Before we get into Part 2 of DJGENERAL’s interview with Stephen Stohn, there’s two things I want to address:
1) Episodes reviews for Still Fighting It 1 and 2
I haven’t even seen these two episodes yet. I’ve been having major computer issues the past couple of days…aka it’s stopped working. After freaking out for forever I think I’ve *fixed* it, but I assume it’s only a temporary fix. So I have to put reviews on hold for now…my priority is trying to either fix my computer permanently or at the very least backup all of the files on my computer, including 20+ gb of Degrassi projects, photos, old videos/promos, etc.
I’ll openly admit that the reason I got into Degrassi back in 2004 is because of the ability to download the episodes. After the moment that got me on hooked on this show (watching a Season 3 marathon on TV) I remember one day hearing of this “secret” episode called “Accidents Will Happen,” and thanks to a group called Degrassi The Next Generation Hangout I found it. Back then (when Canada was always ahead of the U.S. in terms of airing episodes and long before episodes were available on itunes), a Canadian fan would manually record the show from their TV, then graciously make episodes available to people here in the U.S. who wanted to keep up with the show as it aired in Canada.
Now “leaks” aren’t episodes available for download. Leaks are episodes available for download BEFORE they’ve aired on broadcast television. Personally, unless you’re a member of the press or something I don’t see the advantage of seeing episodes like a day in advance…and I’m a guy who doesn’t have MuchMusic or TeenNick (I had it and was one of the many who got screwed over when they switch to their own channel…yes I’m still bitter about it).
Stephen Stohn is most concerned with information from the leaked episodes spoiling it for those who want to wait to watch the episode. I definitely see where he’s coming from as I’ve made it my goal to be 100% in the dark about this week’s episodes, and most especially next week’s episodes, ”Purple Pills” and “All Falls Down.” I’m talking about to the point where I have not even watched any of the promos, and have no intention of doing so.
I know a major issue (for US fans whose only option is to watch episodes online) is that MuchMusic.com allows you to watch the episodes as soon as it has aired on TV, but TeenNick.com does not. That’s frustrated me for years because to me making the episode available to watch online immediately after it’s aired is a common-sense move…heck, even later that night would suffice…therefore (in giant letters) I hope the powers that be are reading this and make it happen.
People are thrilled and excited about Degrassi and that’s great, but at the same time it’s not the end of the world if you can’t see the episode right at this very second, or at 9pm with the rest of the world.
NOW…….Back to why everyone’s here!
Yesterday I posted Part 1 of DJGENERAL’s interview with Stephen Stohn. Below is Part 2 of the interview, which includes the episode titles for 1025 – 1044.
DJ is in the works to interview casts members as well. He will be posting updates about who/when on his twitter page. So if you have any burning questions for the cast, make sure to tweet or direct message him on twitter!
DJGENERAL’s INTERVIEW WITH DEGRASSI EXECUTIVE PRODUCER STEPHEN STOHN (PART 2)
During the series run, the show has featured many guest stars that include: Billy Ray Cyrus, Natasha Bedingfield, Alanis Morissette, Jay Manuel, Perez Hilton, Pete Wentz, Kevin Smith, and Jason Mewes. How do the guest appearances come about?
Each one is different. In the case of Billy Ray, he was working in Toronto on another show and his daughters kept bugging him about Degrassi! He was totally charming—in fact, everyone of the guest stars we’ve had on the show have been wonderfully charming! Kevin of course everyone knows has been a Degrassi fan for years, Oh and a piece of tiny trivia—that’s me in the background (with my back turned away from the camera) during the Perez Hilton scene!
Over the past 10 seasons, do you have any regrets of a storyline you gave to a certain character? Maybe something at the time felt right, but after it aired, it was something you felt was not a good idea? Maybe a storyline you gave one character you wish you would have gave another?
There are a few storylines that we laugh at ourselves about and say how did we ever let that one slip through! But one of the wonderful thing about working with such a large ensemble cast, and a cast who keeps changing as students graduate and others join the school, we can approach different issues from completely different points of view. So there are no regrets, only opportunities to do things differently the next time!
What season do you feel best represents Degrassi? Why?
I will keep Season 10 apart from the discussion because it is still ongoing, and the new method of releasing the episodes has been so successful and so much fun we are all having the time of our lives this season. Apart from Season 10, the season (I think it was 4) when Jimmy got shot was definitely my favourite… I really felt we all got in our stride that season and told difficult stories with a lot of nuance…
NOTE: It was actually season 3, but we forgive you Stephen!!!
One of the biggest shocks for the series was when series regular and fan favorite J.T. Yorke was killed off. If J.T. didn’t die the night he was stabbed, what do you think his character would be up to right now?
I think there is every chance he would have married Liberty, he was that kind of guy… He would have been a wonderful father. Such a great sense of humour, and a kind heart—just like Ryan in real life.
Besides deaths on the show, Degrassi has lost a lot of cast members to other projects. The biggest star to come from the show is, without a doubt, Aubrey “Drake” Graham. He recently had the #1 album in the US, and has sold almost 1 million copies of the CD. Have you heard the CD? What is it like to say you knew him since he was a kid, before he was famous? What is your relationship with Drake now?
We had a very emotional reunion with him at the Juno Awards in Newfoundland a few months back. His mother was with him (and Justin Bieber was too!) and we had a very heartfelt hugs and conversations… he was with us during some very formative years in his life and we’ve always felt really close to him and really proud of him… During his seven or eight years with us, we would listen to his music, and I always thought his lyrics were incredible. When the album came out I was I played it over and over and just felt happy…
There are a lot of smaller characters, mainly teachers, which have appeared throughout almost the entire series including Coach Armstrong, Ms. Sauvé, Mr. Perino, and Ms. Kwan. While they don’t always play a big role in the episodes, it is always nice for the fans to see a familiar face we’ve loved since the beginning. Are the actors under contract, and whenever you call them, they show up? Or is it more along the lines whenever they are free, they contact you, and you put them in an episode?
It’s the latter. For the character like teachers whose storylines aren’t pivotal we work with them when they are free. But we love having them return year after year… it makes it just like a real school.
Mr. Simpson, portrayed by Stefan Brogren, is one of the most loved characters on the show. He is also the only person to appear in all 10 seasons of Degrassi, and had a main role in the original series. He went from student, to teacher, and now in season 10, the principal. Not only has he been an actor, but he has played a big role in the technical aspects of the show by directing online content, and some actual episodes. Just how important and influential is Stefan Brogren to the show? How did having him get so involved (directing) come to be?
Stefan is one of the most talented people in the world. We knew that he wanted to direct, and he got his chance working on all the minis. Then at one point we were talking with Kevin Smith who said he wanted to direct Degrassi Goes Hollywood. We thought it would be great for Stefan to shadow Kevin… But then some timing crunches came up and Kevin couldn’t direct—and suddenly Stefan’s first network television directing job was the entire Degrassi Goes Hollywood movie. He was just so good at it; the L.A. crew loved working with him and even compared him to Clint Eastwood. So now he is one of our mainstay directors. But on top of that he contributes to guiding the writing, the editing and other aspects of producing—and does it all with total passion and joy. I hope he’s involved with us forever.
Before the interview is over, many people wanted me to find out if there was any information regarding the 2nd half of the season that you can announce. Any small clues or info on things we can expect? Episode titles?
1025-26 – Don’t Let Me Get Me
1027-28 – Love Lockdown
1029-30 – Umbrella
1031-32 – Halo
1033-34 – When Love Takes Over
1035-36 – The Way We Get By
1037-38 – Jesus, Etc.
1039-40 – Hide and Seek
1041-42 – Chasing Pavements
1043-44 – Drop the World
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview Stephen! We are all looking forward to the rest of the season, and the series.