While the rest of the television world is taking the summer off, the cast of Degrassi are amping up for the premiere of their 12th season, which continues to chronicle the exploits of the famed East-side school’s students.
“I feel like every Canadian teenager has watched Degrassi,” says Cristine Prosperi, who plays senior Imogen Moreno on the long-running series. “It’s a huge thing for everyone.”
Over the years, Degrassi has enjoyed incredible success, especially here in Canada. Its current incarnation has proved particularly tenacious thanks to a steady flow of new characters that cycle in as old ones graduate.
A long-time fan of the program, Prosperi chalks up the series’ longevity to its continued commitment to portraying teens as real people instead of the glossy Hollywood-version showcased on so many teen dramas.
“Nothing is fake, nothing is over the top,” she says. “Teens relate to us so much because it’s not glamorous at Degrassi.”
Prosperi grew up in Newmarket and has worked in television since her debut in a Unico pasta commercial at age three. She originally auditioned for the role of Katie Matlin, but was brought back to read for Imogen instead.
Still in Grade 12 when she was cast, she found out after her phone started vibrating in class and she retreated to the bathroom to answer the call from her agent. “I was crying the whole day,” she says.
The summer season was shot quickly in order to accommodate myriad plot lines. Multiple new episodes will air throughout the week.
And while the series’ July 16 premiere focuses on the Drew-Bianca-Katie love triangle, relegating Imogen to the background, Prosperi promises we’ll learn more about Imogen’s home life and “why she is the way she is” over the summer’s 20-episode run.
To coincide with the premiere of Degrassi’s 12th season, the nation’s music station is holding a free screening event at its 299 Queen St. West headquarters, including special episodes of New.Music.Live. and Today’s Top 10.
• The event will feature members of the cast who will be signing autographs and taking part in a Q&A session prior to the season premiere.
• To be part of the New.Music.Live. audience or for more info, check out muchmusic.com.