Started From The
Bottom! Where Are
Sure, Drake may say that he started on the bottom, now he’s here, but that’s not exactly true.
As he pointed out during his Saturday Night Live monologue, he actually started on Degrassi: The Next Generation, in which he played Jimmy Brooks, a basketball star with a promising future only to be confined to a wheelchair while still in high school.
So, Drake may have made it “here” (which we can only assume means super rich and successful), but we want to know what happened to the rest of the students from Canada’s most dramatic high school!
We checked in on the original stars of the show, and we promise—this is one high school reunion you’ll actually look forward to!
Craig Manning (Jake Epstein)
As it turns, Drake (who was then called Aubrey Graham) isn’t the only one that was musically inclined! Jake has triumphed in musical theater, and made his Broadway debut as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark in December 2012.
Emma Nelson (Miriam McDonald)
Emma was one of the show’s longest running characters, but after leaving that role behind, Miriam has continued to appear in a number of Canadian TV shows.
Ellie Nash (Stacey Farber)
Just like her character Ellie, who became a journalist, Stacey went on to complete an internship with Teen Vogue when she wrapped Degrassi. However, she returned to acting and starred in the CBC sitcome 18 to Life.
Ashley Kerwin (Melissa McIntyre)
After retiring as Ashley, Melissa gave up public life for a considerable time, before resurfacing in 2012 as one of three harmony singers in the band Fortune.
JT Yorke (Ryan Cooley)
After JT’s untimely death on Degrassi, it would appear he mostly left showbiz all together, and now has office job.
Manny Santos (Cassie Steele)
Like many of her costars, Cassie turned to music after her stint on Degrassi. Most recently, she displayed her acting chops again to star on the short-lived The L.A. Complex.
Marco Del Rossi (Adamo Ruggiero)
After playing a trailblazing gay teen on Degrassi, Adamo went on to host The Next Star (a Canadian singing competition) from 2008 to 2012. Additionally, he’s been involved in various LGBT-related performances.
Sean Cameron (Daniel Clark)
After playing Degrassi High’s bad boy Sean for years, Daniel ended up going back to school to study political communication at NYU, and works as an associate producer at Fusion.
Spinner Mason (Shane Kippel)
Spinner was another original cast member whose run on the show was impressively long (he stayed on the show for nine seasons!). Since leaving the show, Shane’s the latest to venture into music—he currently performs with his band Dear Love.
Toby Isaacs (Jake Goldsbie)
Since he stopped playing Toby, Jake has only had one acting gig on a TV show. Now, he works for The Score, a sports-based site/app.
Paige Michalchuk (Lauren Collins)
Following her departure from Degrassi, Lauren had one of the most promising acting careers of the young stars. After a brief hiatus from showbiz, she began hosting 1 Girl 5 Gays on MTV Canada last year.