Whatever it takes! Degrassi: The Next Generation launched the careers of Drake (Real name: Aubrey Graham), Nina Dobrev, Shenae Grimes and more, but some fans will always see the actors and actresses as their iconic characters.
Degrassi: The Next Generation, the fourth instatement of the Degrassi franchise, premiered in 2001. The series originally centered on Degrassi Junior High character Spike’s (Amanda Stepto) daughter Emma Nelson (Miriam McDonald).
After a decade, Degrassi: The Next Generation was known simply as Degrassi for seasons 10 through 14. After the teen drama wrapped in 2015, Netflix picked up the show for a new installment, Degrassi: Next Class. The Netflix version of the show ran for four seasons, but the streaming service has yet to pick up Degrassi: Next Class for a fifth season.
While several original cast members, including McDonald, Shane Kippel, Sarah Barrable-Tishauer, Lauren Collins, Jake Epstein and Adamo Ruggiero, returned for a season 2 episode of Degrassi: Next Class in 2016, perhaps the bigger reunion took place on the set of Drake’s 2018 music video, “I’m Upset.” The video featured more than 20 cameos from the show.
“There was no acting going on in that video,” Epstein, who played Craig Manning, told Variety about the shoot in 2018. “It was truly a reunion of great friends who hadn’t seen each other in years. Drake’s team and [director] Karena [Evans] did a fantastic job of orchestrating the whole thing.”
McDonald noted to the outlet that the shoot was emotional.
“We laughed; we cried; we had the best time,” the actress said. “I am so proud of how far each of us came from when we first walked those hallways 17 years ago.”
Collins, who played Paige Michaelchuk, added that it was the “best night.”
“It was the reunion we’ve always wanted, and we were thrilled to do it with our old friend,” she told Variety. “Thank you Aubrey, and thank you to the unbelievably dedicated fans of our show.”
Degrassi made headlines in February 2021 after Cassie Steele recreated one of Manny Santos’ iconic looks — the infamous low-rise jeans with the bright blue thong — as part of the “Buss It” challenge on TikTok.
After Steele shared the video to Instagram, Drake commented, “Fit is museum worthy tbh Santos.”
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