Alicia Josipovic On ‘Degrassi’ Series Emmy Nomination, “Drianca”

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What can be better than a Degrassi family? Yes, that’s right. A Degrassi Italian Mafia family. While chatting with Alicia Josipovic recently she went into detail about what she and four of her male costars do once the camera stops, what she thinks about Bianca and Drew being back together, and what couple she loves besides Drianca. (EClare fans, you may be surprised!)

The hugely popular Canadian series just received an Emmy nomination for a second year in a row for Best Children’s Program, and it couldn’t be more well-deserved. How did the cast react? What storyline does Alicia think made the biggest impact over the past 32 years its been on air? Check out what the actress had to say!

PS: Seriously, I couldn’t stop Tumblring pictures of the cast and watching clips of the show after this conversation.

Degrassi got an Emmy nomination for the second year in a row! Did any celebration happen?

ALICIA JOSIPOVIC: We’re on hiatus right now, so we found out when we were all off set. It’s really really exciting for us because we’re a Canadian show and we’re up against a lot of great shows and a lot of big shows that are in the States. It’s really really exciting for us! I remember we were all on Twitter just saying, ‘Oh my God, Degrassi got nominated!’ We’re really excited. I hope we win! Degrassi really deserves an Emmy. They’ve been around for 32 years. It’s like a soap opera, basically!

What’s been one of your favorite memories from set?

We have so much fun on set. It’s really, really crazy. We’re all friends and we all get along so well! There were four of us that created this imaginary Italian Mafia family. We did this last year, and it still carries on today! When we’re on set, we’re in our Degrassi characters and when the directors yell, ‘Cut!’ we go into our Italian Mafia characters. We’re called ‘The Palumbos.’ It’s insane – the crew has to tell us to shut up! We don’t stop! And when we’re in it, we’re in it. It’s just crazy. Fights happen. It’s so much fun.

Who’s a part of the family?

It’s myself, Luke [Bilyk], Munro [Chambers], Daniel [Kelly] and Justin [Kelly].

The only girl!

Yeah, I’m the only girl! We’re all family, so I’m Marissa Palumbo, and I have four brothers: Donny, Pauly, Joey, and Frankie. It gets really crazy! That has to be one of my favorite times. I mean, we do it all the time, but it’s so much fun to do, because that’s what we do: we love playing characters! It’s awesome; it’s a lot of fun!

Speaking of Luke, how do you feel about Bianca and Drew getting back together?

I’m so happy! I was really upset when we broke up! When we broke up last season I was devastated. So was Luke! We were like, ‘Really? After all that we’ve been through with Anson [Russ]?’ We’re so excited to be back together, and I think it’s going to be for good. We haven’t shot all the episodes yet, but it looks like we’re definitely making a commitment to each other – a serious, serious commitment. Bianca and Drew are so in love with each other, and it just makes sense that they’re together.

Another favorite couple to fans is of course EClare. Do you have a favorite?

Alli and Dave! They’re really cute together. I love Dave. He’s awesome. He’s played by Jahmil [French], who is an amazing actor. I should pick EClare. Everyone loves EClare, right? So I like that, but I really, really do love Eli’s character. I think that he’s been through so much with all of his bipolar disorder and I would love to play that character. He gets really, really cool storylines. He has to be one of my favorite characters, for sure.

What are your thoughts on Biana and have you ever thought of storylines you’d love her to play?

Bianca comes from nothing, and she has no one to help her. We find out in Season 11 that she has no parents. She’s had to fend for herself, so I think that a lot of people really feel for her now, as opposed to Season 10 and she was just a bitch all the time. No one liked Bianca! I would get so much hate mail on Twitter all of the time: ‘Oh, I hate Bianca,’ this and that. I know that I’m doing my job then, because that’s what I was supposed to do! In Season 11, they showed where Bianca came from, and why she was like that. She’s actually a really good person on the inside – she’s just troubled and got caught up with the wrong people.

Now, in Season 12, she’s shaping up: she’s doing really well in school, she’s applying for university, and she’s back with Drew. She’s just trying to be a better Bianca, which is awesome! But I don’t get to have these crazy storylines anymore! So in the future, I want to have another crazy, adventurous storyline, ’cause I love doing those! They’re a lot of fun.

Is there an episode of Degrassi that you thought really made an impact?

Well, I think the whole transgender storyline made a really big impact, and it definitely shocked viewers. I think everyone was kind of scared when we got the transgender character. I know the network was a little bit shaky about it. I think that has to be one of my favorite storylines – it has gone on so far. The transgender storyline has gone on so much. In Season 10, when Adam was first starting to deal being transgendered, it was a great storyline because a lot of people go through that and don’t talk about it. It’s so hard for people who are transgendered to deal with it, and even being gay – it’s hard to come out of your shell! Adam is so proud and he’s doing really well, and it definitely shows viewers to come out of your shell. Just be you!

Degrassi is just great when it comes to topics like that, and I think that’s why there are so many fans out there.

Absolutely!

Do you get to see each other a lot while on hiatus?

We absolutely do. We all live around each other, in the Toronto area. We make sure that we definitely get together throughout the summer. We’ll all go to Wonderland one day, which is an amusement park over here, or Munro will have a get-together at his house. We make sure that we all spend time together off set as well.

All of you definitely seem really close.

Yeah, we are! It’s a great cast. I’m so happy that we have a cast like this, because I think it’s rare to find something like that. We’re really close, and we’re so lucky!

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