Annie Clark is an actress who is well-known for her role as Fiona Coyne on Linda Schuyler’s hit television show, Degrassi: The Next Generation. After spending four years on Degrassi, Annie has been working hard and has already filmed three movies including the new Canadian indie summer camp thriller, Solo.
How did you first get involved in acting and what was your first role?
I’ve wanted to be an actress for as long as I can remember, but didn’t start getting into it professionally until I was fourteen. A friend of mine from camp was an actor, and he and his mother (a prominent Canadian casting director), steered me in the right direction. My very first role was “Rural Teen #1”, just a couple of lines in a Disney channel movie called Roxy Hunter and the Secret of the Shaman. Very funny to look back on.
Why did you select Innis College? Did having a notable alumnus, such as Linda Schuyler, influence your decision?
I’m from Toronto and wanted to stay in the city, so when I decided to go to University, Innis college seemed like a good fit. I’ve always loved the U of T downtown campus and the fact that Innis offered the sort of film courses I was interested in, was perfect. It definitely helped talking to Linda Schuyler about what a positive experience she had at Innis. I must admit, it was very cool having my Intro to Film tutorial in The Linda Schuyler Classroom in the Innis building.
Can you tell us a little bit about your time on Degrassi? What was your favourite storyline to be a part of?
Degrassi was the best learning experience possible for me. I feel to lucky to have been apart of such an iconic Canadian television show. I got to travel, meet some amazing people, and tackle some pretty interesting storylines. My favourite storyline was probably when my character, Fiona, came out as a lesbian. I think it was a really important moment, and I’ve had a lot of girls contact me to tell me how my character helped give them the courage to come out. Degrassi is known for shedding light on various LGBT issues, and I feel honoured to have been apart of it.
How difficult was it to balance your role on Degrassi with the demands of university life?
More difficult than I thought it would be! I commend anyone who can work and take a full course load at U of T. I was a part-time student since I was filming Degrassi at the same time and I still found it hard to juggle it all. It’s definitely possible, but got to be a little overwhelming for me at times, especially when I was filming all through the exam period!
What have you been up to since you left Degrassi?
I’ve filmed three movies since I left Degrassi a year and a half ago. I’m lucky that I’ve actually been working pretty consistently. Right now, I’m splitting my time between Toronto and Los Angeles, auditioning in both cities.
What do you find personally rewarding in your career?
It can get discouraging at times, going out for hundreds of auditions and only booking a handful of them, but there are so many rewarding parts to this job too. I just love that I get to do exactly what I want to be doing with my life.
What are your future aspirations? Do you see yourself becoming involved in other aspects of the entertainment industry?
Unfortunately, this is the kind of job that makes it very difficult to plan ahead, but I would love to continue to pursue my acting career in Toronto, as well as Los Angeles. Hopefully along with acting, I can start to explore other areas of the film industry and really put my Innis cinema studies education to good use!