The Next Step, the hit young adult dance drama made in Toronto is huge with its young fans. It’s seen around the world and it won three nominations at the recent Canadian Screen Awards.
Two of the show’s stars Trevor Tordjman (James) and Brittany Raymond (Riley) who not only dance together with in the Next Step troupe, but play boyfriend and girlfriend, just returned from a cross-Canada Next Step tour and we had the chance to speak with them.
M&C: Congratulations on your Canadian Screen Awards nominations for the show and for Brittany for Best Performance.
Trevor Tordjman: It has all been pretty crazy. Brittany and I were excited to go to the CSAs and see everything. It was insane and a lot to take in.
M&C: Last time I spoke with you, Trevor, I was struck just how much joy the working on the show brings you. Do you feel the same now, as The Next Step enters its third season?
TT: Most definitely! The tour is such a different experience in live stages and theatres across the country and seeing the fans react. I have the same joy now, even more.
Brittany Raymond: It’s so much more real and active to see the fans person. The show is so popular I think because dance is a growing phenomenon for the average person. It’s enjoyable but on another level we see each character grow in their own way and connect to the story.
M&C: The show seems to be more focused on dance in the upcoming third season. It has a music video vibe.
BR: We all love the dance, we love to perform and we love that it’s focused on dance, since day one and it’s been growing and we’ve been growing. It is like a music video and we like it for sure. It’s awesome to incorporate so much dance into the story lines. It’s why we are all on the show, it’s really cool because the storylines are more mature this year, so the acting is more challenging, too.
M&C: There was a LOT of drama in the past season, the height of which was being forced to merge with Elite, your dance arch rivals. How do your characters deal with that?
TT: Obviously they want to merge because Elite has a plan to destroy the Next Step, whether that will work or not the fans will have to wait and see! The writers did a great job, and there is stuff that is unexpected but yes you get to see how it plays out.
And I understand there are so pretty important show changes coming down the road.
BR: Yes, the story lines are more mature, as you watch each character develop more mature personalities and grow in their own way. It’s high drama, for sure there is still a lot going on.
M&C: Your relationship is a major factor in the show. It seems like a really healthy one and is a good example for kids watching.
BR: James and I definitely go through a lot of bumps down the road but they figure out how to get over the past because they have a strong connection.
M&C: Do you ever speak with the writers to find out what is going to happen with your plotlines?
TT: Not usually, we are pretty much told exactly what happens but when it comes to developing the scene we have a lot to say about what we say and what we do. It’s part of our responsibility.
Sometimes we don’t deliver the lines verbatim. We’re given the scenario and freedom to take it and portray it and how we want to. It’s part of being an actor.
M&C: Do you think about life after the series?
BR: Most definitely. When there is free time after The Next Step is done we all want to branch off and do our own thing.
M&C: What about non-dancing acting roles?
BR: I want to play something completely opposite from what I’ve played and who I am, like Mean Girls.
TT: I would really enjoy that but I’ll never give up dancing. That being said, straight dancing, straight acting, either would be great. But I like to play a character, any sort of character and as many characters as possible.
Season Three premieres on Monday March 16 and another new episode will air every single weeknight Monday-Friday. On Demand service Friday 7:30 on Family I Canada and Hulu in the USA.
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