Right off the bat, Jamie Johnston wants DEGRASSI fans to know a few things: He’s not, as many viewers wrongly assume, dating on-screen love interest Miriam McDonald (Emma), nor is he anything like his on-screen persona, Peter Stone.
“Playing Peter has been great for me as an actor, because he’s so different from any other character I’ve played,” says Johnston. “If people don’t like him, then I’m doing my job.” The talented young actor need have no fear in that department: Since first strolling down Degrassi’s hallways last season, Peter has quickly earned the rep as the guy we love to hate.
Of course, while Peter gets to have all the so-called fun, his portrayer sometimes has to face the consequences. “I once had a fan shout at me, ‘You’re a scum bag!’” he shares, adding with a smile, “I’m pretty sure she meant Peter…” Most of the time, however, encounters are a tad less interactive. “Yes, I get strange looks on the subway sometimes, but that may have nothing to do with them recognizing me,” the modest young man says. “I once had a fan ask me to sign a pair of my boxers,” he then admits before offering assurances that he declined the request.
Meanwhile, if you thought you’ve seen Peter at his worst — such as the time he taped Manny, drunk and topless, at a party — you might want to fasten your seatbelts, because the weeks to come will find the troublemaker dealing with the consequences of his decision to challenge Sean to a drag race which has a most unfortunately outcome.
“There’s more trouble for Peter this season,” previews Johnston. “And you’ll get some clues as to why he is the way he is.” Not that the actor is about to spill any of the show’s top-secret plot twists. He is, however, willing to share his own hopes regarding Peter’s future. “I’d like the writers to go deeper with his character development. Until we know more about Peter’s past, we may not be able to forgive him for the things he’s done.”
As for Peter’s romantic prospects, Johnston remains cryptically non-committal in a way we suspect his TV personal would admire. When asked whether former bulimic Emma or her gal pal Manny (Cassie Steele) might be Peter’s Ms. Right, the actor responds, “Maybe Emma, maybe Manny… or maybe neither of them!”