Life After Degrassi

Posted by Marisa August 20th, 2009 at 11:00am In General

Degrassi week continues with a look at what some of the show’s alums are up to. With Degrassi Goes Hollywood tying up the loose ends for some of the older characters, it’s time for those actors to step out of the way so we can see their plotlines recycled through the new cast. (I can’t wait to see who the next teen mom will be!) For those who are departing, I recommend emulating these four people—the ones with the most successful post-Degrassi careers.

DrakeAubrey Graham. You can call him Drake. Or Drizzy, if you can pull that off. Driz graduated from playing Jimmy on Degrassi to being a bona fide hip-hop star under the tutelage of Lil Wayne. (Awww, and I remember when he went to his first Kid Elrick concert.) This year, Drake has had a heatseeking single, a VMA nomination, and a rumor that he made out with Rihanna. Score! And even with all the success of “Best I Ever Had,” I still half-expect to see him in a wheelchair.

CollinsLauren Collins. Despite Jesse’s mean comparisons to Miss Piggy (Collins: “Who? Moi?”), Collins is one of the few Degrassi cast members to make the leap to real, in-the-theaters movies—with actual lines. Sure, I didn’t see Take the Lead and I thought Charlie Bartlett was kind of a mess, but it’s so not her fault, hon. Between features, she’s done other TV shows (Life with Derek and The Best Years, two series I assume are not exported south of the border), so she might be the hardest working Degrassi in showbusiness.

GrimesShanae Grimes. No longer content to be Degrassi’s Darcy, homegirl catapulted herself from one high school to another, albeit one in swankier zip code: 90210. I’m told this show is still on the air, so props to you, Grimes. IMDb also tells me she was in an episode of Dead Like Me. I know there are some TiFaux readers out there who will be excited by that. For me, I’m more excited that they managed to name-drop her in Degrassi Goes Hollywood (the wannabe starlet says that something is just like Shanae Grimes, or something similar). Gone, but not forgotten!

NinaNina Dobrev. Dobrev, who plays Mia, was cast in the upcoming CW joint the Vampire Diaries. The only reason this is considered a good career move so far is that fact that most people haven’t seen the Vampire Diaries. I suspect when they do—through no fault of her own—she’ll fall off the list, dragging Boone from Lost with her. Then again, it’s got the word “vampire” right there in the title, so maybe it’ll be a runaway success.

Some other post-Degrassi tidbits:

Art imitates life: Christina Schmidt, who played Terri on the show, actually went on to become a plus-size model for Torrid. Similarly, just as the character of Ellie is defined mostly by being passed over (by Marco, Sean, Craig, etc.), actress Stacey Farber came close to getting, then lost the title role of Juno. (Daniel Clark, aka Sean, made it in, but he didn’t have lines.)

After graduating from The N/Teen Nick, the next logical place to go is…Lifetime? Look for a number of Degrassi albums in their cheesy movies-of-the-week. One particularly juicy installment, called Devil’s Diary, about an ancient book that grants evil wishes, starred Miriam McDonald (Emma), Deanna Casaluce (Alex), and Alexz Johnson from Instant Star.

Besides Drake, two other Degrassi stars have put out albums: Cassie Steele (Manny) and Andrea Lewis (Hazel). As far as I can tell, neither album came out in the United States.

There are no cast members from the original Degrassi series on the first list because I couldn’t find anybody who’d gone on to do anything great. (I swear that I read somewhere that one of the actors started working at a pizza place after Degrassi.) It seems that the most plum post-Degrassi gig…is Degrassi: The Next Generation, something Pat Mastroianni (Joey), Amanda Stepto (Spike), Stacie Mistysyn (Caitlin), and others were able to come back and do as adults. (Girl who played Liberty, take notes. Your character had a baby, too. You can be the next Spike!) Stefan Brogren (Snake) has them all beat, because he actually directed an episode—a cool one, too, a “what-if” episode about zombies. Sure, it was shorter than a half-hour, but it was a pretty good Romero knock-off.

10 Comments

  • 1. jesse  |  August 20th, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Snake also directed Degrassi Goes Hollywood! Take that, all other original Degrassi cast members.

  • 2. This Week in TV Blog Bant&hellip  |  August 24th, 2009 at 12:02 am

    [...] It may be summer vacation, but TiFaux was back in high school this week with three separate posts about the new DeGrassi: The Next Generation. For one, Marisa provided a “Where Are They Now?” for some of the more notable DeGrassi alumni. (TiFaux) [...]

  • 3. crossoverman  |  August 25th, 2009 at 2:41 am

    How did you miss Jake Epstein (who played Craig)? He’s in the touring cast of the rock musical, “Spring Awakening”! That’s a pretty big deal.

  • 4. Marisa  |  August 25th, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Wow, I totally missed that. Spring Awakening is pretty rad! Last I checked, he was in a funk band called “Mind the Gap,” and it wasn’t very good :x. SA is definitely better.

  • 5. NikkiHolly  |  August 28th, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Holy Crap! That’s who this Drake kid is? I don’t listen to hip-hop but i’ve heard his name a lot lately.

    Actually Life with Derek and The Best Years were exported to the States. Derek airs on the Disney Channel, and The Best Years airs on the same channel as Degrassi, The N (soon to be known as TeenNick).

    I don’t think the albums got over here though.

  • 6. keith  |  May 23rd, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    1)What happened to the female ( I can’t remember her name) who played the principal on
    Degrassi, why was she fired?.

    2) Do you think that some of the old cast can come back in a different role because just because they graduated does not mean that they can’t still live in the neighborhood like
    spinner who works at the dot.

    3) how do you compare the new cast to the old cast?

  • 7. Kristin  |  August 10th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    @keith

    1.) she wasn’t fired. left to go take care of her sick mother. but she returned then left again. =)

    3.) the new cast is little clones of the old cast. for example:
    ali = manny
    clare = emma
    holly j = liberty
    kc = sean
    etc. etc.
    its really interesting to watch the similarities.

  • 8. Kristin  |  December 10th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    your sarcasm about vampire diaries is funny and ironic. it turned out to be HUGE success, a hit show. props to dobrev because her performance is absolutely amazing in the series.

  • 9. Bailey  |  February 16th, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    This is hilarious to read in 2012. Nina Dobrev falling off the list? She’s one of the hottest stars out there. Eat your heart out Marisa.

  • 10. chelsie  |  August 1st, 2013 at 5:53 am

    @Kristin

    If you have ever seen the original show that came out in like the 80s you will see that all the characters from the more recent ones all reflects the old ones in the original.


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