Aubrey Graham Exclusive Interview

Aubrey Graham a.k.a. DrakeAubrey Graham stars as Jimmy Brooks on The N’s ever-popular Degrassi: The Next Generation. While the two have many obvious differences in their personalities, Aubrey shares with his character Jimmy a love of music. Aubrey took some time out of his busy, busy schedule to chat with The Star Scoop.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Obviously, your character, Jimmy, has had one of the most turbulent “rides,” as far as the course of Degrassi: The Next Generation goes. What have you done to prepare for this?

AUBREY GRAHAM:
Initially, when I found that I was going to be shot and end up in a wheel chair, I spent time with a wonderful kid who was shot and paralyzed. We went places in public and I just wanted to see how people treat you when you’re in a wheel chair, and how people treated me for being with somebody in a wheel chair, just capture a natural feeling about the overall situation. Now, it’s just sort of second nature. I don’t really have to work that hard at transferring it to Jimmy, because I’ve been doing it so long that that switch happens.

THE STAR SCOOP:
One of the recent things that fans have seen on the show is Jimmy is pursuing a bit of a music career. Is that something you are also interested in?

AUBREY GRAHAM:
Music is probably my first love. I mean, I love acting, I’ll never give it up, but music is definitely something I put my heart into. When they wanted me to do music on the show, at first I was a little hesitant because I have a career as Drake, and I wanted to keep it separate. I had a conversation with my agent and just a couple people I work with on music. It turned out great. I was actually listening to the song the other day, and I was like, wow, this isn’t half bad for a song on a TV show. Yeah, the music thing is definitely a big, big deal for me.

THE STAR SCOOP:
One of the things that people comment on about your character is that in the new seasons, he’s friends with Spinner again, despite all of the things that happened in the past. That’s a big step, when they resume their friendship, given the past history of what happened. Where do you think Jimmy got the strength from to forgive Spinner and move forward?

AUBREY GRAHAM:
I think forgiveness is a big part of life, and when it comes to a friendship, even though that was very drastic, and I can’t really say if I as Aubrey would have been strong enough to even forgive somebody in this real life circumstance, in this show, we like to show people that forgiveness is possible. The show is about getting messages across to young teens, and that’s what that message was, that, to forgive and move on can often be easier than holding grudges, because if me and Spinner weren’t friends, my days in class would be very awkward. Sometimes, it’s better to forgive than to live with tension and that weight on your shoulders.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Why do you think Degrassi: The Next Generation is so good at tackling all of these issues?

AUBREY GRAHAM:
There’s some great minds within this building at Epitome. They listen, they definitely hear us when we talk at read throughs. They take into consideration what real issues are. At the end of the day, we’re all a group of teens that grew up on the show, and since day one, we’ve had our input. It would be pretty embarrassing if they didn’t know how to deal with issues, because we sit and talk about it almost every single read through. I think it’s great. That’s pretty much our goal. I hope that’s what’s happening, I wouldn’t expect anything less.

THE STAR SCOOP:
As far as your free time goes, what do you have time for?

AUBREY GRAHAM:
Nothing really, just my blackberry is always buzzing, my email is always lighting up. Just music right now, I’m giving it my full attention. If I’m not doing that, I like to relax. I really like food, going to restaurants, especially restaurants that have live dance. I go to jazz bars and stuff like that. If I need to relax, really just taking time to myself is relaxing enough, because it’s rarely something that I get. I just come in my room, put on a good movie or a good show. I’ll just take a long shower, maybe put on some candles, just relax. I’m a very calm, laid back person. When I’m not running around, I just take it easy. I haven’t really done the teenage extra curricular activities in a long time. I just turned 21, I feel like I’m 28. I’m just trying to keep it moving.

THE STAR SCOOP:
How would you say that growing up on the Degrassi cast has influenced you?

AUBREY GRAHAM:
Well, my best friend here, I always say this in interviews, I hope that he’ll come to my wedding and be one of my best men standing there on the side, me and Shane Kippel. We just formed the greatest relationship, and when I see him, it may sound weird, but it makes my day better, lights up my day when he walks in and I know I have scenes with him. He’s just one of my favorite people to see walk through the door. I take to him as a person, and I think he’s really grown as an actor. I think he’s become a very, very talented individual. We just have the best conversations, we have the best jokes. That’s my dude. I really care about that dude a lot.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Was it really difficult for you guys to be playing friends who were on the outs with one another?

AUBREY GRAHAM:
It was weird because for that little time, nothing ever happened for this to be the result, but it’s almost like we really fell out as our characters fell out. We didn’t really call each other for that year, we never saw each other on set, so we really sort of lost touch, not for any particular reason, just because when the schedule is out that you never see somebody, you may never take the effort to see them outside of work. But now that we’re back friends, we remember, like, oh man, remember the old days, me and him? We just go so far back that it’s nice to rekindle that friendship.

THE STAR SCOOP:
What do you want to tell your fans who are going to read this interview?

AUBREY GRAHAM:
I always tell my fans that I’m working very hard over here, and I spend my days building up enough product so that they’ll be able to enjoy my presence in the industry for years to come, and I appreciate all the love and support. The mixtape is out now, it’s called Comeback Season. The album, I’m working on. The show is great, this season is phenomenal, it’s very powerful. Some things that happen are going to make people say, they did it again, which is all we want to hear. It’s a great time right now. It’s a great time to be a fan of Degrassi, and it’s a great time for me and this while music thing, and I just appreciate everybody’s support.

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