Tyrone Warner, CTV.ca News Staff
TORONTO — Two stars of “Degrassi: The Next Generation” are gracing the cover of a special issue of “Vervegirl” magazine, featured in Wal-Marts all across Canada.
Nina Dobrev (Mia) and Lauren Collins (Paige) were all glammed up at Studio One in Toronto during the cover shoot earlier this month and CTV.ca was there to get the inside scoop.
There was a buzz in the room as photographer Moo King tweaked his lighting set up while Lily Allen’s new CD blasted out of the studio’s stereo.
While one girl was getting their make up done by Veronica Chu, stylist Maeve McKee ushered the other into a packed wardrobe with the latest fashions.
Finally they settled on a green H&M top with a gold Chai necklace by Foxy Originals for Collins and a brilliant white Diane Von Furstenberg dress from Holt Renfrew with H&M earrings for Dobrev.
Together they stood tall in front of King’s camera, staring deep into the lens as they were fanned with Styrofoam boards, finally getting that perfect shot.
“I think it went well. Photo shoots are always weird for me, and I don’t always feel totally comfortable with it. But it gets easier every time,” says Collins, reclining on one of the studio’s slick black leather couches.
Dobrev adds, “This is my first-ever cover. It’s really exciting to see the first one; it’s a really cool feeling.”
However, she found one of the most difficult aspects of the shoot to be finding a comfortable pose with Collins.
“Some poses were awkward, just because posing with a second person sometimes can be like that. But I have a feeling it will turn out well,” says Dobrev.
“Vervegirl” editor Sara Graham says both girls were easy choices for the cover.
“I love the cast, and I’ve had the chance to meet quite a few of them. They’re fantastic, and I’m looking forward to the next season,” she says.
Dobrev and Collins don’t usually share scenes on “Degrassi,” so the shoot was a rare chance for the girls to interact.
“I loved hanging out with Lauren,” says Dobrev.
“New Faces” search
The August issue of “Vervegirl” also kicks off the magazine’s “New Faces of Canada” model search, which Collins is participating in, alongside eTalk’s queen of gossip, Lainey Liu.
The campaign is a fashion search sponsored by Cover Girl, Herbal Essences, and Elite Model Management.
“I’ve known Lainey for a while now, she’s a great girl and she’s very outspoken,” explains Graham.
“She has a great personality and she’s a really positive person.”
Collins, who has been a part of “Degrassi: The Next Generation” since the series kicked off, is also a big fan of Liu.
“I love Lainey, I read her blog everyday, so I’m excited I get to work with her. You can tell she’s a smart woman,” says Collins.
Dobrev herself is not involved with “New Faces,” but the Bulgaria native says she’s excited for the lucky winners-to-be.
“I think it’s great. I started off modelling as well, and it’s a difficult process. The fact that they are trying to help girls out, it’s a really great way to encourage them,” she says.
Behind the scenes
For someone in love with fashion, being on a photo shoot is like the pages of a magazine come to life.
Collins, who was previously clad in an 80’s retro purple dress with a thin black belt and a long grey trench, says “We walk in here and there’s just a closet of clothing, and we just get to take their pick. It’s so much fun.”
“I live for fashion and it’s a huge part of my life.”
But the self-professed clothing connoisseur says she keeps things pretty simple.
“I’m happy in a white American Apparel t-shirt and a pair of skinny jeans. I guess it’s verging on hipster,” Collins says with a laugh.
Back to school
Dobrev says she has just wrapped up her last year of high school and is enjoying a summer off before she heads to university. However, she’s still planning on pursuing her acting career.
“I’m taking sociology, so hopefully it’s lots of reading I can do while I’m working on set,” she says.
But it’s not the same story for Collins, who has already attended a year of university in Toronto.
“I’m playing it by ear. Acting is my passion right now,” she says.
Next season plans
When “Degrassi: The Next Generation” returns, expect the upcoming season to be as riveting as ever.
Dobrev, brushing her freshly coiffed dark brown curls off her shoulders, says “Degrassi always ‘goes there’ and it’s going there again this year. Make sure you watch!”
Collins later excitedly reveals a clue when she says, “I can’t say very much, but this photo shoot – it will be right up Paige’s alley next season.”