'Degrassi' star finds fame down south

‘Degrassi’ star finds fame down south
Updated Mon. Apr. 21 2008 2:22 PM ET

Tyrone Warner, CTV.ca

Jake Goldsbie, who plays Toby Isaacs on CTV’s “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” says he can’t believe the show’s enormous following south of the border.

“I remember the first few years we were on the air, it wasn’t that big of a deal in the States, except in Buffalo,” Goldsbie tells CTV.ca. “Degrassi” airs in the U.S. on “The N.”

“Now it’s like almost the opposite… people in Toronto are used to the fact that we’re all here, but when we go to Buffalo, I get people shouting ‘Toby!'”

When it comes to describing his character, Jake Goldsbie has an easy way to sum up Toby.

“I always tell people he’s the nerd,” says Goldsbie.

“Picture a nerd and that’s all you need to know about Toby. You’d be pretty close.”

“Degrassi” is currently in its seventh season, which airs Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. ET on CTV.

Toby has never been one of the “cool” students on “Degrassi,” and has tried different schemes to climb the social ladder. Unfortunately for Toby, these schemes, like hacking into the school’s computer system to change marks, usually backfire.

This season Toby stoked the fires of the Degrassi-Lakehurst feud by posting an inflammatory podcast online and launching a “hate Lakehurst” campaign. Of course, Toby has good reason to hate students from Lakehust; one of the students from the school murdered his best friend J.T.

But despite the traumatic events in Toby’s life, he’s arguably the most “normal” of the “Degrassi” teens and enjoys a healthy cult following.

The 19-year-old Goldsbie thinks that fans connect with Toby because of his down-to-earth, drama-free attitude.

“I’ve always seen Toby as a very relatable character,” says Goldsbie.

“He was never bi-polar, he was never addicted to drugs… he’s just like your average high school student, going through the same crap as everyone else.”

In addition to appearing in “Degrassi,” Goldsbie has an extensive resume with roles in the films “Twitches” and Don McKellar’s “Child Star.”

Eager to continue his acting career, Goldsbie has spent so long on “Degrassi” that he has a hard time understanding what life would be like without the show.

“We’ll see what happens,” says Goldsbie. “I was 12 when we started… That was a very, very long time ago.”

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