By Kait Fowlie
HOW PUMPED ARE YOU FOR SEASON 10 OF DEGRASSI?! We pretty much can’t get enough of the teen angst driven, sexual identity questioning, sometimes backstabbing and sometimes benevolent crew of Degrassi: The Next Generation. This year, it’s moving to MuchMusic, and beginning July 19th, will take on a half hour format, airing Monday-Thursday at 9 pm. WHEEEEE! We chatted with Charlotte Arnold, who portrays the infamous Holly J Sinclair, and has to endure traumatizing events including her boyfriend kissing his twin sister, and dealing with a vengeful boss during her New York internship in the upcoming season. Unlike the crafty character she portrays, Charlotte is a delight to speak with, and is completely thrilled to be a part of the enduring Degrassi franchise.

What are some things Holly J does on the show that you wish you could do in real life?
Well, the great thing about playing Holly J is that I got to go to New York City, as she did, so whatever she does I get to experience myself, but I would say that it’s kind of nice to get back to high school. I was always acting in high school so I was never involved in cheerleading or student council or anything like that, so it’s a bit of a trip to get to go back and belong to the clubs and be that person.

Who are some of your favourite female villains in other shows or movies?
Heathers is the classic mean girls movie. I love that movie, but I was thinking about this a bit, and I think the best female villain of all time is in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nurse Ratched. She’s a bit psychopathic. But Heathers is just a hilarious high school mean girl movie.

Did you ever have any bad experiences with bullies in high school?
I was lucky, I mean the worst stuff I got in high school were comments about being on TV. If you’re an actor, people will always pull that out of their back pocket and use it against you. My high school was pretty much all on good terms, I never had any horrible bullying incidents. A couple kids on the show, my friend Raymond, had to deal with some horrible bullying when he was younger, he has an insane story…so he could speak to that a little better, but I learned to just hold my head high and not make any enemies.

Do you feel you have a lot, or anything, in common with Holly J?
The way Holly J started out being written, she was a bit immature and hateful toward most people at her school, so I didn’t have anything in common with her initially. As she grew a bit, I think one of the close aspects of our personalities is our sense of humour, we’re both into one liners and sarcasm. I admire that in a person. Sometimes in real life the character will be into what you are, it’s a way of incorporating who we are. Holly J wants to be senator, she’s really into politics and I’m in journalism leaning toward broadcast, and I’m crazy about politics.

Degrassi is filled with a lot of teen angst. Does the cast ever try to do things to lighten things up?
Yeah, you’re definitely right about that. There are some episodes that are hard to break the tension. We don’t have a whole hell of a lot of time to mess around on set, unfortunately, since we’re doing 48 episodes in slightly more time, super fast shooting so not much of an appetite for clowning around on set. We do have a sunshine lounge upstairs with foosball and stuff so we can kind of unwind. We just came back from doing a media thing in New York and magazines like J14 wanted to find out about crazy pranks onset but we don’t really have time for that.

Did you watch the original Degrassi? If so, who were your favourite characters?
I used to catch it after school, actually I’d only get 2 channels on my TV -CTV and CBC, the old version, and I remember seeing the Spike pregnancy thing and Joey Jeramiah and the band. I probably saw it in health class too, so yeah I watched it, but the earlier seasons of the next generation I was 11 or 12 when that started. So it was cool, neat to see your name on the cast list, even to be a small part of the history is flattering and pretty awesome.

Can you let us in on what the future has in store for Holly J?
She’s doing an internship with an MTV-esque channel in New York and is going through some awesome romantic trials and tribulations. When she gets back to Degrassi it’s a hard reality check, she doesn’t have any money, needs to get a job. When she comes back to school she also has to re-evaluate her relationship and what she wants. It starts off with the presidential race too, when she’s trying to get back her job as president, grade 12 isn’t as easy as she hoped.

-moving mm
-everyday after school