This week’s #TMITuesday feature is a man of many talents, which includes burger consumption, but is best known for his on screen skills. With the season premiere of the show on MTV this week, I sat down to ask Degrassi alumni Raymond Ablack about Teenagers, Netflix, and maybe a little mention of Yeezus. (And yes, just like every week, we become BFFS. Prepare for a reality series starring Raymond, Dalmar, and myself).
1. You’re pretty well rounded when it comes to productions. Having been on stage, TV, and a popular webseries just to start. What is your favourite to film and why?
I wouldn’t say that I prefer any particular genre of performance over another. I really love performance; the butterflies and process of character work, every aspect of the art. I would just say that performance is my favourite thing in the world and getting to do so through any filter, whether film, TV, stage, web series, improv, stand up comedy, is something I’m grateful for, and relish.
2. Since today is #TMITuesday, can you tell my readers something they may not already know about you? Any hidden talents, or guilty pleasures?
I’m ashamed of this, because I do it often and not for any good reason. I go on McDonald’s binges. Always the same order, always finished in one sitting, always ashamed after, always alone, and fairly often. A Big Mac, McChicken, Filet-o-Fish, Jr. Chicken and Jr. Cheeseburger.
3. As an actor myself, I find myself picking roles in films, and on TV that I could have nailed. Not necessarily that I feel I could have done better always, but just could have brought something different to the role. Have you experienced this?
I thought I was the only one with that thought! In fact, I used to watch Degrassi prior to working on the show, and I remember enjoying Craig Manning’s story with the abusive father as one of my favourite plot lines and feeling like I could do that story justice. Not because I related to that story – my Dad is an awesome father and role model. I just loved Jake Epstein’s performance and honestly felt that I could also portray that story well.
What roles do you think Raymond and I would play well together as? Tweet me with your answers @thenikkisin
4. Which character do you feel you relate best to “Sav” on Degrassi, or “Gabriel” on Teenagers?
That’s interesting. Both of these characters are pretty relatable to me at different ages, I’d say. The characters themselves are the same age, but when I was personally their age, I’d say I was more similar to Sav from Degrassi. Today however, I’d say Gabriel moves and wears a philosophy that’s more carefree and synonymous with my outlook currently. That could and likely will change soon though. 5. How do you spend your off time?
My time off is usually spent with my younger siblings. I go home to them every Sunday. My family is the most important thing in my life. 6. What would you say your “theme song” is and why?
That’s such a hard question. I think you wish your favourite song would be your theme song, but that can change from day to day. And in fact, I wouldn’t say your favourite song is actually indicative of your character, lyrically, musically or poetically, so it wouldn’t necessarily stand as your theme song. Maybe I’m being pretentious about this question. Definitely, actually. I think I’ll go obscure and say that my theme song is Kanye West’s ‘Last Call’. I love the outro of that song where he uncommonly, humbly talks about his struggle, journey and eventual success in the music industry. I listen to that song before auditions.
7. What would fans see on your “recently viewed/continue watching” section on Netflix?
I don’t have Netlfix. But if I did, it would have a lot of Seinfeld, Game of Thrones, and Last Week Tonight episodes available
. 8. Do you keep in touch with any of your former Degrassi cast mates?
I made my lifelong best friends on that show. On Degrassi, Dalmar Abuzeid and I played best friends and we are in fact best friends in real life too. We just moved in together in April. I’d gladly build my team around Dalmar, Paula Brancati and Scott Paterson. They’re the ‘good guys’.
9. How did you get involved in the production of “Teenagers?”
Getting involved with Teenagers came about through the small industry network, I guess? Dalmar worked on the film, Pompeii. He brought me as his guest to the wrap party. I met a fellow cast mate of his at the party, Emmanuel Kabongo. Emmanuel took my information claiming that he had me in mind for the character of Gabriel in the project he and friends were working on. Couple weeks later we met up to talk about it – I’m always glad to perform, so I jumped at the opportunity. It was just a fun project to devote three weekends to, is what I thought initially. It’s cool that people are enjoying it.
10. What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects?
I think people often deliver this line as a way to maintain posture (and there’s no shame in that, because I know too well what it’s like to not have upcoming work), but I am really, really fortunate to have a couple projects that I took part in coming up. Of course, I’m not allowed to say anything about them prior to release because that would ruin the projects’ integrity. Maybe I can say, watch SyFy/Space! And thank you for even caring what I work on 🙂Stay tuned Friday for an all new #FitnessFriday post!