Many teens grew up watching the popular teen drama franchise series Degrassi. Its most popular iteration is Degrassi: The Next Generation, which celebrates its 20th anniversary today (October 14).
The series debuted on Canadian Television October 14, 2001. Degrassi: The Next Generation follows the young lives of a group of teens who are always rife with problems. Whether it is about sexuality, growing up, drugs or parents, there is always something going on in the high school and at their homes. The long-running, multiple award-winning series follows the characters in a soap opera-type format as they endure the challenges of transitioning from childhood to adulthood.
There are many versions of the hit Canadian show, from Degrassi High to the most recent version, Degrassi: Next Class. Twenty years later and the next generation is still one of the most impactful iterations of the show.
Many of its cast members have gone on to become some of the biggest names in the business like rapper, executive and actor Drake, formerly known as Aubrey Graham and Jimmy from the popular series. Nina Dobrev, who portrayed Mia on the show, is another cast member who most recently starred in the television series The Vampire Series. Other actors from the show have separated themselves from the spotlight and their whereabouts are unclear.
One of the greatest surprises is when many of the actors reunited to make a special appearance in Drake’s 2018 music video “I’m Upset.”
Since then, we discovered what the stars of Degrassi: The Next Generation are up to since fans saw them in the trendy Canadian series.
Where Are They Now? 20 Years of ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’ & Here’s What the Cast Is Up To Today was originally published on globalgrind.com
1. Aubrey Graham – “Jimmy”Source:champagnepapi
Many fans remember “wheelchair Jimmy” from the series. Well, the actor Aubrey Graham (and now rapper Drake) is a certified lover boy recently releasing his highly anticipated album of the same name. The first time father also recently celebrated his son Adonis’ 4th birthday.
Drake’s doing very well for himself, becoming one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
2. Shane Kippel – “Spinner”Source:shaneykipps
Shane Kippel is famously known for his role as Spinner in the series. He started out as the bully, and he overcame many challenges from his health to personal relationships that he later redeemed himself.
Kippel still acting, producing and writing with a focus on comedy. Over the years, Kippel has kept himself busy as a musician. He’s the former drummer for the band Dear Love, which has since broken up.
His IG is full of creative sketches, adorable photos with his girlfriend and throwbacks from the show with his fellow costars.
3. Nina Dobrev – “Mia”Source:Nina
Nina Dobrev landed her first big break thanks to Degrassi, portraying Mia in the series.
Since then, she has appeared in many series and starred in The Vampire Diaries from 2009-2017. According to her Instagram, she is also a proud owner of a vegan-friendly wine company called Fresh Vine Wine.
Dobrev is doing well continuing to share her light onscreen.
4. Stacey Farber – “Ellie”Source:staceyfarber
Stacey Farber played the young, rebellious red head in Degrassi: The Next Generation.
The actress is still happily busy on set. From 2014 to 2017, Farber starred on the medical drama Saving Hope. She has also appeared on comedies like Schitt’s Creek, Grace and Frankie, and UnREAL.
Farber is also on The CW’s Arrowverse series Superman and Lois.
5. Adam Ruggiero – “Mario”Source:adamoaruggiero
Adam Ruggiero played the lovable Mario in the series. He went on to become the valedictorian of their class.
The actor is still pursuing his craft primarily appearing in short films and the occasional television role.
6. Lauren Collins – “Paige”Source:Laurenfcollins
Collins played the role of founding cheerleader Paige. She went on to join theist of Degrassi: Next Class reprising her original role. Collins also appeared in the 2018 Netflix holiday film The Christmas Chronicles.
Aside from acting, Collins married Jonathan Malen in October 2018 and the couple welcomed a son named Charlie Sebastian Malen in March 2020.
7. Jake Epstein – “Craig”Source:officialjakeepstein
Jake Epstein portrayed Craig, who was part of the school’s drama club, became a signed artist, and moved to Vancouver to pursue a career as a solo artist. Craig returned to Degrassi years later to perform for the younger generation of students.
Since then, Epstein attended acting school where he went on to star in theater productions. He’s toured for Spring Awakening and American Idiot and starred in several Broadway shows.
He made his debut in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark and has since starred in the Tony-winning show Beautiful. Fans may also notice Epstein in “Designated Survivor” and “Suits,” too.
8. Melissa McIntyre – “Ashley”Source:melmac63
As Ashley Kerwin, she spent a lot of time showcasing her musical skills singing and playing the piano in the show. Now, the actress lives in Toronto, loves baking cookies, and has a toy poodle. In October 2019, she and Kippel reunited while attending a convention in London.
9. Miriam McDonald – “Emma”Source:miriamkatherine26
Emma was a bit problematic at times dealing with her own teenage struggles. She was best friends with Manny Santos. Emma later tied the knot with Spinner in Degrassi Takes Manhattan.
Now, she doesn’t do too much acting. McDonald appeared in one episode of Orphan Back in 2013 and the 2014 film Wolves. She reprised her role as Emma in an episode of Degrassi: Next Class in 2016. Most recently, McDonald was featured in the 2018 Hallmark movie A Veteran’s Christmas.
10. Cassie Steele – “Manny”Source:cassandrasteele
Steele played a part in some classic Degrassi moments like Manny’s popular thong look that was ahead of its time. The actress has continued acting and stepped into the world of animation as well. Steele has voiced characters on the hit animated series Rick and Morty.
She also appeared in the 2010 Disney Channel movie My Babysitter’s a Vampire and on a drama series called The L.A. Complex. Aside from acting, Steele also sings. She has released two studio albums and two EPs.
11. Jake Goldsbie – “Toby”Source:Jake Goldsbie
Toby was a day one on the show. He was good friends with J.T. and the two were an awkward pair with their own set of challenges at school.
Goldsbie isn’t doing much acting anymore but he does run a few podcasts covering sports and music. He recently wed in November 2020.
12. Sarah Barrable-Tishauer – “Liberty”Source:djmetime
Liberty was a highly motivated student, and oftentimes viewed as an overachiever.She eventually became the valedictorian of her graduating class despite her unexpected pregnancy.
Barrable-Tishauer is now a dj and music curator who goes by DJ Me Time.
13. A.J. Saudin – “Connor”Source:aj saudin
Connor was a socially awkward, studious character who struggled with Aspergers. He was often bullied by the other students, but had a core group of friends throughout the show.
Today, Saudin is a working musician and has walked in a few runway shows.
14. Andrea Lewis – “Hazel”Source:Andrea lewis
Lewis played Hazel Aden, who was a young Muslim student. She was a popular girl and valued member of the Degrassi spirit squad.
Now, the actress is between LA and London acting and filmmaking.