simpson and the director of tons of your favorite episodes) was directing the eps they shot while I was there; it seemed like a remarkably calm and fun affair considering how much they need to get done every day in order to make sooo many episodes for the summer -- it could so easily be a stress factory. Stefan called me The-Mary, which killed me, and he saved me a nice seat right in front of the monitors which I was too shy to actually take up for too long, and I can vouch that he is in fact a righteous homeboy, as his office nameplate attests.

    Panther, the Degrassi cat

    This is the Degrassi read-through room, where the actors first go through the new scripts together. And on the table is Panther, one of two cats wandering the office-y side of Epitome. Panther clearly feels that he deserves some time in front of the camera, and he is not wrong. The other cat, named Noggin, was more camera-shy.

    The-Mary and Munro Chambers, sassing up Fiona's condo

    @iTweetDegrassi tweet-dared me to go around the set posing like Munro in his Free the Children Haiti fundraiser video. Instead I got him to personally instruct me in the ways of the sassy lean and stare -- we're in Fiona's condo there, btw. Sorry about the quality -- so bummed that I didn't use my real camera for this one.

    Degrassi sunshine lounge poster

    Last Christmas' Degrassi poster, personally desecrated by the cast in the Sunshine Lounge (which is the room that the cast hang in when they're not needed on set).

    Ray Ablack in Degrassi's Sunshine Lounge

    At one point I walked past the Sunshine Lounge and saw Ray Ablack full-on sunshine-lounging on the pool table, texting. In a tux. Totes regular times.

    Degrassi's Aislinn Paul and Shannon Kook-Chun

    That's Aislinn Paul and Shannon Kook-Chun checking out Shannon's DSLR and talking about its tech specs, as they are both admitted full-on photo geeks.

    Some other random observations:
    - To those who don't already know: Shannon Kook-Chun (Zane) has a South African accent in real life. It's mesmerizing.
    - Munro and Aislinn (Eli and Clare) both rock Birkenstocks IRL. I support this wholeheartedly, and I felt very vindicated about the time I put Birks in a Thing Du Jour and people thought they were lamerz. Triumph!
    - Luke Bilyk and Alicia Josopovic (Drew and Bianca) have an almost supernatural simultaneous laugh thing going on -- they laugh the exact same way, at the same things, and at the exact same rate so it's literally like two voices doing the same laugh. They even switch speeds at the same time, like they move from "Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!" to "HAHAHAHA!" at the same time. Occasionally there are snorts. Great minds laugh alike. Also, they referred to themselves as "Danca" rather than "Drianca" -- controversy!
    - The lockers are all fully "dressed" on the inside (as in all look like a real student's locker inside, with pics and contents), but there's no particular locker that's always "Alli's locker" or "Adam's locker" -- they stand by whichever one works best for the shot they need. And the doors are compressed wood rather than metal -- quieter.
    - There is gum on the bottom of the desks in Ms. Dawes' classroom. Most likely from students who used to get bored to death at them in a real school. Just think: those students had no idea that their desks were destined to end up under Munro Chambers' butt. What noble and unpredictable fate might your school desks have?