Mike Cohen Degrassi star chooses Montreal (The Suburban)- Montreal

Mike Cohen Degrassi star chooses Montreal

Regular viewers of CTVs hit show Degrassi: The Next Generation have probably noticed by now that the bad boy character of Craig Manning, portrayed by Jake Epstein, has not been in any episodes this season. Well, it seems that Montreal is very much to blame.

The 19-year-old Toronto native got accepted to the Montreal-based National Theatre School. Hes now in the second year of a three-year program. There are only 12 students enrolled and they must attend class six days a week, 12 hours a day.

I knew last year that I could not stay on as a regular given my commitment to school, Epstein told me last week. So they found a way to move my character on the road touring as a musician, but remain in the cast. Ill be in two back- to-back episodes soon.

Epsteins character will be seen on Jan 2 (8 p.m.) when he returns home for a music festival. Viewers will see Craig embracing the rock star lifestyle, complete with a cocaine addiction. Though everyone thinks hes amazing, his girlfriend Manny (Cassie Steele) has to decide if this new and dangerous Craig is the same person with whom she fell in love.

Craig is a troubled person, Epstein said. He was abused by his dad, who eventually committed suicide. He got his girlfriend pregnant. Hes bipolar and does drugs.

After five years of thrilling audiences in more than 150 countries around the world, Degrassi has evolved into a sizzling primetime soap. As the Degrassi teens approach adulthood, they learn that the consequences of their actions are bigger than they used to be. Last season marked a number of firsts for the show: its 25th anniversary, a landmark 100th episode, an audience increase of 24 percent and the breaking of the one million viewer mark for the first time ever.

COHEN CHATTER: I bumped into recovering Dawson College shooting victim Leslie Markofsky Saturday night at the Cinema Guzzo in St. Laurent. He and a friend were there to get some laughs and watch Borat. Its the second movie Ive seen since coming out of the hospital, he says. The other was James Bond. Filming for the movie Dennis The Menace III took place at the Cavendish Mall last Friday.

Item of interest? E-mail mcohen@thesuburban.com, call 484-1107, ext. 307 or fax 483-7213.

2006-12-20 10:54:54

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