Interview: True Jackson's Matt Shively
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!