Former stars of Degrassi: Where Are Ü Now?
Degrassi is back, y’all! That’s right, today marks the launch of the teen drama’s brand new series, Degrassi: Next Class, which is available to watch in its entirety on Netflix right now. Finally, we of the ’80s and ’90s generations can finally return to the hallowed halls of our beloved Degrassi High.
As indicated by episode titles such as ‘#ThisCouldBeUsButYouPlayin’ and ‘#NoFilter’, and episode synopses like “Miles turns to anti-anxiety meds when forced to spend time with his dad and Lola discovers that her friends masturbate and decides to test it out herself”, the new series promises to represent the kids of ‘Generation Z’, and the modern (but not entirely new) set of complications they face in high school. Obviously, we’re pretty excited about it. But while we’re looking forward to the new series, let’s take a moment to look back on what came before this ‘Next Class’, and where the former stars of this much loved Canadian teen melodrama are now.
Miriam McDonald – Emma Nelson (Seasons 1-9)
The definition of a Degrassi staple, Miriam McDonald’s Emma Nelson saw it all in her high school years, from anorexia to bulimia, and even an STD. Since leaving the show, McDonald has acted sporadically, with occasional roles on popular Canadian TV shows Lost Girl and Orphan Black, and in the 2014 feature film Wolves. Most importantly though, McDonald is now a professional yoga instructor with a series of instructional videos on YouTube. Check out her Instagram!
Cassie Steele – Manny Santos (Seasons 1-9)
Cassie Steele played Emma’s BFF Manny, who went from being an innocent youngster to becoming pregnant with Craig’s baby and ultimately opting for an abortion. Following her departure from the show in 2010, Steele has been focused on her ‘music career’, releasing two albums and going on tour. She also briefly starred as Abby Vargas on the short-lived seriesThe L.A. Complex, which only lasted for two seasons. In April of 2014, her single “Mad” was released on iTunes, and that same year she also starred in two reputable-sounding TV movies: Sorority Surrogate and The Dorm.
Aubrey “Drake” Graham – Jimmy Brooks (Seasons 1-8)
This guy’s certainly bounced back after his character was infamously shot and paralysed, dashing his dreams of being a basketball star, but opening the door to his budding music career. As we all know, that music career would go from fiction to reality, as Aubrey A.K.A Drake is now one of the biggest recording artists in the world right now (apologies to Cassie Steele). We’re still going to keep calling him Jimmy Brooks, though. Drake certainly hasn’t forgotten his Degrassi roots in the face of enormous fame, though, as evidenced by this video of him debuting his new dance “The Wheelchair Jimmy” while performing live in California.
Nina Dobrev – Mia Jones (Seasons 6-9)
Gorgeous then and gorgeous now, The Vampire Diaries leading lady Nina Dobrev got her big break playing Mia Jones, a young teen mom who transfers to Degrassi from rival school Lakehurst. Much of Mia’s plotlines surrounded the difficulties of being a young mom and her struggle to balance her modelling career with school, which are like, typical problems! Nina has also appeared in films The Roommate, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Let’s Be Cops, and has arguably had the most successful acting career of the Degrassi bunch. She also boasts no fewer than 7.3 million followers on Instagram.
Melissa McIntyre – Ashley Kerwin (Seasons 1-7)
While her character Ashley was once in a band with Drake’s Jimmy, Melissa McIntyre has proceeded to pursue a music career on a somewhat smaller scale than her co-star Aubrey, resurfacing in 2012 as one of three harmony singers in the band Fortune. The band had its debut concert performance at the Stone Pony club in New Jersey. These days McIntyre is looking totally badass, and you can keep up with her on Twitter.
Jake Epstein – Craig Manning (Seasons 2-8)
Like half the girls on the show, we fell in love with Jake Epstein, A.K.A Craig Manning, when he first graced our screens in season two. Throughout the show he dated Ashley, Manny and Ellie, and suffered through bipolar disorder, a cocaine addiction and an abusive father. We’re pleased to confirm that Epstein is still totally cute, and has been rocking a career in music theatre in such productions as Cinderella, Spring Awakening, Billy Elliot: The Musical, American Idiot, and as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. He most recently played Gerry Goffin in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical from 2013-2014.
Christina Schmidt – Terri MacGregor (Seasons 1-3)
People weren’t all that nice to Christina Schmidt’s poor character Terri, who was already insecure about her weight and appearance before Rick went and pushed her head into a cinder block, sending her into a coma. The real life Chrissy’s had the last laugh though, as she has been enjoying a successful career in modelling since leaving the show. Represented by B&M Models in Toronto, she appeared in a 2007 ad campaign for MXM, and has modelled for Torrid and Nygard. She was also on the Canadian version of How to Look Good Naked, and is now a TV host for Love This City TV. Here she is on Instagram!
Sarah Barrable-Tishauer – Liberty Van Zandt (Seasons 1-9)
Asides from having the coolest name we’ve ever heard, Sarah Barrble-Tishauer’s Liberty Van Zandt was oh so lovable as the geeky over-achiever in love with J.T. We were overjoyed when she finally landed her man, but then she got pregnant and we remembered how crazy this show was. Sarah has since ditched the ‘dorbz glasses and is now the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Urban Adventures. She’s pretty active on Instagram.
All 10 episodes of Degrassi: Next Class are available to watch on Netflix now.
Check out the trailer below: