Jessica Tyler is the beautiful blonde starlet of one of the most popular teenage dramas out there: Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Last week marked the premiere of the show's twelfth season, so GlobalGrind decided to catch up with Canadian actress Jessica Tyler - who plays the polarizing character, Jenna Middleton - to find out all the drama Degrassi has in store this season.
GlobalGrind chit-chatted with Jessica about Degrassi's new story line, past Degrassi stars like Drake, her celebrity crush and of course, her budding music career.
Check out our exclusive interview below!
GlobalGrind: Degrassi has basically covered every drama that could possibly happen to teenagers, including abortions, STDs and gun violence – what new drama is Degrassi going to bring this season?
Jessica Tyler: Degrassi is peddling kind of a new story line, with a new character and her family. The Bakers are coming to town from Florida, and with them they bring a very Christian religious view on life and I think they’re unconsciously hoping that their beliefs can rub off on the school. (laughs)
What about Jenna? Where’s her story line going this season?
Jenna is ready for a fresh start. She is coming back to school from her break-up with [K.C.], giving the baby away, and this year is all about finding a new life and trying to make some new friends and get a good new atmosphere in her life.
I know you’re really into music. Who are some of your favorite artists that you like listening to right now?
I recently saw the Katy Perry movie, and I saw a lot about her career. I really respect her and her music. Her music is so much fun. I love listening to her. I love Kings Of Leon. I like Maroon 5 right now. I like a little bit of everything. Being on the Degrassi, we’re always playing Drake on set.
Have you gotten any advice from former Degrassi High students like Drake or Andrea Lewis?
I unfortunately have never met Drake. I would love to meet him. I do have a couple… there was one year I was on with Nina Dobrev - who’s on Vampire Diaries right now. I wouldn’t say any advice was given, but she was very ‘role model’-like when she was on the show in my first season. It was nice to see someone so humble have such great success. So I feel everyone from Degrassi kind of – without knowing – just gives off really great advice by just being who they are. They’re really humble, a great cast and a great group of people.
How does it feel to be a part of the Degrassi legacy?
I was fortunate to be on a show like Degrassi. It is very well respected and everyone within the camp is so, so nice. I’m just happy to have this opportunity.
What’s your favorite thing to do besides acting? What does Jessica do in her free time?
Free time to me is writing music. I love to write music. I have a guitar in my room at all times. I have a home studio at home, so me and my dad are always working on music. I’m now working with a new producer and his name is [Demacio] “Demo” Castellon, Nelly Furtado’s husband. We’re hoping to finish this album by the end of the year.
If you could work with anybody musically, who would you work with?
I’ve always really, really, really liked Johnny Cash and June Carter. I know that’s going back, I love the movie Walk The Line. But recently I’ve been really, really respectful of Katy Perry. I think it would awesome to work with her. Especially since our music is fun and energetic.
So if I sent you to a deserted island and you could only bring three albums, which three albums would you bring?
I would bring Avril Lavigne’s first album, Let Go. I would probably bring a country album, maybe Keith Urban – I like Keith Urban – and I would bring some kind of dance. Either Drake or Katy Perry, or some type of Top 40 music for sure. I like to be all over the place (laughs).
Do you have any celebrity crushes?
Yes I do! I think Brody Jenner is so cute. He’s kind of my celebrity crush right now.
What’s one thing that you can’t live without?
Probably my older sister. I don’t know what I would do without her. She’s my rock.
So are you working on anything else - any other projects?
At the moment music is really my core and Degrassi as well. In August, Degrassi is traveling to Africa with Feed The Children. Degrassi has a partnership with Feed The Children, so every year we like to go on a trip to give back to the school, keep ourselves grounded, and get close to the tribes. So we’ll be going there in August.